Friday, 3 June 2011

Salsa Verde or Green Mojo

A quick post about something that you simply have got to try.
It's a green sauce that goes with loads of stuff: seriously good with new potatoes or any quick cooked meat, damn you can throw this on anything savoury and it will pick it up a treat.

It's very garlicy but let us not let that be a stumbling block. The fresh garlic is so strong its actually hot - YUM!!!


Garlic about 3 or 4 cloves, you can do more if you want to
a bunch of Coriander (the size most supermarkets do)
half a bunch of parsley
Lemon juice or Lime or both
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

Equipment needed is a food processor or a pestle & mortar. I use the latter, it's harder work but better.

Grind it all up, starting with the garlic and then the herbs. when you start going at the herbs it seems like a crazy amount but it all grinds down nicely and sort of shrinks. Smassh it all to a pulp and season then add the acid part, lemon or lime, if you don't have either you can use a white wine or cider vinegar, a couple of tablespoons.

Then serve it with whatever you want or just dip bits of fresh bread into it.

You can vary this recipe alot, go for just parsley for a more French effect and add some dijon mustard - I also find anchovies can make this super good too.

I just made Carne Asada Tacos using the main recipe as a condiment - super good.

Keep it in a jar with a lid and it's keep for a week or so, even longer in the fridge but it solidifies a little.

Enjoy, even though the picture just shows some green stuff, best I had.

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Chili "my way" Recipe

This is my recipe and guide to cooking chili my way.
The different recipes for this dish are myriad, go and do a search, oh wait a minute that may be why you are here now, so there you go loads of them. But this is my way, I love chili it's been a favourite ever since I was a kid and used to have chili with my American friends who lived down the street, a proper bowl of red. I started cooking my own using Old El Paso chili seasoning when I was a teenager and have been doing so ever since all the time tweaking and fine tuning my recipe. I eventually dropped using the packet mix seasoning in favour of a cupboard full of the component spices and herbs.

Let me first tell you what I consider constitutes a fine bowl of chili. It is a stew of meat and peppers with beans, as simple as that really. The result though must be a deeply flavoured spicey broth that is like hug in a bowl, and its very more(ish), like heroin, I believe thats very more(ish), yeah like that.

Ingredients (Serves 3-4 Big portions)

500g Ground (minced) beef I have also been known to use half ground pork too.
Red peppers (one big one or two pointy ones) or karyatis roasted peppers, use two or three from the jar, these are great and I often have them in the fridge
Dried chilies, Ancho, Pasilla or Mullato - or even better a combination of all them, you can find them online or check out a farmers market. I got mine at East Oxford Farmers Market, these are toasted and soaked
Some fresh chilies, remove the seeds, I like a mix of different types, what ever I can get really about four or five
2 tsp of Chipotle Chilli
A medium Onion finely chopped
A stick of celery finely chopped
A tin of Tomatoes
A tin of Red Kidney beans
A bottle or can of beer (and one or two for you)
A squeeze of half a lime

5 tsp Cumin
2 tsp Smoked paprika
2 tbsp Oregano
1 tsp Tyme
Ground pepper
2 tsp Garlic granules
plus some chili flakes if you want more heat but quite often the dried chilies and fresh ones give plenty of heat especially as I am not bothered about removing all the seeds from the soaked chilies
I get all these in a bowl ready to go, plus you can see if you missed anything out

Get the big frying pan out and a casserole dish with a lid or a big pan with a lid or a plate that will work like a lid albeit a really hot one with no handles.
Get the dry frying pan really hot and thrown in the dried whole chilies two at a time quickly letting them blister a bit but not really burn, get these all in a bowl and pour on boiled water, I then place another bowl on them to hold them in the water, leave these for about half an hour

Now while they soak it time to do chopping, onion first and then the celery stick, a fairly fine dice. Get them in the heated up pan with some olive oil and turn it down low, chuck a bit of salt in and let them get all see thru trying not to let them catch although a little bit of browning is good. Now chop all those peppers up, chilies, red peppers and take the soaked chilies out, tear out the stalks, getting rid of some seeds too and chop them too.
New info: I am now using the handblender with the jug it comes with to blitz the soaked chili with the soaking water, what you get is this amazing chili goo.
Add all these to the pan. Reserve the soaking water from the chilies. Chuck in the chopped garlic too

Get the frying pan hot again and throw in half of the meat to brown it, making sure you get a bit of caramelization going on, pour off the excess fat that renders off it and chuck it into the pan. Now do the same with the other half of the meat, but once you have poured off the fat throw in the bowl of spices and give it a stir to toast/cook them a bit, then into the pan and stir it all together.
Let that sweat together on a low heat making sure it doesn't catch on the bottom. Chuck a stock cube into the pan and mix that in.

Add the tomatoes to the pan and mix them in, get the heat back up a bit
Pour in any chili soaking liquid thats left and bring the heat back up, get it bubbling a little, then in with the beer. (you may need to use some beer to rinse out the blitzed chili paste, don't want to loose any goodness.

Once it is bubbling away gently, turn the heat right down and put the lid on.
And so the waiting begins, go and do something like go and listen to some music, read a book, watch TV, write a song, write some poetry, troll online, etc, etc … Nip back from time to time and give it a stir, check the seasoning add some salt and pepper

After about an hour or so add the can of beans including the liquid in the can, stir and put the lid on again. Keep checking and stirring, it shouldn't lose too much liquid so if it does add some water it should be soupy but thick

The waiting again, if you can leave it for about two hours that would be good but I do like three hours. Keep checking it

You can serve it right away but as ever if left overnight it will become even better

It can be served whichever way you like, my favourite is with tortilla chips and some cheese, I put some chips in the bowl and cover them with chili and a bit of cheese on top and maybe a dollop of sour cream. Also good with rice of course which can help it stretch a bit for more people.
Freeze what's left

If you like it let me know @tim_process on twitter