Cheese and Chilli Festival: a winning combination

Last week I went to the highly anticipated Cheese & Chilli Festival in Guildford. With a large assortment of cheese and chilli what’s not to love?

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One of the newest and most interesting products I came across was chilli caramel. Perfect for topping ice cream which is something I could have really done with in the hot Sunday afternoon heat.

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As well as sauces, there was oil, fresh chillies, beer, garlic…

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…And of course cheese! This was my favourite stall. I tried the Spitfire Hot (medium) and Afterburn (hot) but it was the creaminess of the mango and ginger (back row, left) which got me. It was not a spicy cheese but its flavour was nothing short of dreamy and was perfect for cooling down the burn in my mouth from tasting chilli sauces all day.

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I have a habit of going to each chilli sauce stall, finding the hottest sauce and trying it first. Sometimes people grimace as they watch me. Others ask “Was it hot?” to which I reply “A bit”. Quite often this will then result in them trying it for themselves. That’s exactly what happened when I found my item of the day Carrington’s Smoked Garlic Chilli Oil. A woman nearby asked me and when I said it was “mmm…quite hot”, which she thought sounded OK. Within seconds she was shaking her head frantically and calling her friend for help. I felt a little bad…a little. But I bought a bottle anyway.

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Chilli oil-marinaded chicken with spicy onion salad

Serves 2

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 30ml chilli oil
  • Pinch of black pepper

For the onion salad 

  • Half red onion finely chopped
  • 2 tsp lime juice
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp jalapeno pepper
  • 1 tsp dried coriander
  • Pinch cumin
  • Pinch of salt

Mix all the salad ingredients in a bowl and keep in the fridge until ready to serve.

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In a bowl mix the lime juice, chilli oil and pepper. Add the chicken and coat in the mixture. Leave in the fridge to marinade for one hour.

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Preheat the grill. Grill the chicken for five minutes on each side. Make sure the chicken is cooked throughout. Serve with the salad spooned over the top.

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