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Woah, it’s been quite a whilst since my last blog, and for that I can only apologise! You may have noticed last week that there were a few guest blogs, and I hope you enjoyed them, and I did plan to return to blogging on the Friday, but unfortunately fate was determined to get me to diet somehow, and I ended up with gastroenteritis, which meant from Wednesday-Saturday I spent all day in bed, crying with pain of my kidneys trying to get rid of the nasty bug that decided to stop me eating for three whole days!!! As I said, my body was determined to get me on some kind of diet, and restore a normal sleeping pattern, and decided illness was the way forward.

Now of course, that doesn’t excuse me for no blog posts this week, but to be honest, I was still nibbling at comfort food most of this week! After being so ill, going back to food is like learning to eat again, you’re not sure what you like, so you end up sticking to bland things. However, all is better now, and on Tuesday I received a comment on my blog from a lovely researcher at ITV on my “About Punkchef” page, asking me if I would like to apply for Britain’s Best Dish! Of course I would, I was born to be a star, sweetie darlings!! I may have a face for radio, but that’s not going to stop me trying to interfere with your reception, and hopefully soon my beaming fizzog will be staring at people all across the country, so apologies in advance!

So after speaking to the people on the telephone, I had to decide what recipe I should use, should it be one I’ve already shared on the blog, the chicken and leek pie?, the mint and white chocolate mousse?, or should I do my as of yet, undocumented Chilli Con Carne? A recipe which I’ve been developing for quite some time, each time I make it I add something different, just to enhance it. “Yes!” I exclaimed, whilst sat alone in my room, to nobody, “I shall make the chilli”.

My audition is tomorrow, so please feel free to leave good luck comments. Here is the recipe, and I would like to point out, that even though it has a wide amount of spices, particularly chillies, it is not too spicy, my opinion on Chilli Con Carne, is that it’s an earthy dish first, and a spicy dish second!! The emphasis, for me, is on earthy flavours.

The Best? Chilli Con Carne

Ingredients :

  • 1kg pork mince
  • 2 cooking chorizo sausages, diced
  • 1 large spanish onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 and 1/2 chipotle chillies, finely chopped, or tbsp dried chipotle flakes
  • 3tbsp cumin
  • 2tbsp chilli powder
  • 1tbsp smoked sweet paprika
  • 6 slices of pickled jalapeños, finely chopped
  • 1 large fresh green chilli, finely chopped (seeds removed)
  • 1 tin good quality chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tin pinto beans
  • 200ml red wine (I suggest something Spanish or Chilean, I used a Tempranillo, but a Rioja would also work brilliantly)
  • handful fresh coriander
  • 90%+ cocoa solids, dark chocolate
  • zest of 2 limes, juice of 1 lime
  • salt
  • pepper
  • corn or vegetable oil

Method :

  1. Add the chorizo sausage to a pan, and fry in a little vegetable oil to release spices and fats in the sausage, strain and reserve chorizo.
  2. Add the onion to the flavoured oil, and sweat over a low heat, until they have reduced to half their original volume.
  3. Add the minced garlic to the onions, and the paprika, and continue to sweat for another 10 minutes.
  4. Once the onion is thoroughly cooked, add the chipotle chilli, and increase the heat, and fry off for a couple of minutes.
  5. Add the cumin and chilli powder to the onions, and fry until the spice catches the back of your throat when you breath in the aromas. This is how you know the dried spices have cooked.
  6. Return the chorizo to the onion and spice mixture, followed by the fresh chilli and jalapeños, and continue to cook over a high heat.
  7. Add the pork mince, and stir until browned, then add the wine, and leave the alcohol to cook off for a few minutes.
  8. Once the wine has cooked off, add a tin of chopped tomatoes, and a tin of pinto beans, and stir through.
  9. Chop the coriander and stir into the chilli, check for seasoning, adding salt and pepper.
  10. Grate 2-3 pieces of high quality, high cocoa percentage, dark chocolate into the chilli and allow to melt into the chilli.
  11. Finally, add the juice of a lime, and zest of 2 limes, check for seasoning once again (as the chocolate may contain a little sugar, which you may wish to combat with a little extra salt), and leave overnight, as this allows the flavours to mature.
  12. Serve with long grain rice, perhaps with some wild rice added to it.

As I said earlier in my blog, my recipe for chilli con carne focuses on the earthy flavours of cumin, and paprika, and good wine and chocolate, and although it does have a chilli kick, it’s not the main focus of the recipe. I know a lot of people claim to have “The best recipe for chilli con carne EVER”, but for a lot of people who make this claim, it’s just a synonym for “the most needlessly spicy recipe for chilli con carne EVER, where you won’t be able to taste anything else for days as your sensitive taste buds will have been rendered useless due to obscene amounts of capsicum”… and if you think I’m talking about your chilli con carne recipe here… I probably am.

Finally, I would like to add a MASSIVE, HUUUUGE “THANK YOU!!” to the very wonderful Paul Farley, the head chef at Hero Burrito, for donating me a can of chipotle chillies for my recipe, when Morrison’s decided that now would be a great time to stop selling them, which is a ball ache for me, as chipotle is a key ingredient in my recipe, and without it I would have been up a creek without a paddle! So go to their restaurant, or order a takeaway, and mention that you heard of them through me (even if you didn’t!! lol) and tell them I say thank you, again!!!

Hero Burrito : http://www.facebook.com/#!/group.php?gid=145411818243&ref=ts

Anyway, wish me luck for tomorrow!!

Kris.

