A delicious winter recipe, this rich, smoky tomato and Ancho chilli stew is a deliciously simple dish. This is sure to bring some comfort and warmth to the dinner table as the nights get colder and winter closes in. Its smoky flavours and subtle heat come from the Mexican Ancho chillies used to create the sauce, which makes a perfect accompaniment to a simple roast chicken. The fennel greens also offer a fresh and nutritious element to round off this delicious combination.
Several hours, or even the night before you make this dish you will need to rehydrate your Ancho Chillies. To do this I simply place 4 or 5 of the chillies in a bowl, and add 250ml of beer (I use lager but you could experiment with different types). Leave the chillies to rehydrate, which will take at least 4 hours and the chillies will double in size by the time they are done.
Set your oven to 190c or 375f. Once up to temperature take your chicken and place it on a roasting tray. Combine the salt, pepper and cayenne pepper together and rub all over the skin of the chicken, making sure to cover its surface evenly. Place in the middle shelf of the oven and cook for 45 minutes per kilo, plus a further 20 minutes (1.5kg chicken should take around about an hour and a half). Once the chicken is in, move onto making your stew.
Once you have your rehydrated Ancho chillies, add them to a blender along with any leftover beer liquid. Add your chopped tomatoes, tomato puree, honey, lemon juice and smoked paprika to the blender, and blitz until you have a smooth sauce, which will be used as the base sauce for your stew.
Take your chorizo sausage, and chop it up into hearty chunks before tossing it into a non stick pan on a medium to high heat. Once you see some of the fat start to leak out of the chorizo into the pan, it’s time to add your chopped onions and sweat them down until they become soft and take on some of the colour from the chorizo. Now add your chick peas and stir, before finally adding your base sauce and stir together. Add salt and taste, and once happy with seasoning transfer the stew to an oven proof dish with a lid and bake at the bottom of the oven for 45-50 minutes (try to time this so that it is ready around the same time as your chicken)
Once your chicken and stew are ready, remove them from the oven. Set the chicken aside to rest, and then take your stew, remove the lid and stir in your spinach. Return the lid to the stew and leave to one side for the spinach to wilt in the heat whilst you prepare your greens.
Take a large pan with a lid (a wok is ideal), add the olive oil and set to a high heat. Add the fennel seeds to the pan, followed by your greens and a pinch of salt and stir fry them for a minute or two, ensuring the greens are coated with the other ingredients. As the greens show signs of softening, add the boiling water to the pan and quickly put the lid on. Cook for 5 minutes giving the pan an occasional shake. Once the greens are soft give them a taste, and add salt and pepper accordingly before serving.
These two dishes are both best cooked low and slow, making them ideal to prepare for a group gathering as most of the preparation and work can be done in the daytime, long before your guests arrive. I prepared this for a group of friends coming over to watch the England vs Australia rugby world cup game (wish I hadn’t bothered).
The chilli paste featured was inspired by a conversation with a chap who I met at the ‘Brighton Spicy Foods Festival’ a few weeks’ back whilst buying some interesting looking dried Mulato chillies. He explained that he liked to rehydrate them in beer, and then make them into a paste to make Chilli Con Carne. Anything that involves beer always grabs my attention, and so I picked up a bag and decided to give it a try. I ended up using my chilli paste to make a classic Chilli Con Carne for the nachos, but also made a Tex Mex inspired smoky tomato and pickle juice sauce for the pulled lamb burritos. I would like to think from the feedback of my guests that the results were far more impressive than the rugby…
At least five hours (but preferably the night before) take your dried Mulato / Ancho and Carolina Reaper chilli pods, and place them in a bowl with the beer, and leave them to re-hydrate.
Once re-hydrated, remove from the beer (which you can save to add to the Chilli Con Carne later) and pull the Mulato / Ancho pod apart removing the majority of the seeds, but saving the flesh. Next take a spice grinder, or pestle and mortar and add all of the chilli paste ingredients together, and grind until smooth. Set your chilli paste to one side.
Next, to start your Chilli Con Carne take a large pan, add a little oil and once hot add your chopped onions and begin to brown. Once the onions have begun to brown, it is time to add your minced beef and continue to cook on a medium heat until all of the beef has browned also. Now add in two tablespoons of your chilli paste, and stir into the beef and onions until the aromas of the spices begin to rise from the pan. Now it’s time to add your chopped tomatoes, passata , kidney beans, brown sugar and the beer used to soak the chilli pods into the pan. Stir all of the ingredients together thoroughly, add a good pinch of salt and then cover and cook on the lowest heat possible for around five hours. It is important to check on your chilli every now and then by giving it a stir to ensure none of the ingredients are burning to the bottom of the pan. This can now be left ticking over until you are ready to serve it, and will only improve its flavour over time.
