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Posts Tagged ‘Chilli’

Barbecued Prawns with Chilli, Lime & Coriander Butter

Messy but oh so good! Treat your friends to a pile of these at your next barbecue and you will be very popular. Napkins, finger bowls, baby wipes etc., essential!

Wine Suggestion:  we think this needs an uncomplicated and fun white like a Picpoul de Pinet, Muscadet or Albariño, or going up a gear we chose the Bodegas Katxina Txakoli from near San Sebastien in Spain … tapas, sun, seafood and socialising. Happy days.

Barbecued prawns with chilli, lime & coriander butter – serves 4

  • 1kg large raw tiger prawns with the shell on, remove the heads before cooking

FOR THE BUTTER:

  • 1 large clove of garlic
  • a small bunch of coriander, roughly chopped
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and chopped
  • juice of 1 lime, plus wedges to serve
  • 200g butter, softened

Make the butter by putting the garlic, coriander, chilli and lime juice into a food processor and pulse until chopped.

Toss 1 tbsp of the flavoured butter with prawns and leave in the fridge until ready to cook.

Put the rest onto a piece of tin foil and roll into a sausage shape. Put into the freezer to harden.

Preheat the barbecue, then cook the prawns for a few minutes on each side until pink. Serve on a platter and melt thin slices of the butter over the top. You can also melt some extra butter and serve on the side if you want. Serve with lime wedges to squeeze over.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

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Chilli Con Carne

These times definitely call for easy freezer meals. The one and only preparation we made when the restrictions were first announced, was to make a big pot of chilli. No soap, toilet rolls or hand sanitiser but we had chilli, which was enough to reassure us. It’s also one of those dishes that seems to improve in the freezer. Serve with guacamole/avocado, sour cream, fresh coriander, grated cheese, tortilla chips, jacket potatoes, rice, lime wedges or whatever else you like with your chilli.

Wine Suggestion: Juicy and red is our rule with Chilli and your choice will depend on personal taste and wines that come to hand. It could be a rich, brambly and chocolatey Puglian Primitivo or Cali Zinfandel; or an Aussie Shiraz; a standout Languedoc or Southern Rhone Blend; possibly Ribera del Duero; or for us tonight a northern Rhone Syrah from Cornas and the warm vintage of 2009. Fruit is the key factor, just make sure you have a balance of freshness too as the food won’t help wines that tip over the edge in alcohol without balance.

Chilli Con Carne – serves 6 to 8

  • 2 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 450g beef mince
  • 225g pork mince
  • 2 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes
  • 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 2 tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tsp hot chilli powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 600ml beef stock
  • 2 x 400g tins red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

Heat the oil in a large, heavy pan over a medium heat, then gently fry the onions for 15-20 minutes, or until golden and caramelised. Don’t be tempted to cook them any quicker or they won’t give the dish as much flavour.

Add the beef and pork mince and fry for about 5 minutes, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, or until browned and no pink bits remain. Stir in the tomatoes, garlic, sugar, spices and stock. Season well and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer over a low heat for an hour, stirring now and again (no need to cover). Stir in the beans and cook for another 20 minutes, then season to taste.

Serve with your choice of sides but we can’t do without rice/jacket potatoes, lime wedges, sour cream, grated cheddar cheese, chopped coriander, tortilla chips and avocado/guacamole.

(Original recipe from Neven Maguire’s Complete Family Cookbook, Gill Books, 2016.)

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Guacamole

We have a stash of chilli in the freezer which makes for perfect Friday night food. We like our chilli with a ridiculous number of extras including grated cheddar cheese, sour cream, fresh coriander, lime wedges, tortilla chips, rice or jacket potatoes and a big bowl of guacamole. Do not feel limited to serving this with a chilli either as we’ll spread this on toast, have with jacket potatoes or tortillas, or whenever the notion takes us.

Guacamole – serves 4

  • ¼ white onion, chopped
  • 25g fresh coriander, chopped
  • 1 big green chilli, chopped, leave in the seeds
  • 4 small avocados, roughly chopped
  • pinch of dried oregano
  • juice of ½ lime

Put the onion, most of the coriander and the chilli in a pestle and mortar with a pinch of salt and grind to a paste.

