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Posts Tagged ‘Chilli’

Another recipe for using up leftover cooked lamb. It doesn’t take very long so you could try it mid-week.

Wine Suggestion: This is delicious with a red with a good amount of age, where the gentle, aged spices and characters meld with the food. This isn’t always easily to hand, so Domaine Gayda’s Grenache from the border of the Languedoc and Roussillon was a more than adequate substitute, with the peppery spices from the grape providing a natural warmth and a juicy red fruit.

Leftover lamb pilaf – serves 4-6

  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely sliced
  • ½ tsp ground allspice
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 350g basmati rice
  • 700ml chicken stock or lamb stock
  • 50g dried barberries (or you could use dried cherries or cranberries)
  • 50g dried figs, quartered
  • 500g leftover cooked lamb, in chunks
  • 75g feta cheese, crumbled
  • 2 tbsp chopped flatleaf parsley or mint
  • 35g toasted almonds, chopped (or pistachios)
  • seeds from ½ a pomegranate
  • Greek yoghurt to serve (optional)

Heat a splash of oil in a large heavy saucepan and cook the onion until soft and golden. Add the chilli, allspice and garlic and cook for another minute, then add the rice, stirring to coat in the oil. Add the stock and dried fruit and season well with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover with a lid. Cook for 20 minutes or until the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is tender. Don’t be tempted to stir it! If the rice isn’t tender after 20 minutes, add a little boiling water, cover again and cook for another 4-5 minutes. If the stock isn’t completely absorbed, turn up the heat to quickly boil it off.

Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a frying pan and quickly fry the lamb until warm and crispy. Season, then fork through the rice with the feta, herbs and nuts. Transfer to a large dish and scatter over the pomegranate seeds. Serve with some yoghurt on the side if you like.

(Original recipe from Food from Plenty by Diana Henry, Mitchell Beazley, 2012.)

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In our house almost anything will be eaten if it’s mixed with noodles (though not mushrooms sadly … but we’re working on it). Any leftovers of this will make a popular lunchbox too.

Chicken & soba noodle stiry-fry – serves 4

  • 800ml chicken stock
  • 400g chicken breasts
  • 200g dried soba noodles
  • 2 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • a thumb-sized piece of ginger, grated
  • half a red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and finely shredded
  • 150g green beans, trimmed
  • 150g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
  • 1½ tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • a small handful of coriander leaves, roughly chopped

Bring the chicken stock to the boil in a pot, then add the chicken breasts and cook for 20 minutes. Make sure they are completely submerged in the stock. Remove the chicken breasts, shred with two forks and set aside.

Add the noodles to the chicken stock and cook according to the pack instructions. Remove the noodles from the stock with tongs and set aside, reserve the stock.

Heat the oil in a wok, then stir-fry the ginger, chilli and garlic for 30 seconds. Add the onion, carrot, green beans and mushrooms and stir-fry for 4-5 minutes.

Add the shredded chicken, the noodles, 50ml of the reserved stock, the soy sauce and the sesame oil. Toss to combine and heat through. You can add a little more stock for moisture if you need.

Divide between warm bowls and scatter the coriander over the top.

(Original recipe by Nadine Brown in Olive Magazine, May 2021.)

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Tinned fish seems to be having a moment, which is fine with us because we love it. We especially like Shines of Killybegs who do great sardines in sunflower oil, amongst lots of other delicious fishy things.

Wine Suggestion: An Italian white with a nutty twist at the end like Sartarelli’s Tralivio, a verdicchio from low yielding old vines that epitomises the very best of this grape and a perfect match to the umami saltiness of this dish.

Spaghetti with chilli, sardines & oregano – serves 2

  • olive oil, for cooking
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 75g rough breadcrumbs, made from stale bread
  • 200g dried spaghetti
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 1 x 120g tin good-quality sardines in oil, drained
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • 50g rocket

Heat a small frying pan over a medium heat. Add a good glug of olive oil and when it’s hot add the breadcrumbs and half the garlic. Cook for a few minutes until golden and toasted, then season with salt and pepper and toss well. Drain on kitchen paper if needed.

Cook the pasta according the pack timings in lots of very salty water.

Meanwhile, heat a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add a little oil, then add the remaining garlic and the chilli for 1-2 minutes. Flake the sardines into small pieces, then toss in the pan with the garlic and chilli.

Lift the cooked pasta out of the cooking water with tongs and add straight to the frying pan with the sardines. Toss to mix well, then add the oregano and season to taste.

Stir in the rocket and divide between two plates. Garnish with the garlicky breadcrumbs.

(Original recipe from Gordon Ramsay’s Ultimate Cookery Course,

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This will improve your veg intake for the day and puts frozen prawns to good use. A perfect curry for mid-week. Serve with naan breads or rice and lime wedges.