Now for the Lamb, firstly preheat your oven to 140c then take your spice grinder or pestle and mortar and add the cumin and fennel seeds, black peppercorns and rock salt, and grind until you have a coarse powder or rub. Take your lamb shoulder and rub the spice mix all over it, massaging it into the skin and ensuring that the whole of its surface is covered. Now drop two roughly chopped onions into the bottom of a roasting tin, and pile them together in the middle to create a bed to lie your lamb shoulder on. Once the shoulder is in place, add a pint of water to the bottom of the roasting tin and cover the whole thing in tin foil making sure that you squeeze it tightly around the tin to ensure that no moisture is lost during cooking. Cook on the middle shelf of the oven for around five hours.
For the lamb pickle sauce, take a tablespoon of your chilli paste and a teaspoon of smoked paprika, add chopped onion and grind together in your spice grinder or pestle and mortar (I left the remaining paste in my spice grinder and just added the onion to it). Take your new chilli and onion paste, and add it to a saucepan with a splash of oil. Cook the paste in the oil until it begins to separate, and then add your passata, chopped gherkins, pickle juice, brown sugar and salt. Simmer on a low heat until the sauce becomes about the same consistency of tomato ketchup, and then remove from the heat and leave to cool. The sauce can be presented either warm or cold on the lamb when served, and should be used sparingly as you would ketchup or barbeque sauce.
After five hours, remove the lamb shoulder from the oven and crank up the temperature to 200c. Remove the foil from the lamb, and allow it to rest for ten minutes or so whilst the oven gets up to temperature. Take your Scotch Bonnet Chilli Jam and with a tablespoon coat the lamb shoulder all over, using the jam as a glaze. Once glazed, transfer the lamb shoulder back into the oven, this time uncovered for around 30 minutes or until the glaze has taken on a golden caramelized colour. At this point remove from the oven and leave to rest for 15 minutes before pulling the meat apart with a fork just before serving.
Whilst the meat is resting, boil a little rice ready for serving and make you guacamole. To make the guacamole simply finely chop your avocado, red onions, tomatoes and coriander, add to a bowl and cover with lemon juice. Mix all of the ingredients together until the avocado breaks down a little creating a creamy but lumpy texture.
Now that all of your components are ready, take some nachos in a dish and cover with some grated cheese before ladling your Chilli Con Carne on top. Finish your beef chilli nachos with a dollop of sour cream and a generous spoonful of your homemade guacamole.
For the Burritos, take a floured tortilla wrap and place a generous portion of the pulled lamb down the middle. Then spoon over a little of the lamb pickle sauce and add your preferred salad leaves, tomatoes, soured cream, guacamole or whatever else suits your fancy. Wrap it up, and enjoy!
The Screaming Pepper sauce from Sidekick sauces featured in October’s subscription box has high heat, a great tangy flavour and super silky texture making it perfect for these Buffalo wings. These wings are simply delicious, not for the calorie counters amongst us but what else can be expected from this American classic? I like to serve these with corn on the cob and celery sticks to mop up any leftover Blue Cheese Sauce (you can tell yourself that these are the healthy bits, if you like).
Preheat your oven to 140c and set your fryer so that the oil is at 190c.
Take a large mixing bowl and add the corn flour with a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Add half of your wings to the bowl and toss them in the flour mixture until coated, then remove from the bowl and leave to rest on a baking tray. Repeat this process with the second half of the wings.
Once the oil is up to temperature, fry your chicken wings off in two separate batches for 12 minutes each batch keeping the wings warm in the oven once cooked and drained of fat.
Now, ensuring that the hot fat has been removed from the hob take a clean glass mixing bowl and rest it over a saucepan of boiling water (this could be the same pan of water that you use to cook the corn). Add the butter to the bowl. As it begins to melt stir in the Screaming Pepper Sidekick Sauce, juice of half a lemon and a pinch of salt and continue to stir until you have a silky smooth buttery chilli coating for your wings.
Remove the bowl from the saucepan, take your wings out of the oven and add them to the bowl of sauce being sure to toss the wings in the coating, covering them evenly. As soon as all of the wings are coated turn them out of the bowl onto a plate and serve immediately.
Simply add your blue cheese to a small bowl and begin to break it down with the back of a fork until crumbled. A little bit at a time begin to spoon in and stir the soured cream, working it into the crumbly cheese until nearly smooth (I like to leave a few small lumps for texture)
Once all of the soured cream has been added, incorporate a heaped tablespoon of mayonnaise for a velvety finish.
