Tex Mex Chilli Con Mole

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There’s lots of controversy of what is and isn’t an authentic chilli and it’s a sure fire way to start an argument if you says yours is. So don’t. I’ve recently learnt there’s versions being made with coffee, tequila, with star anise added – all sorts of wonderful additions. What is certain is that a ‘mole’ is a Mexican sauce featuring the triumvirate of chilli, beef and chocolate. It’s also certain that beans were not added to chilli until the early twentieth century and it’s a feature we can attribute to Tex Mex cuisine.  The title of my dish is a mash up of all of these and I can’t claim I made it up, either; I’ve seen it used on the internet. Anyway, here’s the recipe.


Ingredients

2lb beef mince

2 large onions, diced small

4 or 5 fat cloves of garlic, finely chopped

2 tins of tomatoes, blitzed in the blender

2 tins of kidney beans

1/4 tsp cumin

1 tsp coriander

3/4 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp chilli powder (or however much suits you)

2 tablespoons paprika (preferably smoked but ordinary will do)

2 beef stock cubes

2 squares of very dark chocolate

Oil/Salt

Soften the onions in the oil without letting them brown, add the garlic and cook it out for a few minutes then throw in the spices. Cook them over a low heat, stirring all the while for 3 or 4 minutes. Add more oil if it’s too dry and catching. Add the beef and brown it in the spices, again, stirring all the while. Add the tomatoes, the kidney beans, the stock cubes made up with 1/2 pint of boiling water and a tsp salt.

Simmer low and slow for as long as you have but at least 40 minutes to marry the flavours. Put it in the slow cooker and leave it for a few hours if you want. When you’re ready to serve, turn off the heat and check the seasoning. Lay the chocolate on top of the chilli for a couple of minutes until it melts, then stir it in.

Serve with rice, finely chopped red onion, sour cream, fresh coriander and a big row about what is and isn’t authentic chilli!

 

 

 

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Quick Chargrilled Korean Chicken

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This really is far from authentic I’m sure, but it is quick and it is healthy and delicious so I’ll take the flak the shortcuts. It’s just leftover chicken turned in Korean Bulgogi marinade, a little soy, rice wine vinegar and sugar then flashed through a chargrill pan. I put the chicken in the marinade before I leave for work in the morning so it really gets into the chicken by the time I come home.

It’s a dinner I have when I haven’t really got time to cook and I confess to having it with good quality ready made rice pouches (the Tilda brown rice ones are nice and actually have no additives or chemicals in them – I was surprised about that as I’d always turned my nose up at them). Of course I cook rice when I have time but when I get in after 10 hours out of the house working and commuting and I’m utterly dropping with hunger it’s better than putting a crappy pizza in the oven or ordering a takeaway.

Whilst it’s chargrilling chop a bit of fresh chilli, some coriander and find the sesame  seeds in the cupboard if you’ve got any. Some steamed greens in oyster sauce – something you don’t even have to chop like sugar snap peas – go well with it for a really quick but actually very healthy and delicious dinner.

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Fish Noodle Soup

 

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This is one of those dishes where the parts are interchangeable but the idea stays the same; some type of noodle, a fragrant broth, a piece of crispy fish and some stir fried veg.

The broth cane be as simple or as complicated as you like but the basics are a good stock – be that home made from scratch or from a good quality stock cube – and then a balance of heat, salt, tangy, sweet. You need some form of chilli which could be a paste, it could be a few chilli flakes and it could even e a squirt of Sriracha sauce if that’s all you had in the cupboard. Salt could be soy sauce or fish sauce, tangy could be rice wine vinegar, lime juice, cider vinegar – anything really (but malt vinegar might be stretching it a bit) and finally a bit of sweetness. Sugar or honey, for example. Add them into the stock until it has a balance YOU like, they’re your noodles after all. Then cook the noodles according to the instructions, pan fry your fish (skin side down, hot non stick pan, hold it down when it first goes in to stop it arching up and the middle not getting crisped), stir fry whatever veg you have in or have chosen and put it all together in a bowl.

That’s kind of it, really. It’s best to make the broth first and keep it on the heat, cook the noodles and drain them ready to go in and stir fry your veg just before you cook your fish, which will only take a few minutes. Place the noodles at the bottom of a deep bowl, pile your stir fried veg on, place your fish on top and pour the broth around it rather than over – no point getting the skin all crispy just to make it soggy again.

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Quick Baked Sticky BBQ Chicken

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This is a super quick dinner – ready in about 25 minutes and very little prep.

Use any BBQ sauce you like adjusted however you like. I normally like to add extra chilli, some soy sauce, rice wine vinegar and honey. Whack it over some chicken breasts, halve some lemons and bake on high for 20 minutes. Switch the oven to grill mode or take them out and put them under a grill and grill for 5 minutes or until the top is caramelised and the lemons have browned. The juice that comes out of them when they’re cooked like this is delicious squeezed over the chicken.

Serve with rice.

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Yorkshire Pudding

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There are three rules to Yorkshire pudding:-

  1. Whatever quantity you need just make sure its an even ratio of eggs, milk and PLAIN flour (plus a bit of salt, obviously).
  2. Make the batter the day before and stick it in the fridge (take it out to come to room temperature an hour before you want to cook it)
  3. Use a thin tin with a thin layer of fat or oil that you have got smoking hot in the oven before pouring the batter in.

That’s it. They take about twenty minutes in a very hot oven.

Oh, and don’t open the door while they’re cooking. OK, that’s four rules. Follow them and you will have glorious, well risen, light crisp Yorkshire puddings whether it’s individual ones or a big sharing one.

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Escargot

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January 16, 2019 · 2:39 pm

Sausage and mash

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January 16, 2019 · 2:36 pm