Add the avocados to the pestle and mortar with the rest of the coriander, the oregano and the lime juice. Pound until mixed and chunky, then season to taste with some more salt or lime.

Serve with chilli or on top of toast.

(Original recipe from Where the Wild Cooks Go by Cerys Matthews, Penguin Books, 2019.)

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Pork Chilli

We love cooking roasts on a Sunday and are often left with heaps of leftovers. This is an easy chilli which uses cooked pork – perfect for mid-week.

Wine Suggestion: We think that youthful, juicy and medium bodied reds are a good match here. For us it was a Joven Rioja made by Martinez Bujanda which is finely judged to celebrate the fruit without over-powering tannins. Chilled in the fridge for half an hour too.

Leftover Pork Chilli – serves 4

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 celery stick, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 red pepper, cut into 1cm cubes
  • 1 yellow pepper, cut into 1cm cubes
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 400ml beef stock
  • 500g cold roast pork, in 2cm cubes

Heat the oil in a large, heavy saucepan with a lid. Fry the vegetables over a medium heat for 5 minutes or until softened.

Add the spices and oregano and cook for a minute, then add the tomatoes and stock. Season.

Bring to the boil, then turn down to a low simmer and cook, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Add the pork, cover, and cook for another 30 minutes.

Serve with rice.

(Original recipe from Family Kitchen Cookbook by Caroline Bretherton, DK, 2013.)

 

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Spaghetti with Prawns & Rocket

Easy, tasty, prawns, chilli & spaghetti 🙂

Wine Suggestion: A great match was the Biancardi Solo Fiano from Puglia which was aromatic, floral and vibrantly fresh.

Spaghetti con gamberetti e rucola – serves 4

  • 400g dried spaghetti
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 to 2 dried chillies, crumbled (or you could use a tsp of chilli flakes)
  • 400g raw prawns (peeled)
  • 1 small wineglass of wine – about 175ml
  • 2 heaped tbsp of sun-dried tomato purée or 6 sun-dried tomatoes blitzed in a blender
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 handfuls of rocket, roughly chopped

Cook the spaghetti in a large pan of salted water according to the pack.

Meanwhile, heat 3 tbsp of olive oil in a large frying pan and add the garlic and chilli.

When the garlic starts to colour, add the prawns and sauté for a minute, then add the wine and tomato purée and simmer for a couple of minutes.

Drain the pasta but reserve a little bit of cooking water.

Toss the spaghetti with the sauce, the lemon juice and half the chopped rocket and season to taste (add a bit of the pasta water at this stage if needed).

Divide between plates and scatter with rocket and lemon zest before serving.

(Original recipe from Jamie’s Italy by Jamie Oliver, Michael Joseph, 2005.)

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Chilli with Amazing Smoked Paprika Butter

The base recipe for this chilli is nothing unusual but it becomes much more special with the addition of a delicious smoked paprika butter stirred through at the end. It’s definitely our chilli of the moment! Serve with your choice of the usual chilli accompaniments – baked potatoes/rice, grated cheese, avocado, sour cream, tortilla chips….

Wine Suggestion: choice one – a nice, clean lager like Peroni or the Harviestoun Schiehallion, or choice two – a juicy red wine like the Cline Lodi Zinfandel with brambly fruit and soft, spicy tannins.

Chilli minced beef with smoked paprika butter – serves 6

  • 2 tbsp olive oil or garlic oil (if you have it)
  • 2 onions, thickly sliced
  • 2 celery sticks, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1kg beef mince
  • 200ml red wine
  • 2 x 400g tins of kidney beans
  • 1 x 400g tin of plum tomatoes
  • 1 red chilli, finely chopped (or substitute 2 tsp chilli powder)
  • 1 tsp crushed cumin seeds
  • 500ml strong beef stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 sprigs of thyme
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary
  • large handful of chopped coriander, plus extra to serve
  • lime wedges, to serve

FOR THE SMOKED PAPRIKA BUTTER

  • 75g soft butter
  • 1½ tsp smoked paprika
  • finely grated zest of 1 lime and juice of ½ lime
  • ½ tsp of sea salt

Heat a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the oil and cook the onions, celery and garlic over a low heat for about 10 minutes or until softened. Turn up the heat, stir in the mince and fry until browned, breaking it up as you go with a wooden spoon.

