2016- The Experimental Year
I hope you have all had a great New Year, and that everyone has made it through the holidays. Like myself, if you are feeling the sting of Christmas spending, you will be looking for ways to cut down on costs and make life a little easier.
What is below is a Chilli Recipe that you can make in bulk, thus saving buying meals for work, and is easy and straight forward to make. You can substitute the meat out for the equivalent weight in lentils if you desire, just be sure to add double the amount of boiled water with veggie stock cubes in.
Chilli Base- Veggie
Chilli Base- Meat
1ltr stock plus 3x veggie stock cubes to make a broth
Bulk up with extra veg
1kg lean mince meat
Flavours and additional
2x red peppers (diced)
1x large carrot (diced)
400g chick peas (drained)
handful of closed cup Mushrooms
2x Celery Sticks
1/2 tbsp chilli flakes
1/2 tbsp ground garam marsala
1/2 tbsp ground cayenne pepper
1/2 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp dried basil
400g kidney beans (drained)
4x Bay leaves
1 tsp Sea Salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
In a large pan, lightly fry your onions and garlic. Take out once they have become soft and place into a bowl on the side. Next, take your mince meat and place into your pan on a medium heat. I have found that the best way to not having any chewy lumps with mince is to continuously stir, cut and mash with a wooden spoon while it cooks. Once the mince is almost cooked all the way through (it will look grey, yum!) then add your onions and garlic back in.
If you are using lentils, add them into the pan with your broth. Boil for 5-10 minutes, turn down the heat then add the onions and garlic. Now add your 800g of chopped tomatoes to the meat. Pour the whole lot in-water included. Add your spices and herbs, stir in, then add your kidney beans. Now is the time to decide on your optional vegetables, as you will need to add them in at this stage. I have chosen to use peppers, carrot and chick peas.
If you are using mince, add 2x beef stock cubes to flavour. For the veggie, you should be fine with the broth you made earlier. Add your Bay leaves, black pepper and salt. Place a lid over the pan and leave to simmer for 15-20 minutes on a medium heat.
If you are using lentils, you may want to boil for a little longer, around 30 minutes. Here is where your timing comes into play. If you are cooking for dinner right now, you will want to take the lid off and crank the heat up. Continuously stir the chilli for another 20-25 minutes or until the liquid has completely boiled away. Alternatively, if you have time, just leave the lid on for another 30-45 minutes on a medium to high heat. Stir occasionally to make sure it isn't sticking to the bottom of the pan (adjust heat accordingly) and wait for the water to boil away. Either way, the end result is the same. Add more salt to taste if you desire.
Serving with Rice
If you are serving with rice, here is a quick and delicious way to serve some. Take 90g rice per person, place into a medium pan and add a stock cube of your choice to flavour. Add boiling water (the ratio for rice is 1.5x the amount of rice per water, so in this case, 135ml water per person). As a great lover of rice, I do this by eye now, so as long as the water is covering the rice plus a little extra, then you are fine. You can always add more water later if need be. Place on a medium heat with the lid off, and let simmer until the water is gone. The rice should be soft, with a very very slight bite to it.
Serve with your chilli, alongside some cheese, sour cream, guacamole or whatever you desire. and VOILA! Simple, bulk made chilli. Portion up and freeze until you are ready to eat. Take out, reheat and serve.
I know its not baking, but I have just made this and thought I would share some of my other culinary delights. I promise, it will be back to my regularly scheduled baking adventure soon.
Let me know how you get on making this,
see you soon