9 vegetable chili con carne

21 11 2010

Chili con carne is a great family favourite; it is cheap, filling, easy to make and tastes great.

It can also be a really great way of making sure that you get your 5 a day of fruit and vegetables or of tricking fussy kids into eating veggies that otherwise they might push around  a plate without them even realising they are there.

This works great for pretty much anything that you would normally use chili with more or less the only exception being chili burgers or chili dogs.

If you want to make a vegetarian version of this chili you can use quorn or soya mince in place of the ground beef and some nice meaty mushrooms such as portabello in place of the chorizo sausage.

To make the chili you will need: 

200g chorizo sausage

500g ground beef

2 onions

4 garlic cloves

2 medium carrots

1 stick of celery

2 fresh tomatoes

2 red bell peppers

1/2 tin of kidney beans

1/2 tin of pinto beans

1 tin of chopped tomatoes

1tbsp paprika

2 tsp cumin seeds

2 tsp chili powder

2tsp Worcestershire sauce

1tbsp red wine vinegar

1tbsp brown sugar

handful of  fresh coriander

1 pint of beef stock or hot water

olive oil

salt and pepper to season

Method

Peel and roughly chop the garlic, carrots, celery and one of the onions,  take these vegetables and place them in a food processor and blitz them until you have  salsa like consistency.

Pour some olive oil into a large heavy bottomed pan and heat over a medium flame, add the vegetables you prepared earlier and sweat them for approximately 7-10 minutes

Whilst you are sweating the vegetables peel and finely dice the remaining onion and dice the chorizo sausage. Remove the leaves from the coriander and finely chop about half of the stalks that remain

Once the vegetables in the pan have softened add in the chorizo sausage,the coriander stalks, the paprika, the chili powder and the cumin seeds, continue to cook until the chorizo has just started to brown

At this point add in the remaining onion and the ground beef and cook until the beef has coloured

Now add in the sliced bell peppers, the kidney and pinto beans and stir everything together well before adding the tin of chopped tomatoes, the vinegar and about 1 pint of hot beef stock or water, leave over a medium heat for about 45 minutes stirring occasionally.

Remove the seeds from the fresh tomatoes and chop the flesh into  fine dice and roughly chop the coriander leaves add the tomato and coriander leaves into the chili along with the brown sugar and the Worcestershire sauce, stir together well.

Leave to simmer for a further 20 minutes before adding salt and pepper to taste.

You can eat this straight away but I prefer to leave it overnight in the refridgerator to allow all of the flavours to really incorporate into one another.

I like to eat this with boiled white rice, some salsa and some corn chips.

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Keep Calm…

19 11 2010

On the eve of our impending bailout I have some advice for the nation…

Many thanks to Garden Phoenix for sending this through to me 🙂





Let them eat cheese…

17 11 2010

In the midst of the biggest recession of recent times Ireland has fared quite badly and indeed is still suffering more than most as the government might end up having to  accept a handout bailout from the ECB and IMF.

Still it isn’t all doom and gloom for the impoverished people of the emerald isle as the government has very graciously decided to supply some much needed assistance to anyone that needs it.

In a gesture that will aid thousands of needy families the government has purchased 53 tonnes of cheese from the Irish Dairy Board and will make it available for distribution via 300 charities.

This latest gift of 53 tonnes will bring the total amount of cheese handed  out this year to 167 tonnes.

This magnanimous gesture will cost approximately €750, 000 of EU funding.

Some cynics might argue that those most in need of help at this time of year might have benefited more from fuel for heating or winter clothing but cheese it is.

HOW BAD ARE THINGS WHEN WE NEED FREE CHEESE!

If the economy in Ireland has reached such a new low that the gift of cheese is looked upon as being a big deal then I think that Mr Cowen and his cronies need to swallow their damn pride and crawl on their bellies with cap in hand to the IMF before it is too late.





Bubble and Squeak

12 11 2010

No Bubble and Squeak are not Disney’s newest cartoon creations or my pet mice or any other such nonsense.

Bubble and Squeak is a traditional British meal made with the leftover meat and vegetables from dinner, in particular a Sunday roast. The name  itself comes from the sounds that are made as the dish is frying in the pan.

Bubble and Squeak is one of these meals whereby everyone does it differently (and why shouldnt they!)  but two things are constant in most recipes; the bulk of the dish is made up of leftovers potatoes and cabbage or any other green vegetable such as sprouts.

Traditionally the left over beef from dinner was chopped up very fine and mixed in as well, a lot of people have stopped doing this but I think that it just isn’t bubble without it!

I’m not really sure that there is anything else out there that is as cheap and simple to make and yet tastes half as good as bubble and squeak, try it for yourself and find out.

To make your Bubble and Squeak vegetarian friendly just omit the beef.

To make bubble and squeak you will need

approx 1lb of leftover potatoes – boiled, mashed or roast any will do

approx 1lb of leftover cabbage or other green veg

leftover beef (if any is left!)

1 onion

salt

pepper

butter

Roughly mash your leftover potatoes and chop your cabbage and onion down into small pieces, mix this together and add salt and pepper to taste

shred your leftover beef as finely as you possibly can, combine this with your vegetables and pop in the fridge for about 20 minutes or so.

Melt some butter in a large frying pan add your mixture, fry until lightly golden brown.

Bubble and Squeak can be eaten by itself as a light meal or used as a side dish or my favourite as part of a cooked breakfsast.








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