Add the red wine and scrape any crusty bits from the bottom of the pan. Bring to the boil and allow the wine to reduce by half.

Stir in the beans, tomatoes, chilli, cumin, stock, bay leaves, thyme and rosemary. Season with a teaspoon of sea salt and some black pepper. Bring to a simmer, then cover with a lid and cook for at least an hour, stirring now and then. You can add a cup of water if it starts to become too thick. Likewise, if it’s not thick enough, you can simmer without the lid for the last 10 to 15 minutes.

Make the smoked paprika butter by beating the butter together with the smoked paprika, lime zest, lime juice and salt.

Remove the herb sprigs form the chilli then stir through the coriander and the flavoured butter, then allow to sit for 5 minutes. Taste for seasoning and serve with coriander and lime wedges over the top.

(Original recipe from Marcus at Home by Marcus Waring, HarperCollins, 2016.)

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Beef & black bean chilli

We’re forever trying new chillies and this one has become the current favourite. Great for feeding a crowd and it tastes even better if cooked the night before. It’s also worth using dried black beans though you have to soak them overnight. If you’re using tinned beans make sure you buy Mexican black beans rather than fermented black beans used in Chinese dishes.

Wine Suggestion: an easy choice here, juicy and red. We chose a Primitivo from Puglia in Italy, the Biancardi Ponteviro which had a wonderful depth of brambly fruit and a hint of menthol freshness. A really good Zinfandel from California (Ridge I’m looking at you, but there are a number of others) would be a good alternative if that’s easier as it’s the same grape.

Chunky Beef & Black Bean Chilli – serves 6

  • 200g dried black beans, soaked overnight
  • olive oil
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 2 green chillies, seeded and finely chopped
  • 750g beef shin, trimmed and cubed
  • 3 tbsp tomato purée
  • 2-3 tbsp chipotle paste/chipotle chillies in adobo sauce
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • 500ml beef stock
  • 2 tbsp malt vinegar
  • 2 tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 2 x 400g tins of cherry tomatoes
  • sour cream (to serve)
  • tortilla chips (to serve)
  • cooked basmati rice (to serve)

FOR THE GUACAMOLE:

  • 2 avocados, peeled & stoned
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 red chilli, finely chopped
  • a good pinch of ground cumin
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • a handful of coriander, chopped

Put the soaked pans into a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a fast boil and cook for 30 minutes. Drain & rinse.

Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a wide casserole dish, add the onions and cook until soft and golden. Add the garlic and chilli and keep cooking for another minute, then scoop out onto a plate.

Heat another tbsp of oil in the same dish and use to brown the meat in batches. When all the meat is browned put it all back into the dish and add the onion mixture, the tomato purée, chipotle paste, spiced and dried oregano. Cook for a minute, then add the stock, vinegar, sugar and tined tomatoes. Season, stir well and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a very gentle simmer, cover with a tight lid and continue to cook for 2½-3 hours or until  the meat is very tender.

To make the guacamole, mash the ingredients roughly together with a generous pinch of salt.

Serve the chilli with the guacamole, sour cream, tortilla chips and basmati rice.

(Original recipe by Janine Ratcliffe in BBC Olive Magazine, October 2013.)

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Chilli con carne

Oh yes, another chilli recipe. This one is interesting though as it uses braising steak instead of mince. We loved it!

Wine Suggestion: A juicy red with a bit of spice is our choice for this dish especially those with a good dollop of Grenache in them. First choice might be a good Cotes du Rhone, but venturing a bit from the tried and trusted we found a Spanish Garnacha made by Bodegas Monfil. An inexpensive wine from the Cariñena region is Spain with bags of flavour but also open, round and juicy; perfect for a Chilli!

