Category Archives: Chile

Recipe: “Blazing Saddles” Baked Beans

A Pot of Freshly made Baked Beans
Blazing Saddles Baked Beans

Ingredients;

4 whole onions finely sliced
1 heaped teaspoon of (smoked) paprika
3 fresh chillies finely diced
25g butter
3 x 400g tins of Pinto beans
3 x 400g tins of Cannellini beans
2 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes
4 bay leaves
Salt
Pepper
White wine vinegar
3 tablespoons of molasses
Olive oil

Serves 8-10

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Hmmm Beanz meanz Heinz, except in this case it doesn’t :) We are all familiar with baked beans in tomato sauce and how wonderful they are as a side order with a fry up or on hot buttered toast, it’s so easy to open a tin of them and bung ’em in the microwave, that we take them for granted.

When I made this first I was surprised by just how convenient the tinned version is by comparison to making your own, but when I tasted my own for the first time, I knew the effort was worth it.

These are close to being the best baked beans I have ever tasted, unfortunately that honour still resides with a man who served me from a fire pit when I was in Utah about 9 years ago as I haven’t managed to get the sweetness the same. Don’t worry, if I discover his secret I’ll update the post and let you all know 😉

First up you’re going to need a large saucepan on a medium heat. Add a lug of olive oil and once it’s up to temperature, add your sliced onion and paprika, give them a good stir and fry them for 10 – 15 minutes or until the onions soften.

Next add the butter to the pan and once that has melted, add the tinned tomatoes, 5 of the cans of beans (including the liquid), the bay leaves, a good pinch of salt and pepper.

Next, drain the liquid from the last can of beans and discard it. Then add the beans to the pot along with the chilli.

Now stir and bring this to a gentle simmer and bring the heat down, you just want them to burble and blurp (a little) at you rather than boil. If they boil, the beans will split and you’ll end up with mush rather than beans 😉

Leave them for about an hour and a half stirring occasionally.

Now taste them and season with salt and pepper to taste. Then add about a tablespoon of white wine vinegar, the molasses and stir well before serving or leaving them to cool and freezing them in portions.

These are great as a side dish with just about any meat and most fish, or used for the traditional beans on toast, or with a portion of boiled rice and a good ladle full of beans over the top.

Recipe: Grilled Falafel

a plate full of grilled Falafel
a plate full of grilled Falafel

Ingredients;

250g of dried chickpeas (Soaked overnight in water)
1 red onion cut into chunks
3 cloves of garlic (crushed)
1 slice of bread
1 teaspoon of baking soda
Large handful of fresh coriander
Large handful of fresh flat leaf parsley
1 teaspoon of ground cumin
1 teaspoon of ground coriander seeds
1 chilli, diced
Zest of a lemon
Salt and pepper

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I’d never tasted Falafel before I made this recipe but lots of people had told me I should and thanks to a recipe being e-mailed to me by (Friend of Not Junk Food) Will Knott I decided to give them a try.

One of the things I noticed about that recipe was that these are deep fried, so I did some more research and and found that almost all recipes were for deep frying, so straight away I’m thinking with these ingredients it seems a shame to turn them into junk food by deep frying. I experimented with the recipe and tried Shallow frying, yummy but very messy on the pan, so some more experimenting was done and I settled on grilling as the best way to cook these.

They are really simple to make, just rinse the chickpeas and add them and all the ingredients (except the salt and pepper) to your food processor and blend them to a very smooth paste. Taste the mixture and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Next take a baking tray and grease it using some butter or olive oil, you don’t need much just enough to stop the falafel from sticking and turn your grill on to heat up.

Now take some of the paste and form it into small burger like shapes and lay them out on the baking tray.

Once your grill is up to temperature pop the lot underneath for about 8-10 minutes on each side, or until they start to brown and the outside starts to get crispy.

At this point they can be eaten or alternatively stored (in an airtight container in the fridge or frozen) for use later, just pop them into the oven at 180C for 10 – 15 minutes to reheat them.

These are best served in a warmed Pitta bread with some salad leaves, onion relish and Tahini. If you can’t find Tahini try using garlic mayonnaise or Hummus instead /as well.

Great hand held food and I’m looking forward to trying these on the Barbecue as an alternative to burgers once BBQ season starts :)

Recipe: Italian Meatballs

Italian Meatballs hot from the oven
Italian Meatballs hot from the oven

Ingredients;

1Kg lean beef minced
2 slices of lightly toasted bread
2 tablespoons of dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon of cumin seeds, ground
1 Chile pepper, finely diced
1 handful of fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1 handful of fredh basil, finely chopped
1 egg yolk
1 large onion, finely dliced
1 teaspoon of french mustard

Serves 8

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Lightly toast the 2 slices of bread and whizz them in a blender to make breadcrumbs.

Next finely dice the onion, and fry it gently with a teaspoon of french mustard until soft, then let them cool, while you finely chop the chile, Rosemary and Basil.

Next put your meat into a large bowl and add the chile, rosemary, basil, oregano, cumin, egg yolk, the (now cooled) onion and the breadcrumbs and mix it all together, just get your hands into it and scrunch it all together.

Wet your hands and take some of the mixture and roll it into a ball about the size of a golfball and set it onto a sheet of greaseproof paper and repeat until you have used all the mixture.

Next get a frying pan onto a medium heat, add a little olive oil and fry the meatballs gently, rolling them round the pan so they cook (and colour) all the way round.

At this point you can either bag and freeze the meatballs in portions for use later or you can follow one of these 2 options.

I’m in a hurry

Once your meatballs are cooked, turn the heat right down and pour some Italian tomato sauce over them in the pan. Allow this to heat up while cooking up some pasta. Once the pasta is cooked, drain it and gently stir in the meatballs and sauce, then serve.

I’m not in a hurry

Heat your oven up to 200C, place your meatballs in an oven tray and cover with Tomato Sauce. Take a Mozzarella ball and either chop it into chunks or just rip it up and sprinkle this over the meatballs. Take a handful of fresh Basil leaves, rip them up and sprinkle them over the top, then grate a handful of parmesan over the lot.

Place this in the oven for about 20 minutes or until all the cheese melts and colours nicely. Then serve on a bed of fresh pasta and garnish with some fresh basil.