Sunday, 10 June 2012

Weekend cooking - chili dinner menu

My sincere apologies before I begin to all those who know and use the original recipe for chili con carne - I only knew it from restaurants up to now.  Once I decided to make a recipe for it, I researched plenty of variations, and settled for those ingredients that I liked (obviously).  This is my recipe for chili, and those who have tried it seem to like it (or are extremely polite?):

Chili con carne - my style

red hot chili con carne
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
1 rash of bacon (about 1/2cm thick), cut in fine strips

3 half peppers (green/yellow/red) cut in small pieces (or a total of 1 1/2 peppers of your choice)
2 sticks of celery, finely chopped

500gr beef mince
250gr red beans, soaked, boiled, left to cool

400g chopped tomatoes
100ml water
500gr sieved tomatoes (passata)
1tbsp smoked paprika
1 tsp chili flakes (or as hot as you like)
juice from half a lemon
1 tbsp oregano
salt/pepper to taste

(it can only get better from now on...)

How to start:  I personally prefer to fry the mince apart and leave it cool.  Otherwise, in medium heat, start with the first batch of ingredients, i.e. the onion with the bacon, the peppers and the celery.  Once the bacon is sufficiently fried, toss the mince and either fry or reheat.  Add the red beans, reheat as well.  Add the tomatoes and water.  I usually wait between the steps until the temperature of the pot is back at hot.  Pour the passata and add the rest of the ingredients.  Cook for about 20 minutes. (I know I should serve this with grated cheddar, but I could find none that day, so I used emmental - sorry!)

Corn muffins

pretty little corn muffins
Deborah from my book club gave me a corn muffin mix from the States, and I've been wanting to try it some time now.  She told me that she had also added a tin of cream corn to the mix, so I decided to do the same (well, almost):

1 240g pack of corn muffin mix
1 egg
80ml milk

a 230g jar of corn, boiled, mashed

The mix asked for 1 egg and 80ml of milk, so I mixed all these and added the mashed corn.  As the consistency was slightly watery for my taste, I also added 3 tbsp of polenta, but I suppose that depends on the mashed corn.  Pour in muffin tin (filling about 3/4 of the muffins) and bake at 170oC for about 20 minutes.  Leave to cool.

I served everything with nacho chips and I also made a crunchy green salad.

pomegranate ice-cream with cherries
For dessert, I made a simple - but oh so good! - pomegranate ice-cream, using Nigella Lawson's recipe: 

200ml pomegranate juice
juice from one lemon
150g icing sugar
500ml cream

Whisk everything to soft peaks, pour in container, freeze.  Pure delight...

This post is my entry into Weekend Cooking, a weekly event hosted by Beth Fish Reads.


  1. Great meal all the way around! Corn muffins are essential with chili. And, most anything Nigella does is awesome - but pomegranate ice cream - yum!!

    By the way, I am looking at your side columns and I think that you have EXCELLENT taste in books :)

    1. Agree about Nigella -- many thanks for your kind words!

  2. oooh, the pomegranate ice cream looks delicious!

    1. ... and tastes even better...

    2. I agree. Can't wait to try it!

  3. Very nice menu. Have a great week.

  4. Fabulous menu -- but anything that starts with chili and ends with ice cream has to be good, right?

  5. Chili, corn muffins and pomegranate ice cream sounds like a perfect meal to meal. I'm bookmarking this one for sure.

  6. I love chilli con carne but that ice cream looks like one to try too.

    1. fire and ice, always a good combo...

  7. Chili is one of my favorites. It looks yummy and so does the ice cream:)

  8. I like the idea of the bacon and the smoked paprika. I've only used the regular paprika, but keep hearing about how flavourful the smoked is. I need to find some. Thanks.

    1. Indeed, the flavour is 10 times more intense than that of the regular paprika!




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