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Yes!! That’s what I’m having for tea tonight, no, I’m not eating the popular rock band, Weezer (see video above!), but I thought I would make a Mexican style meal of pork and beans! I love Weezer, they’re a great band… y’know, I don’t really know where I’m going with this… I’m half watching The Simpsons, half eating nachos, with jalapeños and a lime and tequila salsa, whilst half writing this blog post,… although at this point, The Great British Menu is about to start, so now I will be half watching that. I don’t know if that puts me at 2 wholes, or 1 and a half. I did fail maths at school, though… at this point, I’m going to live blog… though.

Righto, that’s the liveblog done… now for some recipe goodness!!

Mexican Pork Shnitzel, with Pinto Bean Chilli

Ingredients :

For the pork shnitzel

  • Pork shoulder steaks
  • Stale bread, crust removed
  • Cumin seeds
  • Coriander seeds
  • Smoked sweet paprika
  • Dried chilli flakes
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Plain flour
  • Egg

For the Pinto Bean Chilli

  • 2 tins of Pinto beans
  • 1 large onion
  • Chopped tomatoes
  • Tomato puree
  • Fresh red chilli, chopped finely (seeds removed if you wish)
  • Pickled jalapeños, chopped
  • Chilli powder
  • Ground cumin
  • Smoked sweet paprika
  • Dried coriander
  • Zest and juice of one lime
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Method :

  1. The first thing which needs doing, is to bash out the pork steak so it is thinner (therefore cooks quicker!), do this by laying it between two sheets of cling film and give it a good whack with something heavy. Imagine it’s your enemy’s face.
  2. Leave the pork in a fridge, so that it remains firm.
  3. At this point, begin work on the pinto bean chilli. Finely chop an onion and gently fry in a pan.
  4. Once softened, add the cumin, paprika, and chilli powder and fry out the spices until the fumes catch the back of your throat.
  5. Add the red chilli and jalapeños to the onions and spices.
  6. Add some tomato puree, and mix thoroughly into a paste consistency
  7. Add the chopped tomatoes, and mix through.
  8. Then add the pinto beans, add salt and pepper, and leave to gently simmer.
  9. Blitz the bread in a magimix until it is breadcrumbs.
  10. Gently crush all the spices in a pestle and mortar, and mix through the breadcrumbs.
  11. Dust the steak with flour, and then into an egg wash, and then in the breadcrumbs, making sure it is well coated.
  12. Fry the shnitzel in a little vegetable oil until golden brown and cooked through (remember, pork should never be overcooked!!! it can be slightly translucent in the centre)
  13. Add the zest and juice of the lime to the chilli before serving.

Pork and Beans, Mexican style

Pork and Beans, Mexican style

Look, I even did that cheffy thing, where you cut it in half, and then lay one half on top of the other! Move over Heston!!

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So here it is, a second recipe post in one day!  I know, I spoil you! This is the point where I usually witter on about stuff, and try to be funny… but I’ve already blogged once today, and I spent all my wit on that one. A foolish move, yes, I know. I’ve just had my tea, watching Masterchef, but there’s not much funny things I can say about that. The nettle soup was nice, as was the main.

I guess I should just start talking about this lamb. Firstly, I would like to talk about cheap cuts of meat. If you know me well at all, you will know how much I love cheap, traditional cuts of meat, and when I saw breast of lamb in the supermarket, I thought, “oof, there’s a nice cheap cut of meat, ideal for slow roasting”, well here’s some news… it’s not. I would suggest any other slow roasting cut, perhaps shoulder of lamb would be ideal. It’s definitely a recipe for slow roasting though. So just bear that in mind!!

I’m going to post the two recipes as separate, just to make it easier for me.

Greek Style Minted Lamb

Ingredients :

For the marinade

  • Greek Style Yoghurt
  • Handful of fresh mint, roughly chopped
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Cumin
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Obviously, a joint of lamb of your choice will be required, too.

Method :

  1. Mix all the ingredients for the marinade together. Score the lamb so that the marinade can seep into the meat.
  2. Marinate the lamb overnight.
  3. The following day, seal the lamb in a hot griddle pan, until it takes on some colour.
  4. Transfer to a pre-heated oven, at 120 degrees centigrade, for at least 2 hours. Although you can cook it for longer if you like. Maybe 3 hours at 100 degrees centigrade.
  5. Take out to rest for at least half an hour before serving, covering it with foil to retain some of the heat.

Saffron Potatoes

Ingredients :

  • Potatoes, sliced thickly (I suggest a good all rounder, nothing too floury, nothing too waxy)
  • Red onion, sliced thinly
  • Rosemary, ground with a pestle and mortar
  • A generous pinch of saffron
  • Butter!
  • Chicken stock cube
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Method :

  1. Bring water with saffron and rosemary to a boil in a pan. Plunge the sliced potatoes in for ten minutes, and then remove the potato.
  2. Add the chicken stock cube to the saffron and rosemary infused water.
  3. Arrange the potato and onion in layers in a suitable dish. Season, and add a few knobs of butter to the top.
  4. Pour over the stock, to just above the top layer over potato.
  5. Cover with foil, and bake in a low oven for about 1 hour. With the foil removed for the last 20 minutes.

So there you go. Two recipes, aren’t I lovely at sharing stuff?

I’m just going to leave you with a picture of how my tea turned out tonight. Not sure when I will blog next, I may blog tomorrow, or sometime over the weekend. I just don’t know!

You can't really see in this photo, but the potatoes went a lovely golden colour from the saffron!

You can't really see in this photo, but the potatoes went a lovely golden colour from the saffron!

Till next time!

Kris,

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