Capsicum Jam

Capsicum jam is something I’ve tried to make before. It’s something I’ve not managed to get right. Capsicum jam is the kind of condiment I’ve been served in good cafes and restaurants and thought I must replicate at home. And I’ve tried, with mixed results.

Tonight, I got it right.

It was incredibly simple, in the end. It just required a couple of hours of hovering somewhere near the stove to get it right. I was following a recipe, more or less, from a Spanish book we’ve been sampling. But I think I’ve developed my own ideas from it so I’ll publish the recipe here.

Soften 1 finely chopped red onion in 1tbs of olive oil. Let is soften for about 15 mins until it’s turning brown. You want stop before it goes too brown.
Add 2 cloves finely chopped garlic, 1 small chilli seeded (or not, I didn’t) and 1 finely chopped red capsicum/pepper. Soften for five minutes.
Add 1tsp paprika and 1tbs soft brown sugar stir through.
1tbs Spanish Sherry Vinegar. We bought this especially but you could probably just use red wine vinegar. We never miss the chance to buy a fancy vinegar if we can.
Add 125g of tomato passata (or, if you’re me and find you’ve run out, blitz 1 tin of tomatoes and add half).
Add 1/2 cup of water. Bring to boil then reduce to the lowest possible simmer for two hours.

Now I found that after half an hour it was boiling dry so I kept a kettle of hot water going from time to time and added a splash of hot water periodically to stop it drying out, mixing the water through as I went.

After an hour it was really ready but we let it go for nearly two until it was truly thick and jammy.

This was sweet and tangy and delicious. Over cumin chicken, with chargrilled eggplant, it was the perfect accompaniment. Sweet where the rest of the dish was savoury.

The recipe made just enough for two. If I were to make it for more, I’d pretty much double the onion, garlic and capsicum. And I do recommend the Spanish Sherry Vinegar. We found it in a deli and given we’re on a bit of a Spanish thing at the moment, will use it heaps but I think it could easily replace any other rich vinegar such as red wine vinegar in any tomato or chilli based dishes. But it could probably do way more than I’m imagining. I think I’m only just starting to figure it out.



5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. David Hilyard
    Sep 04, 2010 @ 20:36:51

    “Tonight, I got it right” – Dont you love it when you nail something you’ve been trying for a while!

    This sounds great. For the record, which Spanish book?

    Have you seen the Movida coookbook? Have you eaten at Movida in MEL? Not to be missed. Especially the bar.


  2. David Hilyard
    Sep 04, 2010 @ 20:40:13

    A slug of Spanish sherry vinegar replacing some of the lemon in summer evening’s sangria …


  3. Rose Red
    Sep 04, 2010 @ 21:48:56

    mmm sangria…
    sorry, got distracted!
    bet you are glad you persevered with your capsicum jam! looks very tasty.


  4. 2paw
    Sep 04, 2010 @ 21:51:35

    Oh yum, that looks so delicious and how fabulous that you have ‘got it right’!!!


  5. Delly
    Sep 06, 2010 @ 08:03:57

    That looks so simple and satisfying. I love the sweetness and versitility of red capsicum. And putting it over chicken and eggplant…welll… we all know how we feel about eggplant. Yum yum yum!!!

    Thanks for including the recipe! Nothing like nailing it!


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