Friday, 23 January 2015

Calamari served with Red Chilli Jam and Rocket


I have a habit - I'm not sure it's a bad one - but I do know it's an annoying one for anybody else with me! I hear them sighing when I head off to indulge, leaving them hanging around whilst I'm doing it!

What is it..........................................well, I'll tell you................

I like to read the menus outside restaurants  - I usually have no intention of going in but I just like to see what there doing and flavour combinations etc.....

See nothing embarrassing, illegal or bad................ just frustrating for my companions....

Well, anyway, last week when I was in Truro one menu board had 'Squid with Chilli Jam' as a starter and I thought - that would work well with calamari - so when we got home we made it for supper.

And it worked - really tasty and the hot spiciness cut through the fried batter.

First off Andrew made up his beer batter whilst I defrosted the squid. We often have prepared squid in the freezer. It defrosts quickly and can make up a very easy supper dish. I usually buy the squid whole and then cut it into rings - freezing in 'one portion' size bags so I can take out as many as I need....

When defrosted, the squid rings were dried, dipped in batter and then quickly fried in very hot oil...

FYI - I always use rapeseed oil for this type of frying - it heats to a higher temperature, has a pleasant neutral taste and is also a healthy oil being low in saturated fat.


Drain off any excess fat, sprinkle on some sea salt crystals and serve.....

With some chilli jam and a simple rocket salad it was not only a tasty treat but very visual as well.


The chilli jam we had was from a jar I had for Christmas but you can make your own - it's easy - all you need is some chillies (obviously) some sugar and a bit of vinegar - you will also need some pectin to help it set, so either buy jam sugar (which contains pectin) or add some cooking apples to do the job.


For 1kg of sugar you will need 200g red chillies (de-seeded and finely chopped- do this in a mixer if you want to avoid burning hands, eyes, skin etc.....) 400ml of cider vinegar and 2 large cooking apples, if your not using jam sugar. Pop the sugar, chilli's & vinegar in a pan along with the two whole apples - that you have stabbed with a knife a few time, bring it all to a ro1ling boil for about fifteen minutes, check for setting point - by dabbing a drop of the jam onto a cold plate if it starts to set your there - if not continue to boil, checking every few minutes. Remove the apples, pour into sterilised jars, label and if your chilli strips float to the top of the jar turn it over before setting to redistribute them!

And enjoy it with cold meats, cheese, calamari, sausages and chips.........anything really except probably ice-cream or any dessert for that matter but hey, it's up to you.........

Have a great weekend

Lizx