Chilli Con Carne – serves 4

  • olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 2 celery sticks, finely chopped
  • 400g braising steak, trimmed and cut into very small pieces
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 red chilli, chopped
  • 1 heaped tsp ground cumin
  • 1 heaped tsp paprika
  • 1 tin of plum tomatoes
  • 1 beef stock cube
  • ½-1 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 1 small square 85% cocoa dark chocolate (optional)
  • tin red kidney beans, drained
  • sour cream, to serve
  • chopped coriander, to serve
  • cooked brown rice, to serve

Heat 1 tbsp oil in a casserole dish over a low heat. Fry the celery and onions over a gentle heat until softened and translucent.

Add the garlic & chilli and fry until the garlic is cooked, then add the cumin and paprika and cook stirring for another 30 seconds. Remove this mixture from the pan and set aside. Add another tbsp of oil to the pan, turn up the heat, and quickly fry the meat in batches to brown it.

Return the onions to the pan and add the tin of tomatoes, breaking the tomatoes up with the back of a spoon. Crumble the stock cube into the tomato tin, fill with water and tip into the pan. Add the chilli flakes and simmer gently for 2 hours, or until thick and glossy, stirring now and then.

Add the chocolate and stir in, then stir in the kidney beans and heat through.

Serve with brown rice, coriander & sour cream.

(Original recipe by Victoria Moore in BBC Olive Magazine, April 2013.)

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Turkey Chilli with jacket potatoes

This is a good chilli for mid-week. It uses turkey mince which is lean, and easy to pick up now in supermarkets. It’s not lacking in flavour and we will definitely be doing it again.

Wine Suggestion: a lighter Spanish red is the trick here; make sure it doesn’t have too many tannins. Our find of the moment is a rarity from Teruel, in Aragon which has a harsh climate of hot summers and very bitterly cold winters. From a resurrected-reinvented vineyard the Jesus Romero Rubus is an unoaked blend of Garnacha, Tempranillo and Syrah. The beauty of this wine is the purity of fruit that sings and layers itself across the palate and has a very long finish. Never heavy, yet full of life. That said, it’s mid-week, so go for it, have whatever is open and it’ll be grand!

Turkey Chilli Jacket Potatoes – serves 4

  • 4 large baking potato
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 300g turkey mince
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp soft light brown sugar
  • 350ml passata
  • cheddar cheese, grated, to serve
  • 4 scallions, chopped, to serve

Heat oven to 220ºC.

Prick the potatoes all over with a fork. Rub with a little oil, and bake for 20 mins, then turn the oven down to 200ºC and cook for 45 mins-1 hour depending on the size of your spuds.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and some seasoning, and cook for 5 mins until soft. Add the turkey mince and season again, then increase the heat and break up the mince with the back of your spoon. When it’s cooked through, add the spices, vinegar, sugar and passata. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 mins or until the liquid has reduced.

Cut a cross in the potatoes and serve filled with the chilli, some chopped scallions and grated cheese.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

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Lamb, beer & black bean chilli

We are forever trying new chilli recipes in an effort to find the best one. Most of them end up fairly similar to be honest but this one was deliciously different and therefore a suitable dish to serve up to friends who also cook their own versions.

Wine Suggestion: we often think the wine used to cook a dish is a good match and in this case the beer used would work, especially if you’ve used one with character and a bit of body. Alternately a good Languedoc or Roussillon (southern French) wine makes a good match. If you prefer white wine there are some great Grenache blanc or Grenache gris wines – try the Roc des Anges “Llum” for an amazing textured and savoury white or the Domaine Gayda’s Grenache Gris Selection which is richer and full of round, seductive fruit. If you prefer red then seek out a bottle of Chateau Saint Jacques d’Alba Minervois for a velvety, deep and satisfying drop.

