Sunday, 4 August 2013

Guilt free chilli - kinda!

I never used to like Chilli, I never used to be able to tolerate spice in any way shape of form but for some reason, my palette has 'grown a pair' albeit a small pair but it means I can enjoy much more flavour in my food.

There was a recipe that I liked from the BBC website here.  I made it and my boyfriend loved it, I thought it was okay but needed a few tweaks.

I now follow the basic recipe as above but make a few adjustments as I go a.k.a. I wing it! 

I heat up some coconut oil (about a teaspoon) in a big pan and once that is melted I add a chopped onion and cook for about 5 minutes until its soft.

I mix all my spices together in one little bowl just so they can mix together better. I use mild chilli powder, dried crushed chillies, paprika and ground cumin.
I chopped up one pepper (orange or yellow because I don't like red) and about 4 cloves of garlic.
The goggles in the picture are for the chopping of onions as my eyes are useless puddles before I can get the skin off usually!
Add the peppers and garlic to the pan and then add the spices to let some of the 'rawness' cook out.

You can use tinned kidney beans, supermarket market own brand ones are fine and usually less than about 50p a tin.  I have a bag of dried ones, which is fine for adjusting the amount you use and therefore reducing wastage but you do have to remeber to soak them for a good 12 hours and rinse them thoroughly before use. 

At this stage is where it gets CRAZY! Instead of adding minced meat of some form, I use Quorn mince - controversial, I know!
I added a carton/tin of chopped tomatoes, some tomato puree (two tablespoons ish) and some beef stock (about 200 ml) and let it come to the boil. Once it has begun to boil, reduce the temperature and let it simmer, the longer it simmers the more of the flavour the quorn will absorb.

You might have noticed in the picture above that my tomato puree is in the form of a star, tomato puree can be frozen so once you open a jar or tube and take out the amount you need you can freeze the rest in ice cube trays.

Once the chilli has reached a gently simmering stage you can then add some dried marjoram, salt, pepper and a pinch of sugar if you wish (you can add dark chocolate nearer the end rather than sugar if you prefer). Leave to simmer for 10-15 minutes.

Add the kidney beans, these are great for giving texture to this dish and this would be the stage you would add the dark chocolate.  Bring to the boil again and then reduce to a simmer and that's pretty much it.

I like this served with rice but the other half loves it with those taco trays and cheese and soured cream and all the rest!

I find, especially with the quorn, that this is a great dish to make on a sunday and eat on the monday after a long day at work, by then all the flavours have really blended in together and have been soaked into the quorn.

Do you have a favourite recipe that you can prepare in advance?

How do you feel about spicy foods?