Prawn, spinach & coconut curry – serves 2-3

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 200g raw prawns, defrosted if frozen
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 large cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1-2 chillies, deseeded
  • 1 red pepper, sliced
  • 2 tbsp curry paste, we like Patak’s Madras
  • 400ml tin of coconut milk
  • 80g Tenderstem broccoli, cooked until tender
  • 100g baby spinach
  • lime wedges, to serve

Heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat and fry the onion for 5 minutes until softened. Add the garlic and chillies and fry for another 2 minutes, then addd the sliced pepper and cook for 3 minutes until softened.

Push the veg to one side and fry the curry paste for a couple of minutes to heat through, then add the coconut milk and mix well to combine. Simmer for about 10 minutes, or until thickened, then add the prawns, broccoli and spinach. Stir well and simmer until the prawns are just cooked and the spinach wilted.

Serve with rice or naan breads and lime wedges for squeezing over.

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A simple fish dish for weeknights, and something a bit lighter before the feasting starts.

Wine Suggestion: A delight with a light, playful Riesling like Korrell’s Slice of Paradise from the Nahe in Germany, or Pikes Traditionale from the Clare Valley.

Grilled trout with Asian dressing – serves 2

  • 300g Charlotte potatoes
  • 2 skinless trout fillets
  • Thai basil or regular basil, to serve

FOR THE DRESSING:

  • 1 small shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 lemongrass stalk, remove the woody outer leaves and finely chop
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 red chilli, finely chopped

Boil the potatoes in salty water until tender, then drain and slice thickly, lengthways.

Season the trout, then grill for 3-4 minutes.

Arrange the potatoes onto plates and top with the trout. Whisk the dressing ingredients together and spoon over the top, then garnish with basil leaves.

(Original recipe by Janine Ratcliffe in Olive Magazine, November 2014.)

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A simple fish supper for two, but with plenty of flavour; both delicate, fresh and rich.

Wine Suggestion: The higher acidity, fuller body and citrus-minerality of a good Albariño make this a match worth trying. Tonight Quinta Soalheiro’s Primeiras Vinhas Alvarinho from their oldest vineyards and partially made in oak really makes a statement. A velvety texture, deep and soulful, long, serious and elegant in the same breath. This wine makes a case for this grape to be considered “noble” and makes a good partner to the fattier fish and vibrant asian acidity, umami flavours.

Grilled trout with Asian Dressing – serves 2

  • 300g Charlotte potatoes
  • 2 skinless fillets of trout
  • a few basil leaves, Thai would be nice but regular will do

FOR THE DRESSING:

  • 1 small shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 lemongrass stalk, remove the woody outer leaves and finely chop
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 red chilli, finely chopped

Boil the potatoes in salty water until tender, then drain and slice thickly, lengthways.

Season the trout, then grill for a few minutes.

Arrange the potatoes over two plates, then top each with a piece of fish.

Whisk the dressing ingredients together and sppon over the fish, and finish with a few basil leaves.

(Original recipe by Janine Ratcliffe, Olive Magazine, November 2014.)

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We’ve been a bit quiet on here because we’ve been spending our evenings outside in the sunshine. This week looks less promising weather-wise so we should get all the recipes we’ve tried posted.

Wine Suggestion: We’d pair this with a current favourite, from Sartarelli’s side project, the Colline Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi from the rolling hills of Marches, Italy. Fresh and lightly floral, the green apple and pear flavours emphasise the lovely fresh broad beans and the hints of sage and green almonds match the cream and chilli.

Broad beans, mint & chilli pasta – serves 2

  • 200g podded broad beans (we use frozen)
  • 200g pasta e.g. penne
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 scallions, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely sliced
  • 1 red chilli, remove the seeds and finely slice
  • 1 lemon, zested, plus 1tbsp of juice
  • a knob of butter
  • 30g Parmesan or pecorino, finely grated, plus some extra to serve
  • 2 tbsp double cream or crème fraîche
  • a large handful of mint, roughly chopped

Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and cook the broad beans for 2-3 minutes, depending on their size. Scoop them out of the water with a slotted spoon, then rinse under cold water to cool. Pop the beans out of their skins and set aside.

Bring the water back to the boil again and add some more salt. Cook the pasta until al dente, skimming off any scum from the surface of the water.

Meanwhile, warm a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the oil, scallions, garlic, chilli, lemon zest and a pinch of salt and cook for a few minutes without colouring.

Add the butter and broad beans and season with black pepper. Stir to coat the beans in the sauce and crush a few of them with your spoon. Remove the cooked pasta from the water with a slotted spoon and add to the pan with the beans. Add an extra couple of spoons of pasta cooking water if you need, then the Parmesan. Toss until the sauce is creamy and glossy, then pour in the cream, followed by the lemon juice and mint. Season to tate and serve in warm bowls with some extra cheese.

(Original recipe by Rosie Birkett in Olive Magazine, June 2021.)