Lamb, beer & black bean chilli – serves 6

  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 750g shoulder of lamb, cubed
  • 1 large onion, roughly chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 green chillies, deseeded and chopped
  • ½ tbsp ground cumin
  • 2 x 400g tins tomatoes
  • 600ml lager
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 tbsp soft dark brown sugar
  • 3 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 x 400g tins black beans, drained and rinsed
  • juice of ½ – 1 lime
  • 3 scallions, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
  • sour cream/Greek yoghurt
  • avocado
  • grated Lancashire/Wensleydale/Cheddar cheese

Heat the oil in a flameproof casserole and brown the lamb in batches until well coloured on all sides, then remove and set aside. Add the onion to the pan and cook until golden, then add the garlic and chillies and cook for a couple of minutes more. Add the cumin and cook for a further minute. Return the lamb to the pot along with the tomatoes, lager, tomato purée, sugar, oregano and lamb, season well and bring to the boil.

Reduce the heat immediately to a very gentle simmer and cook, uncovered, for 1½ – 2 hours or until the lamb is tender. Stir in the beans halfway through.

Taste, then add the lime juice, scallions and coriander, then taste again. Season as needed and serve with soured cream, slices of avocado and grated cheese.

(Original recipe from Food from Plenty by Diana Henry, Mitchell Beazley, 2010.)

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Crab & Chilli Risotto

We’d been eyeing this recipe up for a while and when we stumbled across some really good crab meat we had our excuse to make it. It was luxurious and delicious as we expected.

Wine suggestion: Go for a rich white like an oaked Chardonnay, which will also have a good freshness and texture to balance the rich risotto. Our choice was the Rustenberg Chardonnay from Stellenbosch in South Africa which never lets us down.

Crab & chilli risotto  – serves 2

  • 1 litre light chicken stock
  • ¼ tsp saffron threads
  • 2 garlic cloves, bashed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 scallions, finely sliced
  • 1 fresh red chilli, de-seeded and finely chopped
  • 200g risotto rice
  • 75ml dry white wine or vermouth
  • 100g brown crabmeat
  • 100g white crabmeat
  • zest and juice of ½ a lemon, plus wedges to serve
  • 50g rocket

Heat up the stock, add the saffron threads and keep hot over a low heat.

Heat the oil in a heavy-based pan (which you have a lid for) and add the bashed garlic cloves. Leave to sizzle for a couple of minutes, then remove and discard the garlic. Add the scallions and most of the red chilli and cook over a medium-low heat, stirring, for about a minute.

Turn up the heat and stir in the rice so that the grains become coated in the oil.

Add the white wine/vermouth and let it bubble up until it has been absorbed. Add a ladleful of stock and cook, stirring, until it has been absorbed.

Turn the heat down and continue to stir and add ladlefuls of stock, allowing each one to be absorbed before adding another. After about 18 minutes the stock should have all been absorbed and the rice should be al dente.

Remove the pan from the heat and add the crab and the lemon zest and juice, then season. Add the rocket, cover with the lid, and let stand for a minute.

Serve the risotto with the remaining chilli over the top and a squeeze of lemon.

(Original recipe from Nigellissima by Nigella Lawson, Chatto & Windus, 2012.)

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This takes a dish we all love and gives it something special. As celeriac is in season, and very cheap at the moment, we’ve made this a lot recently and thoroughly enjoyed it each time. We haven’t tried it with the optional bacon yet but it tastes great without it.

Celeriac, potato & rosemary gratin – serves 4-6

  • 6 rashers bacon, chopped (optional)
  • 420ml double cream
  • 350ml milk
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 tbsp rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and sliced
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 celeriac (about 500g) peeled, quartered and thinly sliced
  • 500g potatoes, peeled and very thinly sliced (use a mandolin if you have one)

Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4.

If you are using the bacon, grill it until cooked and lightly browned, then set aside.

Bring cream, milk, garlic, rosemary, chilli and mustard to the  boil in a medium saucepan, then turn off.

Pour a little of the cream mixture into the bottom of a gratin dish. Arrange a layer of celeriac, scatter with bacon and season. Pour over a bit more cream and repeat the process, alternating layers of potato and celeriac, finishing with a potato layer. Cover with the rest of the cream mixture, then bake for 1 hr-1hr 15 mins or until golden and tender to the point of a knife. Leave to rest for 5 minutes before serving.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

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Easy Chunky Chilli

This recipe uses a couple of cheat ingredients (kidney beans in chilli sauce and chipotle paste) with great results – very little effort but tonnes of flavour!

