Sweet Chili Sauce

Sweet Chili Sauce.

Sweet Chili Sauce.

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The glut of chilies this year has prompted me to try my hand at making my own Sweet Chili Sauce. This particular condiment is a staple in my kitchen as the sweet-acidic taste with a gentle chili zing lends itself to so many dishes. Served cold as a dipping sauce for Vietnamese Cold Rolls, warm with Pig Balls, doused over a good cream cheese or ricotta as a dip, mashed into Guacamole or stirred into Tex-Mex Pottage. I’ve even used it to spice up scrambled eggs! A gentle note of warning here; choose your chili with care. A sweeter, milder tasting chili (such as Jalapeño) is best as the hotter chilis can often be a little musky or bitter, overwhelming the subtleties of the sauce. Leave the seeds in if you like your sauce a little spicier 🙂 

Tipsy Chicken Leftovers Alfredo

Tipsy Chicken Leftovers Alfredo

Tipsy Chicken Leftovers Alfredo

Given the digestive dramas Beloved suffers when ingesting large amounts of cream, it is rare that I cook this style of pasta sauce. Recently however, I began experimenting with almond and/or coconut milk as a substitute, and I have to say I am most pleased with the results. A generous splash of cider, a few fresh herbs, a large dollop of garlic and some bacon ‘n onion made a delicious (and surprisingly low fat) accompaniment to some vegetable pasta. Leftover roast chicken never had it so good.

Apple Berry Jam

Apple Berry Jam

Apple Berry Jam

March sees the end of the berry and the beginning of the pomfruit season. Juicy blackberries, raspberries and brambleberries can still be found alongside hilly creekbeds. The branches of Golden Delicious and Granny Smith apple trees are heavy with fruit, the ground littered with windfalls. This bounty is too good an opportunity to waste, so here is one of my favourites. A not-too-sweet, lumpy, chunky, versatile dollop of cherry coloured bliss. 

Rich and Creamy, Gently Mocha, Chocolate Mousse

Perfect Chocolate Mousse

Perfect Chocolate Mousse

When I was very young, my parents took us on a family holiday all over the South East of Australia. In those days, the main river flowing through Melbourne was a polluted, marshy mess with banks of sticky smelly muck by its side. Imagine my horror then, when Dad made some chocolate mousse and told me he was serving “Yarra Mud” for dessert. I was horrified and flatly refused to eat it, nor did I touch the stuff for decades afterward. My offspring however, were not so scarred, and eventually I overcame my revulsion to create this. 

Lime Martini, Shaken Not Stirred.

Lime Martini, Shaken Not Stirred

Lime Martini, Shaken Not Stirred

This is a light, refreshing variant on the classic Martini. The purists will bellow that the gin is bruised by shaking. I care not a fig for that. I want it properly cold and tangy. James Bond might be a misogynistic dinosaur (I mean, have you read any of the original Ian Fleming stories?), but he certainly had a point when it came to Martinis.