I’ve normally got myself all kinds of hard & fast rules about what should and shouldn’t go into main course dishes, mainly driven by that enduring spectre of 1970s culinaria – Apricot Chicken. Normally, I’ll pretty vehemently keep fruit away from the main course, but this one’s just so goddamn tasty. I served it up as one of a couple of side salads with a really simple grilled chicken breast and fragrant rice. Yes you clever bastards, I know tomatoes are technically a fruit and then there’s the “two kinds of people in the world” division of pineapple on pizza. While I respect your right to choose your pizza toppings, bring one of those spiky bastards anywhere near Chinese food and I will hurt you.
I found a kicking green chilli sauce last week at Spitalfields Market in London. The stall’s called Hot Stuff, and this green sauce is a southern Mexican style sauce. Quite thin and liquid, and the chilli’s backed up with plenty of lime, coriander, and it seems like a touch of mint as well. If you can’t find that type of sauce, it’s not going to be too hard to replicate because it is so damn easy. Don’t even think about using sweet chilli. Gross.
Play with the proportions to get it right for your own tastes, but here’s the basic list & quantities I used.
- 2 kiwi fruits, peeled & chopped into little cubes.
- 1 tomato, deseeded and chopped.
- Most of 1 red capsicum.
- Finely chopped onion or the whites of spring onions.
- The light greens of 3-4 spring onions, sliced thinly and on a diagonal.
- Juice from 1 lime. (2 limes if you’re not using a chilli sauce)
- Finely chopped mint & coriander leaves – a good pinch each.
IF you’re doing the spicy stuff from scratch, have a couple of experimental batches and see which one works best:
- A food processor…
- Lime juice.
- A few green chillies.
- Fresh coriander – leaves & stalks
- Fresh mint – just the leaves, and not as much as the coriander.
- Any of the following (experiment with it, and think salsa verde): garlic, tomatillos, onion, salt & pepper…
Basically, throw it all in a bowl, move it through by hand, and eat it with something. Play with the proportions until you’re happy with it, but oh my god it’s delicious. Cuts through heavy flavours perfectly. Next time I’m back in a barbecue-friendly location, I’m busting this one out. It goes brilliantly with smoky grilled things. Having a guacamole on the table as well really helped offset it, and if you’re friends with some chilli-lightweights, it’s probably not a bad idea. Want a guacamole recipe now? I know a guy who might be able to help you out.
Leave it with me!