These scones make a delicious savoury alternative to the traditional scone served with clotted cream and strawberry jam. Ideal for a light lunch or served as an afternoon snack.
Preheat your oven to 220c/425f
Cut the butter into cubes and place in a mixing bowl. Sieve the flour into the bowl on top of the butter cubes and then begin to rub the cubes into the butter until the two are combined and look like breadcrumbs.
Now add your cheese, milk, mustard seeds and salt into the bowl and mix together to form dough.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead lightly until the mixture feels bound and consistent throughout. Roll the dough out evenly until it is around 2cm thick, and then use a 5cm pastry cutter to punch out circles to form your scones.
Once all of the scones have been cut, place them on a greased baking tray. Brush the tops of the scones with beaten egg, and finely grate a little Parmesan over them too.
Place the scones in the oven and bake for 12-15 minutes until risen and golden. Remove from the oven and leave to cool on a rack.
To serve the scones slice them in half to produce two rounds, and spread a generous portion of cream cheese on each side. Then top each side with a little rocket and a dollop of chilli jam and serve open.
A delicious Falafel recipe, making use of the Harissa Rub from our September subscription box.
Start by making your flatbreads. Add the bread flour to a large mixing bowl and with your fingers push it to the side of the bowl, creating a well in the middle of the flour. Pour your dried yeast, cumin seeds, salt and half a tablespoon of olive oil into the well, and then slowly pour in about a third of the warm water.
With one hand begin to mix the ingredients in the well, slowly incorporating the flour. Continue to slowly add warm water as you mix until you have mixed in all of the flour to create nice soft bread dough. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead it until it becomes stretchy and elastic. Form into a ball, and with the palm of your hand gently rub the other half a tablespoon of oil onto the surface of the dough, and put it back into the mixing bowl. The oil will prevent your dough from sticking to the bowl.
Cover the bowl with cling film and leave in a warm place for the dough to rise (around 30 minutes) whilst you create your dressing.
Take a blender (or pestle and mortar if you do not have a blender) and add your yogurt, honey and mint. Blend together until the mint is finely chopped or mashed; add to a bowl and refrigerate until ready to use.
For the Falafels simply add all of your ingredients to your blender holding back a handful of chick peas to add texture later. Blend until you end up with a course paste, which should be the consistency of peanut butter. Place the mixture into a bowl and mix in the remaining whole chick peas. Leave to one side.
Now for the slaw. Using the coarse blades of a cheese grater, grate both your apples (avoiding the pips and core) and carrot into a bowl. Chop the red onion into thin, long slices and add those to the bowl along with a hand full of chopped parsley. Squeeze over half a lemon (this will stop the apple from turning brown, whilst also adding flavour) add a pinch of salt and mix the ingredients together.
Once your flatbread dough has risen, remove it from the bowl and knead for a second time on a floured surface. Once kneaded, cut the dough into 8 equal sized pieces and roll into small balls with the palms of your hands.
Place a ball onto a floured surface, and roll out until it is around 2mm thick and as round as you can manage. Take your flat bread and add it to a dry hot non stick frying pan. The flat breads will take a minute or two on each side, and will begin to show pockets of air on the surface as they cook. Once slightly browned on each side remove the flatbread from the pan and leave to one side. Continue to do this until all of your flat breads are cooked and leave in a tin foil parcel to stay warm.
I find that it is easier to roll out your next flat bread whilst the last one is cooking, as if rolled out all at once they quickly become sticky and much harder to handle.
Now, wipe any excess flour from your frying pan and add 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil. Once the oil is hot, take a tablespoon of the falafel batter and drop it onto the pan, taking care to ensure that the batter remains a neat and tidy, round shape. Once you have added all of your batter to the pan in this way, cook the falafels on both sides until golden brown (around 5 minutes on each side should be enough)
Once you have cooked your falafels it is time to enjoy. Don’t forget to add a teaspoon or two of your mint yogurt dressing before wrapping it all up.
In the September hot sauce subscription box we included a spicy pickling kit. We went ahead and pickled the traditional onion, but why not experiment and let us know how you get on in the comments section below or by posting your results to Facebook / Twitter.
* 1 x jar
* 1 x pickling spices
* 1 x chilli flakes
* 1 x bay leaf
* 350ml of white wine vinegar
* 500ml of water
* 35g of salt
* 300g of shallots. Feel free to try other vegetables instead but note that some are better to pickle that others, and some might require
1. Chop the ends of and peel the shallots
2. Use the water and salt to make a saline solution. Put the shallots in the solution (make sure they’re submerged) and leave for 12-24 hours.
