Tuesday, 7 October 2014

White Bean & Chorizo Chilli with Cornbread (and Avocado Smush)

Golden cornbread & golden sunshine
First thing's first - this would probably be a very tasty bowlful without the chorizo and it is easy to omit. However if you are a chorizo fan I hope you will appreciate this very excellent way of cooking it - it seems to stay "juicier" (ew) and more distinct than if it were allowed to sink into the stew.
I don't know what the definition of a chilli is really but spicy stew sounded a bit clumsy so here we are. I've left the ingredients as what I used with notes, some things are definitely not vital e.g. the radish. I also had three somewhat squishy half-frozen baby plum tomatoes which went in but I don't think they made a huge difference to anything.

For the smush:
One avocado
Juice of half a lime
Small bunch of corriander (cilantro) leaves, chopped

Smash all the above together with a fork and a pinch or two of salt. Set aside.
(the lime juice should prevent the avocado from going brown if that's a concern for you)

For the cornbread:
112.5g cornmeal (I use polenta as that's what Sainsbury's has)
70g flour - I prefer cornflour in this but wheat works
1/2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
284ml soured milk (270ml milk + 1 tbsp lemon juice) or buttermilk
1 egg, beaten
1 green chilli, sliced into rings (remove seeds unless you like hot)
optional sprinkling of sweetcorn

Grease a shallow ~11.5cm cake tin*.
Combine the dry ingredients in a decent sized bowl, then make a well and gradually stir in the milk followed by the beaten egg. Stir in the corn if using.

Pour the mixture into your prepared tin and scatter rings of green chilli across the surface.
Bake at 230C for 25 minutes until set and golden(er) on top.

This is a bastardised version of this recipe. I made it without the onion once and didn't miss it.
I can confirm that it freezes well, just sprinkle it with water before re-ovening.
* I use an enamelled cast iron tatin dish. Using something metal here helps a crust form underneath, I've not tried ceramic but I imagine longer cooking at a lower temp might be required.

my food styling skill is all self-taught...
For the White Bean & Chorizo Chilli:

1/2 a chorizo sausage ring cut into fat slices
1 onion or few spring onions, sliced
3 cloves garlic, sliced
stick of celery (I used the tiny bits from the heart as that's what I had)
1 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 1/2 bell peppers (I used yellow & red for sweetness)
handful of radishes, sliced
large bunch coriander, divided into leaves and stalks, both chopped
1 red chilli, sliced into rings (seeds to taste)
1 tbsp chipotle chilli paste, I've used Waitrose and Discovery brands
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp coriander
1 tbsp tomato paste
300g tin cannellini beans, drained
~50g spinach (mine was frozen) - kale would be a trendy substitution

Heat deep pan nice & hot and fry the chorizo slices until they're browning on both sides and have oozed a fair amount of orange fat. Scoop them out and set aside. Now turn the heat down a little and add the onion, garlic, celery, and seeds and allow to soften. Add the peppers, radish, coriander stems, chilli, and chilli paste. Allow all this to soften up until you have a fairly smushy panful with the peppers retaining their structure. Stir in the cinnamon and coriander. Then the tomato paste and beans. Allow all this to cook down for a good while before adding the spinach.
Towards the end incorporate the corriander leaves and the chorizo slices. Make sure this all gets nice and hot together.
Serve the chilli in a pasta bowl with a edge of cornbread and a good splat of the avocado smush.


Sunday, 14 September 2014

ABC Cake

I can't remember where I found the recipe this is based on but I'm fairly sure it was one I found while trying to use up an enormous glut of courgettes. My Mum grows courgettes and apples so from August until the damn things die off we're inundated with them. Now I live away from my parents the effect on me is lessened but I still get the occasional vegetable delivery.

ABC stands for Apple-Banana-Coconut, which is the version I made for Ceilidh & Warwick's party but this recipe is pretty adaptable:
- I've used courgettes, apples, and carrots individually and in mixtures and they all worked fine.
- Walnuts are the classic choice of nuts but coconut works surprisingly well
- Dried cranberries or other fruit make for a sweeter & more exciting cake
- It's quite easy to turn this vegan as the only non-vegan ingredient is the eggs. I've made it several times successfully using flax eggs - one egg = 1tbsp ground flax (golden linseed) + 3tbsp water.
- I usually use brown sugar for the flavour
- C&W version had ~1/2tsp each of cinnamon, nutmeg, & ginger instead of the 1tsp of cinnamon

ABC Cake

in progress

Cook time: 55-65 min

Vegetable oil: 5tbsp
Sugar: 125g
Eggs: 2
Flour: 250g
Bicarbonate of soda: 1tsp
Salt: 1/2 tsp
Cinnamon: 1tsp
Bananas, mashed: 2 whole / 150g
Apple, grated: 120g
Nuts: 50g
Dessicated coconut: 25g (optional)

1. Pre-heat oven to 180c / 350F / Gas Mark 4
2. Grease and/or line (with greaseproof paper) a 900g /  2lb metal loaf tin
3. Mix oil & sugar, add eggs & beat
4. In another bowl, mix flour, bicarb, salt, & cinnamon
5. Add dry mixture to wet, alternating with mashed banana
6. Stir in grated apple & nuts, add coconut (if using), and mix thoroughly.
7. Transfer to the prepared tin and bake for 55-65 minutes, check a knife inserted comes out clean, then leave to cool in the tin for at least ten minutes before turning out

Please excuse the giant heading  - I've attempted to use standard recipe markup so that Google, Pinterest etc will recognise this as a recipe.


This is go-to brownie recipe. I picked it out originally as the amounts of butter & sugar are slightly less horrendous than other brownie recipes. If you cook these for the recommended time they'll come out squishy, but cook a bit longer and the result will be cakier. These can also be made in small cake format - bake them as you would fairy cakes and check for done-ness earlier. I often use chunks of chocolate or dried fruit (cranberries especially) instead of nuts. I also go heavy on the cocoa as it really does help the flavour. I've had good results using dark chocolate, milk chocolate, and a mixture of both.


Adapted from a recipe from Coconut & Lime

Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 30 min
Total time: 50 min

Butter: 4oz/112g
Dark chocolate: 8oz/225g
Cocoa powder: 1oz/30g
Plain flour: 3/4 cup/90g
Nuts: 3oz/85g
Salt: 1/4 tsp
Baking powder: 1/2 tsp
Golden caster sugar: 3/4 cup/170g
Eggs: 2
Vanilla essence: 1 tsp

1. Pre-heat oven to 180c / 350F / Gas Mark 4
2. Grease or line (with greaseproof paper) a 9"/22.5cm square tin or equivalent
3. Melt butter, chocolate, & cocoa together (don't microwave the cocoa if using a microwave)
4. Mix flour, nuts, salt, & baking powder together
5. In a large bowl, beat the eggs, sugar, and vanilla together until frothy
6. Add the chocolate mixture to the eggs, stirring as you go
7. Gradually add the dry ingredients and mix until well combined
8. Splodge into the prepared tin and bake for 25-30 minutes. The top should form a crispy shell and a knife inserted should come out clean.

Please excuse the giant heading  - I've attempted to use standard recipe markup so that Google, Pinterest etc will recognise this as a recipe.