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Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Heston's Chilli Con Carne With Spiced Butter

This definitely makes the best chilli ever! I love chilli and this has made me like it even more! You can substitute the fragata pimiento peppers for chopped green pepper if you wish, it gives the chilli a really fresh taste. Also if you’re not keen on star anise you can use some cinnamon bark/cinnamon stick instead. This makes a spicy (but not too hot) chilli, make the spiced butter it really makes it special. This recipes states it serves 4 but I can normally get dinner for 4 and a few lunches out of it too! I like to serve this with soured cream, guacamole, lettuce, lime wedges, rice and taco shells.

  • For the chilli:
  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • 450g Minced beef
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 2 whole star anise
  • 3 cloves garlic crushed
  • 1 green chilli without the seeds and chopped
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • Half a bottle red wine (37.5cl)
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 500ml beef stock
  • 400g can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 230g jar Fragata Pimiento Piquillo peppers, drained and roughly chopped
  • For the spiced butter:
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1½ tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1½ tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp tomato ketchup
  • ½ tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ tsp Marmite
  • 125g butter softened
  1. Start by making the spiced butter. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and lightly fry the cumin and chilli powder for approximately 1½ minutes. Pour into a bowl and add the rest of the spiced butter ingredients; mix together and once cool, place in the fridge until needed.
  2. Add 3 tbsp olive oil to a large sauce pan and heat over a high heat until smoking hot. Add the mince, in batches if necessary, and cook until evenly browned. Remove and drain the meat. Add a little water to the same pan to deglaze it and tip the water and bits in with the drained meat so none of the flavour is lost.
  3. Turn the heat down to medium and add the remaining olive oil. Add the onions and star anise and cook until the onions begin to colour, then add the garlic and green chilli and cook for another 5 minutes.
  4. Add the tomato purée, stir and cook for another 5 minutes until everything turns a brick red colour. Add the browned mince and juices, pour in the red wine and allow to reduce by two-thirds. Add the tomatoes and stock and simmer over a low heat for at least 1 hour or until it has reduced to a thick sauce consistency.
  5. Fold the beans and chopped red peppers into the chilli and simmer until they are heated through. Stir in 2½ tbsp of the spiced butter for mild-medium heat (or more if you like it hotter). Remove the star anise. Season with salt and freshly cracked black pepper and serve with rice.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Really Good Shortbread Recipe

We all think our grandmothers are the best at baking.... but my grandmother actually is the BEST baker around, she makes the most amazing quichestarts, biscuits and of course, cakes.  This is our family recipe, and of course it is  in pounds as she's been baking before metric came in! 
This is very easy to follow and I am sure you can all do it... Good luck if you give it a go! 

·         6oz  plain flour
·         4oz softened butter
·         2oz caster sugar
·         Add all of the ingredients into a bowl and mix. Don’t worry at first it will look very crumbly but take it out of the bowl knead it on a floured surface, soon it will look like a dough like consistency.
·         Next, flour your work surface to ensure the shortbread won’t stick. Then roll out the dough to ½” – ¾” thick.
·         Then cut it into desired shapes and place on a greased baking tray.
·         Bake for 15-20 mins at 150 until golden brown.

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Amazing Tart Tatin Recipe

I made this for my Dad for his birthday pudding, there was no morsel left after my parents and 3 sisters saw it. It sounds like it might be complicated but it’s very simple and quick to make.

Serves 6 people

• 500g pack of readymade puff pastry
• 5 apples (I use eating apples)
• 100g golden caster sugar
• A vanilla pod or star anise for extra flavour
• 50g butter
Optional a good splash of calvados/brandy instead of water!

First peel, core and slice the apples. I like to put them into a bowl of water with a splash of lemon juice to ensure they don’t go brown.
In a heavy bottomed frying pan (one with a metal handle so it can go into the oven) on a medium heat add the sugar, water and inside of the vanilla pod or the whole star anise. Let the sugar dissolve and wait for the caramel to turn a nutty brown colour, this can take 10-15 mins. Then add the apples and let them soften and coat them in the caramel.
Meanwhile roll out the whole block of puff pastry so it is slightly bigger than the frying pan. Add the cubed butter to the apple and caramel, then place over the puff pastry and tuck in around the sides (like tucking someone into bed!). BE CAREFUL NOT TO TOUCH THE CARAMEL IT WILL BE VERY HOT!
Put the frying pan into a pre heated oven of 190˚C and bake for 25-30 mins or until the pastry is golden brown. Carefully turn the tart upside down on a plate (so you can see that apples) and serve with cream, ice cream, custard, or crème fresh.

There are many variations of this recipe buy using pears or other fruit and different spices, so go on and experiment!