This recipe first appeared on the Great British Chefs website. 

Some condiments – ketchup being a prime example – are not worth the bother of making at home, while others improve on the original by 100%. Reader, it is stupendously good. I hadn’t realised before I made it that it’s a fermented product, which is odd. I’ve been making a lot of fermented hot sauces recently but this one is probably my favourite. I can’t stop eating it, particularly with eggs but to be honest, you could slosh it on anything and be very happy. It’s hot, sweet, funky and pungent with garlic. I like to danger-dare myself to eat ever-increasing quantities.

Home Made Sriracha Recipe

Makes approx 1 litre

600g red chillies, stalks removed
10 garlic cloves, peeled
4 teaspoons sea salt
4 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons fish sauce
75g soft light brown sugar
75g caster sugar

Put the chillies, garlic, salt and sugar in a blender and whizz to a rough puree.

Pour into a sterilised jar or bowl and cover. Leave to ferment for 3 days, burping each day.

Blend again until very smooth. Add to a saucepan with the vinegar and fish sauce, bring to a simmer and simmer a few minutes, then pour into sterilised jars.

Quince and scotch bonnet hot sauce

I was going to start this post by asking long-time readers to recall the different food phases I’ve been through over the years. There was the sandwich phase, the barbecue phase and (link to current topic dead ahead, guys!), the hot sauce phase. Then I realised: I still wang on about sandwiches, I actually make a magazine about barbecue and here I am sharing a hot sauce recipe. I’m like, so not as fickle as I thought I was *flicks hair*.

I’ve wanted to make a fruity hot sauce for ages and as much as I love pineapple or mango with chilli, it’s quince season, so here we are. I am a big fan of the quince. Raw, they’re just rock hard weirdos but cooked they’re perfumed and sweet once you’ve um, added a load of sugar. Raw quince will pucker your mouth like a cat’s bottom.

What I like about this recipe is that it’s simple. You can taste the fruit and you can taste the flavour of those chillies (not just the heat). It also really comes together after a week in the bottle, transforming from something that was ‘yeah, pretty good actually’ into a sauce I’m fully in love with.

I’ve been pushing the boundaries in terms of the amount I can slosh onto my eggs and I can’t wait to try it on tacos. I also made an absolute shit tonne of it so if you know me in real life, you’re probs getting hot sauce for Christmas.

Quince and Scotch Bonnet Hot Sauce Recipe

This filled a lot of jars of different sizes. I reckon it would fill around 6-8 ‘regular’ Hellman’s mayonnaise jars if that’s any help. You’re welcome… *gritted teeth emoji*

5 quinces, peeled, halved and then chopped into chunks (I think I cut each half into four pieces)
15 scotch bonnets, stalks and seeds removed
15 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
6 tablespoons cider vinegar
8 tablespoons caster sugar
2 tablespoons salt
1 litre water
Neutral oil (vegetable, groundnut)

Cook the quince in a pan of boiling water for 20 minutes or until soft.

Add a splash of neutral oil to a pan and soften the onion and garlic without colouring. This will take around 5-10 mins – be careful to keep stirring it.

Add the quince, onion and garlic, chillies, vinegar, sugar and salt to a blender. Blend until smooth. Add back to a large saucepan with the litre of water. Allow to simmer gently for around an hour.

Pour into sterilised jars and seal. Force upon friends and family as Christmas presents.

BBQ Steak and Pineapple Tacos

I rarely get around to sharing the off-the-cuff recipes I cook day to day. Look, writing a blog is a lot of hard work; I know it might seem like I just sit down and bash out a few hundred words and take a quick snap and, yeah, ok, that’s sort of what happens but let me tell you that doing it for a solid ten years takes a fair bit of organisation.

Making things look appetising is a concern, of course, because no-one wants to see a photo of brown stew taken with flash at 9 pm on a Formica countertop, so that means pictures are off limits once natural daylight has waned. If you want to share a recipe, then you need to write down exactly what you used and what you did, either at the time or very shortly afterwards because trust me, you definitely won’t remember. All this before you’ve even considered whether or not the end result is worth sharing.

Grilled Pineapple

Nowadays, most recipes I cook work the first time around (that’s a benefit of years of messing stuff up, so I’ve earned my stripes) but for all the necessary elements to come together without any planning, well, it just doesn’t happen too often. Sometimes my camera is out of battery, or I have people round and don’t want to be in food blogger mode. Perhaps I just can’t be bothered (I KNOW).

Anyway, the point is I’m going to try and share more of these ‘everyday’ recipes and before you say, ‘OMG no-one eats like this every day’ let me say that, yeah, sometimes I just make a sandwich or a boiled egg but actually, quite often we do bash out a batch of tacos of a lunchtime and what of it? I’m not trying to show off here – I eat for a living. This is just what I do.

So. This lunch was completely unexpected – I was on my way home when I got a call from the BBQ Hotline which went something along the lines of, ‘I have a few hours I didn’t expect to have – let’s grill’ to which I replied, ‘pass dem tongs’ and the result was these tacos.

