Friday, 23 May 2008

A Noteable Post and The Constant Crowd-Pleaser: Chili Con Carne

Guess what?

No... not THAT, silly...

This is my 100th post!!!

How exciting is that?! I have now been a food blogger for almost 6 months - in which time I have written on average four posts a week, concocted about 90 recipes of varying success, and entered numerous food blog events... Hell, six months ago I didn't even know events even existed!

I spend a lot of time dreaming up recipes and shopping for food, even more time making my 'creations', probably not nearly enough time photographing them (!), and hours cleaning up!

My must-read blog roll now has 14 blogs on it - with another 60/70 on my leisurely read list... (and counting - I added another this morning!) What an amazing community to be part of - I'm so looking forward to the next 100 posts!!

Anyway, reaching a milestone always leads to moments of reflection (as well as expectation!), so it is quite fitting that this post is also my entry to Tastes to Remember hosted by Sarah over at Homemade. It's another last minute entry for me - my third this week. Maybe at some point in the next 100 posts I'll develop some organisation skills?

As I mentioned when I made my Ultimate Chili Con Carne, I always remember the excited anticipation had by me and my sister whenever my mum was working away from home. Not because we were desperate to get rid of her (!) but because it meant my dad would make one of his two staples: chilli con carne or macaroni cheese (with HP brown sauce, of course!). Beloved by the three of us, those were two dishes that my mum just didn't appreciate - so when we were fending for ourselves, there was no choice but to indulge. Now, my mum is a fantastic cook - she's taught me a lot (when she comes to stay with me we spend hours watching cookery shows and deciding what to have for dinner that night!). But... kind of like me... she is pretty experimental and like to try new things - so there isn't the same constancy of dishes. (In saying that, watch this space for the BEST steak pie you'll ever taste... I'm planning a Scottish run of recipes soon!)

So, this recipe is pretty close to the one my dad used to cook for my sister and I - using ground beef and a nice amount of dried chili. And has to be served with plain rice and pita breads -open the pita pockets and stuff in as much chili and rice as you can.

Eat with your hands, in front of the telly. Just don't tell mum!

The Constant Crowd-Pleaser: Dad's Chilli Con Carne

  • 500g ground beef
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 carton passata (sieved tomatoes)
  • 1 beef stock cube
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • dried chillies - to taste, ground or flaked. I reckon at least 2 tsp though!! I used 1 tbsp of reconstituted holy trinity blend (Pasilla, Ancho, Mulato) and 1 tsp habenero flakes. Hot! Nice!
  • A few drops of tabasco if you fancy it (I usually do!)
  • 1 tin kidney beans

Heat a glug of oil over a medium heat in a large saucepan, then add the onions and garlic and fry until soft. Remove to a bowl and fry off the ground beef in batches. Don't do it all at once, or you'll boil the beef instead of browning it - and lose half the flavour!

Return all the beef and onion mix to the bowl, crumble in the stock cube and add the spices. Fry off for a couple of minutes before adding all the tomatoes and the sugar.

Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Taste it and adjust seasoning. If the tomatoes were very sharp you may want to add a bit of extra sugar here too. If it ain't spicy enough chuck in some more tabasco - or maybe some cayenne pepper. Make it yours baby!

Cover again and simmer for another 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the rinsed kidney beans 10 minutes before the end.

Like I said, lightly toasted pita breads and steamed long grain rice. Nowt else. Especially no cheese. Yes, I know it's lovely, but not for here. Save that for a huge bowl of chilli nachos with all the trimmings!

yum nummm gobble slurp mmmmm..........

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Bellini Valli said...

I won't tell that we are eating in front of the TV. This is such a comforting dish I can't tell you:D

glamah16 said...

Yeah! Hope to see many more great posts.

giz said...

A welcoming dish for a milestone post. Perfect combination. Pass me a plate please.

Congrats on reaching 100 (posts that is)

Peter M said...

Congrats Kittie, you're a refreshing new blog friend and I await your visit to Toronto in the near future.

G & T on me!

Mike of Mike's Table said...

Congrats on the big 100! Looks like a delicious meal

Dee said...

Wow, a hundred posts in six months IS impressive! Here's to many, many more; I know I can't wait :)

And thanks for including me in your read list :)

gay said...

Wow, congratulations! Here's to more cooking, eating and blogging!

Neen said...

Kudos to you! So how has your cooking (and your non-cooking life) changed since the advent of your blog? I'm just coming back from a two week hiatus in which I realized, much to my surprise, that my life is a lot more boring and apathetic when I don't blog! What changes has blogging brought about for you?

Heather said...

Dang, lady, if I'da know you were making chili I'da sent you my cornbread recipe!

Here's to 100 more!

ley said...

Yaay! Congratulations! :D

kittie said...

val - it so is, no matter what high falutin' foodie stuff I think up, it's always one of my favourites!

coco - thanks, me too!!

giz - you are hereby formally invited to Brighton for lot of lovely food!! If not weather...!

peter - thank you, I will no doubt look you up when I next visit my Toronto family!

Thanks mike - I still have to try your luscious chilli recipe [smacks lips!]

thanks dee - I think my next bookmarked recipe is that gorgeous dukkah salmon of yours!

Cheers back at you Gay!

neen - great question, I'm going to do an post along those lines soon. Glad you're back!

heather - i've only tried cornbread once... and never made it, so recipe welcome!!!

Thanks Ley!