What with the dry, the chillies from our potager are thermo-nuclear. Simon has made his annual batch of sweet chilli sauce, and it must be taken in careful doses. A teaspoonful in a little pool on the side of the plate, for tentatively dipping one corner of your forkful of courgette farcie into is quite sufficient.
Simon's recipe normally goes something like this:
Take 10 fresh chillies, finely shredded; a cup of water; a cup of white malt vinegar; 2 cups of white sugar; 10 cloves of garlic, minced; a teaspoon of salt; some ginger, paprika and num pla (oriental fish sauce). Boil until reduced to a consistency you like, then add ¼ cup brown sugar; ¼ cup sherry vinegar; the juice of one or two lemons; and if you have it, a bunch of chopped coriander leaf.
This year because the chillies were so hot he added another ½ cup of white sugar and ½ a cup extra white vinegar, and because we didn't have any coriander, 6 kaffir lime leaves. He then added 3 large tablespoons of plum jam and a shake more salt.
But there are other ways of causing death by over-indulgence, and I reckon my mousse au poire et chocolat could be one. I concocted this recipe to use up the multitude of rather small pears we have on hand.
Quarter, core and peel 10 small pears. Poach for 20 minutes in a syrup made from ¼ cup of red wine and the same of vanilla sugar. Meanwhile, melt a block of chocolate. Blitz the pears and syrup to a purée. Mix 250ml cream* into the chocolate, then mix that into the pear purée. Serve with a sponge finger.
*I used crême cru (unpasturized cream) but any thick cream would do.