Chilli plant update: Harvest time

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A quick update. All my chilli plants (all 20) are now covered in chillies. That includes Cayennes, habaneros, jalapeños and scotch bonnets.

I’m so excited to begin using these in some new recipes and even have a go at my first hot sauce! Exciting times ahead.

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Taste of the Canaries

Last post I mentioned I’d just got back from Lanzarote where I learnt some new recipes.

Paella

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  • Olive oil
  • 1tsp garlic
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 chicken breast, diced
  • 100g chorizo, diced
  • 2tsp paprika
  • 1tbsp tomato puree
  • 400ml chicken stock
  • 200g rice
  • 50g frozen peas
  • 100g frozen cooked prawns
  • 1/2 lemon

Fry the garlic, onion and pepper in a large frying pan (with a lid) until the onion and pepper are soft. Add the chicken and cook until sealed. Then add the chorizo, paprika, tomato puree and chicken stock. Mix them all together and add the rice. Bring to a simmer and cover. Cook for 15 minutes.

Add the prawns and simmer covered for a further five minutes and then add the peas. Simmer for a further five minutes. Squeeze over the lemon juice and serve.

Mojo Verde and Mojo Rojo
Both of these sauces originate from the Canary Islands and are typically served with potatoes.

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Mojo Verde

  • 100ml oil
  • 2tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1tsp garlic
  • 1/4tsp salt
  • 2tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1tsp cumin
  • 1 avocado,  mashed
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped finely

Apart from the oil and vinegar, blend all the ingredients together. Then gradually add the oil and vinegar.

Mojo Rojo

  • 100ml
  • 2tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1tsp garlic
  • 1/4tsp salt
  • 1tsp paprika
  • 1 red pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 tomato, finely chopped
  • 1 chilli, deseeded and finely chopped

Blend all ingredients (apart from the oil) to a puree. Then gradually add the oil.

 

 

 

 

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Lentil and chorizo soup

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Sorry for the wait for this post. I’ve been on a two week holiday to Lanzarote and got back only yesterday. I have a few great recipes to share with you that I learnt out there so keep an eye out for them in the next week or two.

Right now though I’ve gone from the hot weather of the Canaries to the cold weather of Britain and I need soup to cheer me up.

Serves 2

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 100g spicy chorizo, diced
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 2 crushed garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • Pinch of caster sugar
  • Splash of red wine vinegar
  • 125g lentils
  • 400g chopped tomatoes
  • 425ml chicken stock
  • Plain yogurt to serve

Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Cook the chorizo until crispy. Remove and place to one side. Keep the fat in the pan and fry the onion, carrot and cumin for 10 minutes until soft. Add the garlic and fry for a further minute.

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Sprinkle over the paprika and sugar and cook for one minute. Then add the splash of red wine vinegar. Simmer and then stir in the lentils. Pour over the stock and chopped tomatoes.

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Stir everything together and then simmer for 30 minutes,. Blend with a hand blender and then divide between two bowls. Drizzle with the yogurt and scatter the chorizo on top.

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Spicy chicken stew with rice and beans

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Serves 2

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  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, sliced
  • 1 red peppers, deseeded and chopped
  • 2 tbsp chipotle paste
  • 400g cans chopped tomatoes
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 70g long grain rice
  • 200g pinto beans
  • 1/2 juice of a lime
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • Natural yogurt to serve

Heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the onion and pepper until soft. Stir in chipotle paste and fry for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, the chicken breasts and a tomato can full of water. Simmer for 20 minutes.

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Bring a large saucepan of water to boil and add the rice. Cook for 15 minutes, adding the beans in the final minutes. Drain well and stir in the lime juice.

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Lift the chicken onto a chopping board and shred it using two forks. Stir back into the sauce and add the sugar. Serve the rice and bean mix with a dollop of yogurt on the side.

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Chilli plants scoop first prize!

Last year I entered my chilli jam in a local food and produce competition. It came a respectable third place but I made it my mission to enter again the following year with my chillies and take first prize.

A few weeks ago the list of categories was released and I saw a new category had been added – ‘A plate of chillies’. It was time.

Today was the competition and I’m pleased to announce that I was giving first place! Go chilli plants, GO!

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Spicy bean quesadillas

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If you don’t have a griddle it doesn’t matter. You can still make quesadillas using a spatula and brute force.

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Makes 2

  • 400g mixed beans
  • 2 tbsp chipotle sauce
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 70g grated cheese
  • 4 tortillas

Drain the beans and tip into a bowl. Add a tablespoon of water, the chipotle sauce, coriander and half the cheese. Mash everything together.

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Spread two tortillas with the cheese bean mix. Top with the remaining cheese and the other tortilla. Use your hand to push them together.

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Heat a large frying pan. Microwave the quesadillas for 45 seconds so the cheese begins to melt. Then slide into the frying pan and cook for a few minutes on each side using the spatula to press them together. Cut them into wedges and serve with salad.

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Mexican breadsticks

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Another breadstick recipe but this ones a little more tricky. If you fancy something easier try my Spicy Breadsticks.

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Makes 36

  • 460g strong white bread flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp yeast
  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 4 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp finely chopped garlic
  • 1/4 finely chopped onion
  • 4 tsp olive oil
  • 300ml lukewarm water
  • 100g drained sliced jalapenos

Put the flour, salt and yeast in a bowl and mix. Tip half of the mixture into another bowl and add the chilli powder, cumin, paprika, garlic and onion. Mix and then make a well in the centre of both bowls.

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Add half the oil and half the water to one bowl and mix with your hands to form a soft dough. Sprinkle some flour on a worktop and knead the dough for 5 minutes. Put back into the bowl (cleaned and oiled) and cover with cling film. Do the same with the other bowl. Leave to rise for one hour.

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Preheat the oven to 180C. Dust two baking sheets and finely chop the jalapenos. Dry them with kitchen paper. Roll out the white dough to a rectangle 1cm thick. Press the jalapenos into the dough. Roll out the other dough to a rectangle. Place it on top of the other dough and press.

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Roll the doughs out to a large rectangle 5mm thick. Cut it in half and then cut into long strips. Roll each strip between your hands to give a candy-cane effect. Place on the baking sheets and cook for 35 minutes. Place on a wire rack and leave to cool.

 

 

 

 

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