BBQ Rump Steak

We rushed up to Flock and Herd butchers in Peckham, bought a fine hunk o’ rump and rubbed it down with ground Pasilla and chilli de Arbol, blitzed cumin and coriander seeds. We grilled fat wedges of pineapple until blackened, chopped them up to reveal their juiciness and dusted them with Tajin – an excellent dried lime and chilli dust that is everywhere on tables in California and Mexico (do not fret – you can buy it online). We oiled and blistered spring onions, purchased scary-red Mexican Habanero hot sauce (mucho authentico), then stamped out some corn tacos, cooking them on a hot plate on the grill.

BBQ Steak and Pineapple Taco

It’s the grilled pineapple that makes these so good – the sweet fruit alongside the lime, grilled steak and searing bite of the Habanero is a killer combination (see also: grapefruit and mango). We ate the lot between us, alongside several cold beers and afterwards, snoozed on the sofa. The perfect, impromptu Saturday lunch.

BBQ Steak and Pineapple Tacos

1 x 600g rump steak
1 Pasilla chilli
2 Chilli de Arbol
1 tablespoons coriander seeds
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon sea salt

6 spring onions
1 pineapple
Tajin seasoning
Coriander, to serve
Habanero hot sauce, to serve
Shredded white cabbage dressed with a splash of good white wine vinegar and salt and scrunched with your hands, to serve (totally optional and just for a bit of crunch)

10 tacos – you can either buy these – corn tacos are available now online and in shops, or you can make them. We made them but we didn’t write down quantities and it’s not helpful to say ‘add water until the mixture feels right’. Recipes are abundant online – here is one on Kitchn and another on BBC Food.

Light your BBQ.

Grind the chillies and spices and mix with the salt. Rub all over the steak.

Peel the pineapple and cut into quarters lengthways. Remove the core then cut each quarter into long wedges. Grill this on the BBQ (as it is), then chop.

Trim the spring onions then rub them with a little oil. Season with salt and grill whole until charred. Chop.

Dust any excess rub off the steak then grill it to your liking on the BBQ. We like it medium rare as you can see. This is going to take around 8 minutes on the BBQ, flipping every minute or so.

Pile it all into tacos. This isn’t rocket science. Ice cold beers on the side work very nicely.

Jerk Spiced Corn Fritters

When it comes to hangovers I’m sorry to say that I have many points of reference, not that they get any easier. When once it was possible to giddily make your way out into the world after a night on the tiles, it becomes increasingly difficult to even haul your ass out of bed before midday. The still young adult starts off – dare I say it – almost enjoying a hangover, then progresses through various stages of increasing pain before reaching full-blown knuckle-dragging misery.

I have written before that taming the hangover is like dealing with a ferocious beast – you’d better tread carefully because one wrong move and it’s all over. The hangover is something that needs minute-by-minute management, and although I consider myself an expert everyone is different. I am very fussy about food, for example, to the point where things I usually adore, like eggs, cannot pass my lips post-booze. This is a recent development likely to change at any moment. I also can’t stick tea; so where usually I’m a ten cups a day gal, the morning after it’s just rancid tannic bile.

Jerk Spiced Corn Fritters

This is a recipe for a level 2-3 hangover (out of 5). I say that because it does require you to stand up in the kitchen, mix things together in a bowl and fry the results in a pan. The fritters are excellent, though, because a) they’re fried b) they’ve got corn and sour cream and c) they’ve got habanero sauce and I think we all know that it’s my absolute favourite chilli. Make these, pile them up and eat them in bed while binge-watching Netflix.

Jerk Spiced Corn Fritters with Sour Cream and Hot Sauce

This makes 15-20 fritters (depending on how large you make them)

2 x 198g cans (pre-drained weight) sweetcorn, drained
140g plain flour
¼ teaspoon baking powder
220ml milk
3 spring onions, very finely sliced
Handful coriander leaves, chopped
2 teaspoons ground allspice
1-2 teaspoons Tabasco Habanero Sauce  (remember you’ll add more at the table/in bed)
1 egg, beaten lightly with a fork
Oil, for frying (such as vegetable or groundnut)

To serve

Tabasco Habanero Sauce
Lime wedges
Sour cream
You could also add some grilled bacon…

Sift the flour into a large bowl with the baking powder. Pour in the milk and mix well to make a smooth batter.

Add the sweetcorn, coriander, allspice, spring onion, Tabasco and egg and season with two large pinches of salt.

Heat a 1cm depth of oil in a heavy based frying pan or skillet and wait until it starts shimmering, but not smoking. Turn the heat to medium-high. Drop a tablespoon of the batter into the oil at a time and flatten it out into a round fritter shape. It will take a few minutes to turn golden on the underside – you can then flip it over and brown the other side.

Be wary as the oil will spit a little and splash as you turn them. Set aside to drain off excess oil on kitchen paper. To serve, add lime wedges, sour cream and more coriander and Tabasco alongside.

This recipe was commissioned by Tabasco. All content was written and created by me and I retain full editorial control.