3. The next day rinse the shallots well.
4. Sterilise the jar by putting it in the oven (have the oven at 130 degrees celcius and heat the jar for 20 minutes). Be careful when you take it out, it’ll be hot and stay that way for awhile.
5. Put the pickling spices in a saucepan and gently fry to release some aroma, but make sure they don’t burn.
6. Add the vinegar and boil for five minutes (beware – boiling vinegar doesn’t smell the best!).
7. Once the vinegar is removed from the heat, add some chilli flakes. Be as brave as you like – but we generally add one half to one teaspoon and find that this is pretty spicy!
8. Put the shallots in the jar, adding the bay leaf and some of the spices from the vinegar mixture between layers.
9. Pour the rest of the vinegar in, seal immediately and leave for four weeks before eating. We’ve provided a label where you can insert the bottling date and remember when they’re ready.
A delicious treat for breakfast, lunch or dinner
Pre heat your oven to 190 degrees (C). Halve your avocado, remove the stone, and score then flesh in a grid pattern with a sharp knife.
Place the two halves onto a small amount of loosely screwed up tin foil on a baking tray and squeeze a little lemon over the avocado, the tin foil will help you to ensure that the avocado is sat level to avoid the egg running out of the middle.
As avocados and their stones vary in size you may need to scoop a little extra flesh out of the stone cavity in the avocado to ensure that the egg fits into it (this could be added to the salsa later if you wish). Crack an egg into a jug and then carefully pour it into the hole in one of the avocados, taking care not to break the yolk. Repeat for the second half and then add a splash of the ghost chilli sauce onto each of the eggs.
Place into the oven and bake for 12-14 minutes, until all of the white of the egg is cooked. Whilst the avocados are cooking, drop your bacon onto a griddle pan and cook on a medium heat until crispy. Meanwhile, chop up your tomatoes into small pieces and place into a sieve. Add a little salt and leave over the sink. The salt will help to draw out some of the water from the tomatoes, intensifying their flavour.
Chop up your red onion and pepper into similar sized pieces to the tomato and add to a bowl. Chop up your coriander and add this to the bowl also. After around ten minutes squeeze the tomatoes in the sieve to remove any access water before adding them to the bowl with the onions, peppers and coriander. Now add a good squeeze of lemon, and as much ghost chilli sauce as you dare! Mix the salsa together and taste to ensure seasoning is correct.
Once all components are ready, assemble the dish on a plate and serve with some toasted granary bread.
Our favourite Bloody Mary Recipe for those hungover weekend mornings. This recipe is truly worth getting out of bed for; we hope you enjoy.
5cm piece of fresh horseradish
1l good tomato juice
2 tsp tabasco, sriracha, Franks's Hot
1 tsp Naga flakes
2 tsp worcestershire sauce / vegetarian worcestershire sauce
1 tsp celery salt
1 lemon, cut into wedges
Place the naga flakes in to the vodka and leave to infuse (the longer the better). 24 hours before serving cut the horseradish into chunks and add into the vodka. Leave to infuse for a further day and then strain. Discard the flakes and horseradish.
Mix together the Worcestershire sauce, celery salt, tomato juice, hot sauce, and partially squeeze each lemon wedge into the jug, but leave some juice in each. Season to taste with black pepper.
Add the vodka to the mix and stir well. Pour into glasses with ice and add lemon wedges and celery. Once served, adjust spice levels to taste. Enjoy!
A delicious chilli recipe that is set and forget. Get it started in the morning and leave in a slow cooker throughout the day for best results.
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 garlic cloves, crushed
500g lean beef mince / vegetarian mince
250ml red wine
1 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato purée
2 red chillies, or 3-4 tsp dried chilli flakes (we went with Naga for a real kick)
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
A shake of Worcestershire sauce / vegetarian Worcestershire sauce
1 stock cube (beef or vegetable)
Sea salt and ground black pepper
Grated mature cheese to taste
Place the oil in a pan and fry onion and garlic until soft. Add the mince and brown.
Pour in the red wine and boil for 2-3 minutes.
Transfer to a slow cooker and stir in the tomatoes, tomato purée, fresh chilli or chilli flakes, cumin, coriander and Worcestershire sauce. Season with salt and pepper and add the stock cube. Set cooker to low and leave for a minimum of 2 hours.
Before eating add the kidney beans and fresh coriander and cook for a further ten minutes. Serve with rice / nachos, guacamole, sour cream and cheese.