Jamie Oliver thunders on with another lightning-quick meal, this time turning his attention to chilli con carne. I’m no stranger to rapid chilli but this is a more hearty and balanced version than mine. This chilli dinner is from Jamie’s 15-Minute Meals.
The genius here is to disassemble chilli con carne’s parts (spiced meat, cumin, beans, tomatoey sauce) and cook each part separately. This way you get a “best of” chilli with all the things you love but in a fraction of the time.
I departed from Jamie’s recipe slightly – he used bulgar wheat where I went for regular basmati rice but the effect and timing is the same. I also didn’t have a lemon to hand so used a little more lime in the rice. He also grilled some chilli peppers as a garnish but they’re really not my thing so left them out. Other than that it’s exactly as is, and it’s extremely tasty. At 14 minutes to crank out it wasn’t too demanding on my time either! I’m especially a fan of blitzing a jar of peppers with passata to make a sauce base which I’m definitely going to repurpose in other recipes for a quick fix.
Chilli con carne meatballs (serves 4):
For the rice:
1 mug basmati rice
1 cinnamon stick
For the meatballs:
400g beef mince
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 small jar peppers
4 spring onions
Bunch of coriander
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 tin kidney beans
1 pinch cumin seeds
For the rice, put the basmati rice with twice the quantity of boiling water into a lidded saucepan over a medium heat, along with half the lime and the cinnamon. Stir often while you get on with everything else.
Combine the mince and garam masala with some salt and pepper and divide into 16 meatballs. Get them into a frying pan over a hot heat with a little oil, tossing regularly.
Get another frying pan super-hot. In a liquidizer blitz the peppers, half the spring onions, paprika, half the coriander and passata to a smooth sauce and add this to the pan.
Add the kidney beans and cumin seeds to the meatball pan. Once the meatballs are browned on all sides remove while you continue to heat the beans. Once the rice is cooked plate with the meatballs, sauce and beans, and garnish with the remaining coriander and sliced spring onions. Serve with creme fraiche or natural yoghurt if you like, and the lime wedges on the side.
I’m a get-your-shopping-delivered kind-of-guy. In a family where both parents work someone carrying the shopping to your door just makes sense. It has it blips, when some things aren’t available, or maybe you can’t quite figure out what 350g of leeks look like so you over-order on purpose, but generally speaking there’s palpable relief when you shut the door on full cupboards without having left the house.
At the moment Sainsbury’s are running a “5 meals for £20″ in a planner format. No ready meals, all recipe-led stuff. Naturally it’s not incredible gourmet food but homely, economic grub. I’ve been trying them out this week including turkey & bean pasta.
I substituted the chilli for paprika just for the hell of it. This should be as plain as you like but against expectation it’s jolly filling and jolly tasty. I froze some for another day, and will be looking forward to it.
Turkey and bean pasta (serves 4):
200g bacon lardons
500g turkey thigh mince
1 tin red kidney beans, drained
4 carrots, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon tomato puree
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 cloves garlic
300ml vegetable stock
1 tin tomatoes
350g pasta (e.g. fusilli)
Get a frying pan on a high heat and add a splash of olive oil. Add the bacon and fry for a minute or two, until the bacon is coloured all over.
Add the turkey and carrots and continue to stir fry for a couple more minutes until the turkey is browned. Add the puree, paprika and cumin and continue to fry for another minute, mixing well.
Add the garlic, stock and tinned tomatoes. When it comes to the boil reduce to a simmer for ten minutes.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to the pack instructions. When it’s done take a splash of the pasta water into the turkey stew then toss together with the drained pasta. Serve with garlic bread.
I had a tremendous lunch at Cathy’s the other week, featuring a millionaire shortbread trifle and an unctuous confit chicken leg. The star of it for me though was a creamy chorizo and butter bean stew, a rich and textured dish spiked with tht lovely Spanish sausage. It’s one taken from Jason Atherton’s Gourmet Food for a Fiver book and it’s absolutely fantastic. I ran right home and did it myself later that week.
The only change I made was to roast the chicken instead of confit due to time constraints, no other reason. I urge you to try the beans though, they’re dynamite.
Roast chicken with creamy chorizo butter beans (serves 2):
Mix together half the thyme with the paprika and a generous dose of salt and pepper. Blend with a glug of olive oil and smear this paste all over the chicken legs. Pop the garlic halves in a baking tray and pop the chicken legs on top of the garlic. Bung in the oven for 45 minutes to an hour, until the juices run clear when poked with a skewer.
When the chicken is about 15 minutes away from done, fry the chorizo in a pan until browned. Remove to one side and add the remaining thyme, cream and stock to the pan. Turn the heat up to get everything bubbling away. When the liquids have reduced by half, drain the butter beans and throw them in the pan, and the chorizo too.
Simmer for 10 minutes and check for seasoning. Serve with wilted spinach.
Sausage in a stew? I’m there. Whether it’s a pot au feu, a Sunday gravy, or a cumberland casserole, I love the instant seasoning hit you get from having a sausage do the leg work in a dinner.
This particular one is Jamie Oliver’s, from Jamie’s 30 Minute Meals. It’s dense and tasty, and packed with flavours. Beans, breadcrumbs and bacon? What’s not to love?
He served it with broccoli, in a tomato sauce. Which I couldn’t see the point of. Instead I made loads of cassoulet and stuck some in the freezer. Perfect.
Kinda sausage cassoulet (serves 4):
4 rashers smoky bacon, sliced
2 red onions, halved, peeled and sliced
A few sprigs rosemary
Small bunch of sage
3 bay leaves
2 leeks, finely sliced
6 – 8 decent sausages
4 thick slices of bread
2 cloves of garlic
1 x 680g passata
1 x 390g tin of butter beans
1 x 390g tin of haricot beans
Pre-heat your grill to high.
Put the bacon into a sturdy roasting tray with a splash of olive oil and put on a high heat with the herbs – hold a few sage leaves back for the breadcrumbs. Add the onions and leeks too. Add a splash of water to loosen, stir and leave to soften.
Put your sausages in another roasting tray and pop under the grill.
Pop the bread, garlic and sage in a food processor and pulse to breadcrumbs.
Stir the passata and the beans (with their juices) into the tray of vegetables. Add half the breadcrumbs to the top.
The sausages are probably browned on one side now, so get them out from under the grill and pop raw-side-up on top of the tomatoey veg, then top with the rest of the breadcrumbs. Pop back under the grill until the sausages are cooked through and the breadcrumbs browned.
Back when discussing the perfect jacket potato, I hit on my least favouritest food ever: BAKED BEANS (the ones from a tin). I really don’t care for them, the smell makes me gag. But everyone else in the house loves them. Who’s right?