Wine Suggestion: We’d go for something juicy, fruity and red. Perhaps a Spanish Garnacha or a lighter Zinfandel where the tannins aren’t too high and dry and won’t conflict with the heat in the chilli.

Easy Chunky Chilli – to serve 4

  • olive oil
  • 400g diced stewing beef
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1½ tsp ground cumin
  • 1-2 tbsp chipotle paste (depending on how spicy you like it)
  • 400g can kidney beans in chilli sauce
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 lime, zested and cut into wedges
  • handful of coriander leaves
  • rice, to serve

Heat a couple of tablespoons of oil in a large pan and cook the beef pieces until browned all over. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Add the onion to the pan and cook until softened. Add the garlic, cumin and chipotle paste and cook for one minute.

Sieve the kidney beans but reserve the sauce. Add this sauce, along with the tomatoes and a can full of water, to the pan. Stir well and return the meat to the pan. Bring to a simmer, then cook covered for about 2 hours or until the beef is tender (you can also bake in the oven for 3 hours at 160C/140C fan/gas 3).

Add the kidney beans and lime zest, season and warm through. Serve with the coriander leaves, lime wedges and rice.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

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This is a doddle to whip up after work and it’s not a bad chilli for very little effort. Serve in warmed tortillas with some rocket and sour cream or in a baked potato.

Cheat’s Chilli – to serve 4

  • 500g minced beef
  • 350g jar of tomato and chilli sauce (we use our own tomato sauce which we always have a supply of in the freezer)
  • 400g tin of red kidney beans

Fry the mince in a non-stick pan until well browned. Pour in the sauce, then fill the empty jar about a third full of water and rinse out into the pan. Bring to the boil then simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Drain and rinse the beans before adding to the meat and heat through for about 5 minutes or until the beans are hot and the sauce is thick.

 

 

 

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We love finding new variations of Chilli and this one has made our list of repeatable recipes. This is really filling and at less than 500 calories per portion also suitable for us dieters. We promise we’ll go back to normal in a few weeks time!

Black bean chilli with guacamole and garlic ciabatta – to serve 4

  • olive oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, 2 crushed and 1 left whole
  • 2 green peppers, chopped
  • 2 tbsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp chilli powder
  • 2 x 400g tins black beans, drained
  • 2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
  • 200ml vegetable stock
  • 2 large avocados
  • 2 limes, zested and juiced
  • 4 scallions, chopped
  • 1 red chilli, finely chopped
  • 8 slices ciabatta, toasted

Heat a tbsp of oil in a wide pan. Add the onions, crushed garlic and peppers, and cook for 10 minutes or until softened. Add the spices and some salt and cook for another minute. Tip in the beans, tomatoes and stock. Simmer for 15 minutes.

Remove the flesh form the avocados with a spoon into a bowl. Add the lime zest and juice, scallions, chilli and seasoning, and mix with a fork to lightly mash the avocado.

Cut the whole garlic clove in half and use it to rub all over the ciabatta toasts. Drizzle with olive oil and pile the guacamole onto the toasts.

Serve the guacamole and garlic ciabatta with the chilli.

Wine Suggestion: We really like beer with chilli. If your not a fan of beer a light, fruity Grenache would work.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

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Tasty veggie chilli which is also healthy and low-fat. Really nice flavours.

Black bean chilli – serves 4-6

  • 2tbsp olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 3 tbsp sweet pimenton (Spanish paprika) or mild chilli powder
  • 3 tbsp ground cumin
  • 3 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
  • 2 x 400g cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • serve with: crumbled feta, chopped scallions, avocado chunks or soured cream

Heat the oil in a large pot and fry the onions and garlic for about 5 minutes or until almost soft. Add the pimenton and cumin and continue cooking for another few minutes before adding the vinegar, sugar, tomatoes and some seasoning. Cook for 10 minutes. Add the beans and cook for another 10 minutes. Serve with rice and your choice of extras.