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Barbecued watermelon is a revelation for us as it really intensifies the flavour. This combination with prawns, feta and chilli is total winner! Serve as a starter at your next barbecue. Another fab idea from Chasing Smoke.

Wine Suggestion: This dish has a real affinity with a juicy, youthful Grenache, be it a Rosé or a lightly chilled red like tonight’s Rubus by Jesus Romero. Made at 1000m above sea-level in the rural, far south of Aragon, Spain this is all cherry, blackberry and spice; seriously gluggable.

Grilled watermelon and prawns with feta & chilli – serves 4

  • 12 whole prawns in the shells (buy 16 if they’re small)
  • 2 thick slices from a large watermelon
  • 1 red chilli, sliced into rings (if you cut of the stalk and rub the chilli between your hands the seeds will fall out)
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 250g feta
  • a small bunch of mint, leave half the leaves whole and chop the rest
  • 3 tbsp olive oil, plus a bit extra for brushing
  • 1 tsp roughly crushed black pepper

Take a small pointy knife and cut and cut down the back of each prawn, when you see the digestive string gently pull it out with the tip of the knife. Leave the prawns in a bowl in the fridge until ready to cook.

Cut the watermelon into 8 large wedges, leaving the skin on.

Mix the chilli slices with the vinegar and salt and set aside.

Light your barbecue and get it up to a high heat.

Brush the watermelon with some olive oil, then put on the hottest part of the barbecue for 1-2 minutes on each side or until charred. Remove to a platter, then grill the prawns for a 2-3 minutes on each side, depending how big they are.

Add the prawns to the watermelon, crumble over the feta, then scatter with the mint leaves.

Stir the olive oil, black pepper and chopped mint into the marinating chilli and drizzle over the platter.

(Original recipe from Chasing Smoke: Cooking Over Fire Aroudn the Levant by Sarit Packer and Itamar Srulovich, Pavilion, 2021.)

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PSB is our veg saviour early in the year when winter is lingering and spring still seems too far away. We loved this roasted version with a tangy lemon dressing.

Roasted PSB with feta & preserved lemons – serves 4 to 6 as a side

  • 500g purple sprouting broccoli
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red chilli, chopped
  • 1 preserved lemon, flesh and rind chopped, plus 1 tbsp juice from the jar
  • 80g yoghurt
  • 1 garlic cloves, grated
  • 30g feta

Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.

Put the PSB into large roasting tin, add the olive oil and red chilli, season with salt and pepper, then toss with your hands.

Roast for 15 minutes, turning halfway, until tender and starting to char.

Meanwhile stir the preserved lemon, juice and garlic into the yoghurt.

Crumble the feta over the roasted broccoli and drizzle with yoghurt dressing and your best olive oil.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

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This is so simple and definitely better than a take away. While we’re not massive fans of baby corn it provides a crunch and texture that would be missing from the dish if not there. Made for Jono’s birthday on a Monday after a weekend of extensive birthday cooking; great flavours and quick for a work day celebration.

Wine Suggestion: We’d opened a Dermot Sugrue Cuvée Dr Brendan O’Regan, a profound, complex and rewarding English Sparkling for Jono’s birthday and had a leftover glass with this dish. We discovered Dermot’s wines a few years ago and have loved them ever since and it was a super match, standing up to the Asian flavours exceptionally well. We know this particlar wine may be hard to find but look for a good crisp sparkling that has been left on lees for a while or a good Champagne – sparkling should be so much more than a celebratory glass and they make great food matches.

Thai Chicken Stir-fry with Cashews & Chilli Sauce – serves 4

  • 100g baby corn
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 500g boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into small bite-size pieces
  • 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 red chillies, thickly sliced
  • 2 red peppers, cut into thick pieces
  • 1 onion, halved and sliced
  • 50g roasted cashews
  • Thai basil or regular basil and steamed rice, to serve

FOR THE CHILLI SAUCE:

  • 2 tbsp Thai chilli paste/jam (nam prik)
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 4 tbsp oyster sauce

Make the chilli sauce by mixing all of the ingredients together in a small bowl, then set aside.

Blanch the baby corn in a pot of boiling water for 2 minutes, then drain and refresh under cold water and drain again.

Heat a large wok until hot and add ½ tbsp vegetable oil. Brown the chicken in batches. If you leave them for 2-3 minutes on one side initially they will get a nice colour, then stir-fry for another minute or until golden on all sides. Transfer to a bowl.

Heat another ½ tbsp oil of oil in the wok over a medium heat, then add the garlic and chilli and stir-fry for a minute. Add the peppers, onions, cashews and baby corn and heat for 1 minute. Pour in the chilli sauce and add the chicken. Stir-fry until heated through and the sauce has thickened.

Serve with steamed rice and basil sprinkled over.

(Original recipe from My Asian Kitchen by Jennifer Joyce, Murdoch Books, 2018.)

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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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