Chilli Con Carne

Serves: 4;   Cals per portion: 392;   Prep time: 10 mins;   Cook time: 55 mins

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 1 ½ lb (675g) lean minced beef
  • 2 tsp hot chilli powder
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • ¾ pt (450ml) beef stock
  • 397g can chopped tomatoes
  • 430g can red kidney beans, drained
  • 1 green chilli, chopped
  • salt and ground black pepper
  • soured cream and freshly chopped parsley to garnish.

Step One – Heat the oil in a large saucepan and sauté the onion and garlic for 3 mins. Stir in the minced beef and chilli powder and continue to cook, stirring frequently, for 5 mins, or until sealed.

Step Two – Stir in the flour and tomato puree, cook for a further 1 min, then add the stock, tomatoes, beans and chilli. Season well. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 40 mins. Transfer to a serving dish and garnish with soured cream sprinkled with chopped parsley.

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Chestnut and chorizo soup

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine (February 2016) and taken from the book River Cottage Gluten Free written by Nutritionist, cook and River Cottage teacher Naomi Devlin.

Roast chestnuts have the starchy quality of baked potato, with a smoky sweetness that is fantastic with chorizo.  You can also use pre-prepared chestnuts here, for something that is almost as good.  If you need more protein, a poached or fried egg is a great addition.

Chestnut Chorizo soupServes:  4

Ingredients: 

400g fresh chestnuts (in shells)
125g chorizo or spicy salami, skinned
1 tsp butter or duck fat
Pinch of fennel seeds (optional)
4 carrots, roughly diced
1 large onion, roughly diced
1 celery stick, roughly diced
150g Swiss chard or rainbow chard
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 sprigs of thyme, leaves picked
1 tbsp tomato puree
large pinch of saffron threads
Greek yogurt and Turkish dried chilli flakes, to finish

Step One:  Preheat the oven to 220oC / Fan 200oC / Gas 7.  Make a cut in the top of each chestnut, place on a baking tray and roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes until tender.  Leave until cool enough to handle, then peel, halve or quarter and set aside.  (It’s a lot quicker to use pre-prepared chestnuts, but you won’t get the same smoky flavour).

Step Two:  Cut the chorizo or salami into small chunks.  Heat a saucepan over a low heat and add the chorizo chunks with the butter or duck fat and fennel seeds, if using.  Cook gently for a few minutes until the chorizo oil starts to run.  Add the diced vegetables and cook gently for at least 20 minutes until they have taken on a deeper colour and smell sweet.

Step Three:  While the vegetables soften, slice the white stalk from the chard leaves and cut it into chunks; set aside.  Shred the leaves finely and set these aside too.  Add the garlic to the pan with the thyme leaves and tomato puree and cook for a couple of minutes until the tomato smell rises from the pan.  Add the chopped chestnuts, chard stalks, saffron threads and enough boiling water to cover everything by 2-3 cm.  Bring to a simmer, put the lid on and lower the heat.  Simmer gently for about 15 minutes until everything is soft.  Taste for seasoning.

:  Either leave the soup chunky or mash it a bit, leaving some texture – you’re not aiming for a smooth result.  If it’s too thick, add a little water; if too thin, uncover, turn the heat up a bit and let it bubble to reduce slightly.  Finally, add the chard leaves to the soup and bring back to the boil; this will be enough to cook them through.  Serve each portion topped with a spoonful of Greek yogurt, if you like.  If the chorizo is mild, you may want to put some chilli flakes on the table.

Manaeesh (Flatbread, also known as manakeesh)

manaeeshThis recipe is courtesy of Easy Living Magazine

Makes: 4   –   Prep time : 15 mins, plus 2 hours standing time   –   Cook time : 20 mins

Cals per serving: 173   –   Fat : 2g

Ingredients: 7g (1/4 oz) sachet quick-acting dry yeast; 750g (1 ½ lb) white bread flour; 2 tsp salt; 2 tblsp olive oil

For the topping: 125g (4oz) za’atar spice blend mix

  1. Place the yeast, flour and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer.  Add olive oil and 420ml (13 fl oz) of tepid water.  Mix using a dough hook for about 5 minutes until the mixture comes together and forms a really soft dough. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for 5 minutes, then shape into a large ball.  Place in a clean, lightly oiled bowl, cover with a cloth or cling film and leave in a warm place for 1 – 1 ½ hours, or until the dough has doubled in size.
  2. Heat the oven to 240oC (gas mark 9). Punch down the dough with your fist to expel the air.  Knead on a lightly floured surface for 1 minutes and then shape into four balls.
  3. On a lightly oiled surface, use a rolling pin to shape each dough ball into thin 5mm (¼ in) rounds, then transfer to two baking sheets.  Make a few indentations in the dough with your fingertips.
  4. Brush the loaves with olive oil and sprinkle with za’atar.  Bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden and crisp.  Slide the manaeesh off the trays onto the oven shelves and cook for a further 5 minutes, or until crusty.

Spices

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