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.