Wine Suggestion: As this is so healthy you might decide to have a glass of water. If you decide to treat yourself you could try a Zinfandel or a Grenache which which will complement the spicy flavours without being too tannic or heavy.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

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A good chilli recipe

This tastes as nice as ever and serves a lot of people, what more can we say … Serve with baked potatoes, cheese, sour cream, mashed avocado, tortilla chips, rice or any combination of these. Try and make it a day in advance if you have time – it’s even better on day two.

Chilli – serves 6-8

  • 125ml olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 star anise
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 green chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 1kg mince beef
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 3 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 350ml red wine
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 375ml beef stock
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 400g tin red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 long red chilli, seeds removed and finely shredded

Preheat the oven to 170ºC.

Heat the oil in a large flameproof casserole over a medium heat. Add the onion and star anise and cook, stirring, for 3-4 minutes or until soft. Add the garlic and green chilli and cook for about 30 seconds or until you can smell them. Add the beef and cook, breaking up the lumps with a spoon, for about 5 minutes or until is is browned. Add the tomato paste and spices and cook for another couple of minutes. Pour in the wine, bring to a simmer, then cook for about 6 minutes or until the wine has reduced by half. Add the Worcestershire sauce, stock and tomato, then season well. Bring to the boil then cover with a lid and transfer to the oven. Bake for an hour or until the chilli is reduced and thick.

Stir in the kidney beans and top with shredded chilli to serve.

Wine Suggestion: Something youthful with some juicy fruit that won’t get clobbered by the chilli. We went for an 07 Manium Bierzo from Spain, suggested by Chris from The Corkscrew on Chatham Street, which was an excellent choice and good value at €14.95.

(Original recipe from Delicious: Simply the Best by Valli Little, Harper Collins, 2011.)

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This is our classic party dish – so popular that we have to fight to get a taste when we serve it in a buffet! We’ve just made it this weekend for our friends Nicola and Dave’s housewarming. Just to make sure we got some ourselves we made a little extra for the next day. So for all our friends that have asked … here’s the recipe 🙂

Simple Baked Lasagne – serves 6 but easily doubled (which can easily serve 20 or more strangely enough …)

  • 4 rashers pancetta or smoked bacon, finely sliced
  • pinch cinnamon
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 generous handfuls of whole, fresh herbs (use your own mix of sage, oregano, rosemary and thyme)
  • 400g shin of beef, or skirt, coarsely minced
  • 200g pork belly, skin removed & coarsely minced
  • 2 x 400g tins good-quality plum tomatoes
  • 250ml red wine
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 butternut squash, halved, deseeded and roughly sliced
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds, bashed in a mortar & pestle
  • 1 dried red chilli, also bashed
  • 400g dried, ready to cook lasagne sheets
  • 400g mozzarella

For the white sauce:

  • 1 x 250ml tubs of crème fraîche
  • 3 anchovies, finely chopped
  • 2 handfuls freshly grated parmesan
  • a little milk

Preheat oven to 180C / 350F / Gas 4

If you are making a double quantity you may want to cook the meat sauce in two quantities as it will be easier to manage unless you have a very large casserole pot. You can also make the meat sauce in advance which makes entertaining easy –  a simple assembly and cook on the night!

In a large casserole pan slowly fry the pancetta or bacon and the cinnamon until golden, add the onion, carrot, garlic and herbs and about 4 tablespoons of olive oil. Once mixed together add the beef and pork and brown for about 5 minutes. Add the tinned tomatoes, wine and bay leaves and then bring to the boil. Wet some grease-proof paper and place it on top of the pan and then place a lid on top of this as well to complete the seal. Cook in the preheated oven for 2 hours.

While this is cooking rub the butternut squash with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper and the bashed coriander seeds and chilli. Place on a baking tray and roast in the oven for the last 45 minutes of cooking the sauce. When you remove the sauce check that the squash is cooked and slightly caramelising; if not leave in oven until done.

