• “London Heatwave” Sauce: Chilli and Coriander

    by  •  • Featured, Recipes

    It’s actually proper hot in London. Like mid-twenties.

    This is the time of year where you want to do as little as possible to as fresh ingredients as possible so you can just sit down at the best purchase James ever made (outdoor set) and finish/inhale the wine.

    Always one to make things needlessly complicated, I decided to homo up the simple act of applying tomato sauce (“ketchup” to my beloved Americans).

    We had this on the weekend with some steak sandwiches (using up the last of the confiture d’oignons) and it’s one of those accidental amazing things. The addition of the vinegar means it can keep in the fridge for as long as you like.

    I call this ketchup but what you end up with is closer to salsa. If you want a proper ketchup consistency then just blitz it in the food processor before bottling. It will still be thick but not chunky.

    And then call it whatever you like. I’m not the boss of naming things. So’s your face.

    Since making “London Heatwave” sauce, I have mixed through scrambled eggs, served it with sausages and had it with some cheese and crackers.

    However, it’s true spiritual home is in the bacon sandwich. Holy. Fucking. Shit. It’s amazing. Go and get some fancy, non-supermarket bread, cook up some back bacon (in the oven if you’re lazy like me), then just pile the bacon onto buttered bread and top with the heatwave sauce.

    You’ll cry a little. From everywhere.


    • 1 can of cherry tomatoes. If you use the chopped ones, add more sugar. I usually only use canned cherry (or plum) tomatoes now. You won’t go back, either. But I was out, so I went chopped.
    • 3 garlic cloves, minced. I chopped rather than minced. Bet minced is better.
    • 1 heaped teaspoon of cumin seeds. No need to crush them. You can if you want.
    • 1 level teaspoon of tumeric. It makes the red pop. I got this idea from an Ottolenghi recipe.
    • Dollop of olive oil.
    • 30g caster sugar.
    • Small bunch chopped coriander. I usually never do this but you really need to pull out the stalks and just use the leaves. It’s going into a sauce, after all.
    • 2 tablespoons of expensive balsamic vinegar. I used the last of the vinegar with bought in the Campo Di Fiori in Rome. Sad. It’s sweet and gloopy rather than runny.
    • 1 tablespoon of fresh chopped chillies in a tub. We only bought this because M&S was out of chillies. Ideally you’d want a couple of fresh red chillies. Still, the whole thing tasted amazing anyway so what do I know?


    Doesn’t really seem to be the need for bullet points in this bit seeing as it’s so easy. Also because Elizabeth David didn’t seem to use them much and as you can tell from my amazing skills we’re the exact same person.

    Tip everything but the coriander into a small saucepan, season with salt and pepper then cook on low for about half an hour.

    I cooked uncovered but I was careful to check it wasn’t burning. It need to reduce into a thick, jam-like substance and putting a lid on would defeat the purpose.

    Stir it around every now and then. Basically just watch it slightly.

    I have a couch in our kitchen so I can sit and read (drink) while something like this is bubbling away. Also because the couch was already there when I moved in.

    When it’s reduced, take it off the heat and stir the chopped coriander leaves through it. They’ll cook in the remaining heat.

    Let it cool and bit and then decant the sauce into sterilised glass jars. Using a jam funnel if you are homosexual enough to have one.

    I seriously didn’t know they existed before buying one for James for Christmas out of desperation. (I hated everything in Whisk that wasn’t over £150 when I went in that time. That’s never happened before.)

    But they’re great! You can’t miss. They’re like the dream toilet bowl in that respect.

    On that note, store in the fridge and use within a month I’d say. It looks like something that would freeze okay but I’m not sure why you’d bother. It takes half an hour to make and the only thing you’ll have to remember to buy that isn’t in your storecupboard or garden is the fresh chillies and/or the coriander.

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