Cubeb Pepper’s woody ‘Christmas tree’ aroma makes it a great spice for baking with, particularly at this time of year. Once baked, it loses it’s peppery bitterness and takes on a warmer and more complex spicy taste.
- 4tbsp of ground Cubeb peppercorns
- 8oz plain flour
- 2oz caster sugar
- 6oz butter
- Pinch of Salt
• Finely grind the Cubeb with a pestle and mortar, pepper mill or spice grinder.
• Sift the flour into a large bowl and mix in the salt, sugar and ground Cubeb.
• Add the butter, work everything together with a wooden spoon then knead until smooth.
• Roll out the dough on a floured surface until 7-8mm thick. Cut into fingers or shapes of your choice.
• Place shortbreads on a baking tray covered with baking parchment.
• Cook at 150˚c (fan assisted oven) for about 30 minutes until golden.
• Sprinkle with sugar and ground Cubeb to taste.
• Cool before eating
LONG PEPPER CREAM
We like cream but sometimes it’s a bit plain. The warming taste and nutmeg aroma of Long Pepper is perfect for adding some pizazz to a cream dish. Be bold – you can use more pepper than you think as the cream takes a lot of the Piperine heat out of the Long Pepper.
- 1 medium size pot of thick cream, thick enough to spoon
- 4 tbsp pure sugar cane brown sugar,preferably from Barbados
- 5 Cardamom seeds, opened & crushed
- 1 Madagascar vanilla pod, scraped
- 1 Pinch of icing sugar to dust
- 5 Long Pepper catkins, snapped, cracked and ground with a pestle and mortar
Mix or whisk the ground Long Pepper, brown sugar, cardamom and vanilla into the cream just before serving and sprinkle a little extra sparingly on top at the end. A perfect accompaniment to summer fruits, peaches, nectarines, plums and cherries.
Experiment by trying different types of cream, double cream, whipping, crème fraîche or even clotted cream. With thinner creams take care not to over whisk, unless you want Long Pepper butter(!).
Don’t keep it for too long. We recommend that you eat it all at once.
SICHUAN BACON BUTTIES
Sichuan Pepper awakens the taste buds like no other pepper – perfect for the morning after the night before.The pepper gives the bacon a delicious zesty flavour.
- 1 tbsp Sichuan pepper, freshly ground in a pestle & mortar
- Groundnut oil
Heat the oil in a saucepan with the ground Sichuan pepper, add bacon and cook until golden with a crispy rind.
Add to a decent sandwich, with the usual gubbins to taste.
Best served mid-morning with a Tellicherry Mary…
Essential to help you back into the land of the living.
- A shot or two of Vodka
- 200ml Tomato juice
- A handful of ice
- 1 pinch of Celery salt
- 2 Dashes of Tabasco sauce
- 4 Dashes of Lea & Perrins
- 1 tsp Tellicherry Black Pepper,
cracked and ground
Shake it up, strain it into a Collins glass, and then garnish with a stalk of celery and a lemon wedge.
Best served mid-morning, with a special friend and a Sichuan Bacon Buttie
Sichuan in Popcorn? Hmmm. There’s an idea. Surprisingly good – makes your head actually feel like a piece of popcorn being cooked (nothing happens, nothing happens… then you explode).
The numbing, tingling heat from what has been described as the ‘nuclear pepper’ is called ‘Ma’ in Chinese.
As in ‘Oh-Ma-Gawd’…
- 1/3 cup of good popping corn
- 1 tbsp Sichuan pepper (more if you like living dangerously)
- Oil (ground nut or grape seed ideally)
Dry fry the Sichuan Pepper until just smoking, allow to cool then grind finely in a pestle and mortar. Set aside.
Heat the oil in a covered saucepan on a medium heat, put a couple of corns into the pan and cover. When they pop, take pan off the heat and add the rest of the corns. Count to 27 then return pan to heat and the rest of the corn should start doing it’s thing. Shake the pan over the heat until the popping subsides.
Add the ground Sichuan Pepper to the popcorn pan, put the lid on, shake it baby and transfer to a large bowl.
Best served at 2am with a cold beer and a David Lynch film. Or a Kenny Lynch film.