When sauce is done season and put to one side. Mix together crème fraîche, anchovies, a handful of parmesan and season with salt and pepper. Slowly add enough milk while mixing until the sauce becomes loose and smooth. Don’t make it too runny!

Turn oven up to 200C / 400F / Gas 6. To assemble lasagne rub a large dish, or deep tray with olive oil, lay some sheets of lasagne over the bottom (and drape over the sides too if you are using fresh lasagne). Add a layer of meat, a little white sauce, a sprinkle of parmesan and then top with another layer of lasagne sheets. Make a complete layer with the butternut, topping it again with lasagne sheets. Repeat the meat, white sauce and parmesan layers. Finish with a layer of pasta covered in white sauce. Tear over the mozzarella and sprinkle with parmesan.

Cook for 30-35 minutes and until golden. Watch the hordes descend.

[Inspired by Jamie Oliver: Jamie’s dinners, Penguin 2006]

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It’s amazing what you can throw together when rummaging through the cupboard. We always make huge batches of tomato sauce and freeze it as you can use it in so many things. We made pizza on Tuesday which didn’t quite use the whole tub and this is how we used up the leftover sauce. We recommend buying good quality pasta – we like Martelli which comes in cute yellow paper bags but most importantly has a great texture – you will notice the difference.

To make this dish we sliced up a red chilli and sautéed it in a glug of olive oil. We then added our leftover tomato sauce and some tuna chunks from a jar of tuna fillets in olive oil – much nicer than tinned and we always avoid brine! Heat this gently while you cook your spaghetti. Throw some rinsed capers in at the end and toss the sauce and spaghetti together. Yum!

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Chilli hotpot

Here’s a good tasty winter dish for those of you who can still face cooking after all the Christmas entertaining. Indeed if you still have some entertaining to do this is a great prepare ahead recipe which all cooks in one dish so no need for separate sides other than some steamed greens. We did not prepare ahead and so our guests ended up eating rather late…hopefully they felt it was worth the wait!

Don’t be put off by the long list of instructions and ingredients – it’s all very straightforward and you will probably have most of the ingredients in the cupboard already.

Cottage chilli hotpot to feed 6 (generously)

  • 800g braising steak, cubed
  • 2 tbsp plain flour, well seasoned
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 300 ml red wine
  • 2 red onions, cut into chunks
  • 2 carrots, cut into chunks
  • 4 garlic cloves, skin removed
  • 2 red peppers, cut into chunks
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and sliced
  • few thyme sprigs, plus 1 tbsp leaves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp each ground cumin and coriander
  • 1/2 tsp each cinnamon and chilli flakes
  • 2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tsp caster or granulated sugar
  • 250ml beef stock
  • 400g tin kidney beans, drained
  • 1 kg potatoes e.g. Maris Piper
  • knob of butter

Toss the beef in the flour, then brown half in a pan, using 1 tbsp oil. Remove to a bowl when browned. Add 100ml wine to the pan and scrape all the sticky bits off the bottom of the pan. Reduce a little before pouring over the cooked beef. Wipe the pan and repeat with the rest of the beef and another 100ml wine.

Finely chop the onions, carrots and garlic in a food processor.

Add 2 tbsp oil to the pan and tip in the chopped veg, peppers, fresh chilli, thyme sprigs and bay. Fry for 10 mins. Tip in the spices, cook for 1 min, then add the rest of the wine and reduce by half. Add the tomatoes, sugar, beef, winey juices and stock, season, then simmer for 1 1/2 – 2 hrs until the meat is really soft. Stir in the beans and allow to cool.

Peel and slice the potatoes about 5mm thick, then boil for 5 mins. Drain, then tip back into the pan. Add the butter and thyme leaves, season, then toss to coat (be gentle so you don’t break them up too much). Tip the chilli into a big dish, then layer the potatoes on top. Dot with butter. You can now leave it and bake it later on or heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6 and bake for 50 mins – 1 hr, until the sauce is bubbling and potatoes golden.

We served this with buttered savoy cabbage – you could also have some soured cream if you like.

Find the original recipe on the BBC Good Food Website.

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