recipes etc.
recent comments

Entries in tomato (21)


heston-ish chilli con carne with jalapeno cornbread muffins


we eat chilli quite a lot as it’s easy to cook in large batches, portion up and freeze.

i grew up eating chilli con carne with rice – it was a variation on the bolognaise recipe we used to make, just with the addition of chilli, cumin and kidney beans. the version i make these days has evolved over the years and is made without tomatoes, with a spice mix of cumin, coriander, smoked paprika, cassia and bay plus chillies, thyme and a bit of dark chocolate. we tend to eat this with soft tortillas, rolling it with salad, sour cream, guacamole, red pepper strips, cheese and (in my case) jalapenos for an extra kick of heat.

it’s almost three years since i varied my recipe but this weekend i decided to give heston blumenthal’s chilli con carne with jalapeno cornbread muffins and spiced butter a go. the recipe is from his new show, which i’ve really enjoyed – there have been 6 episodes, each showcasing a different ingredient (this was in the beef show) and i’ve got a pile of recipes that i want to try.

as you’d expect, it’s a fairly complicated recipe – there is a spiced butter (the spices are cumin, cayenne and smoked paprika); a kidney bean and vine tomato mix, which is made using a pressure cooker, with the tomato vines added for extra flavour; the chilli itself (the spicing here comes from star anise but you stir in the spiced butter partway through, and save a bit for adding at the end); and finally, the jalapeno cornbread muffins.

so, how did i get on?

Click to read more ...


lobster and linguine – part one

i love christmas, but not for the reasons you probably think. i don’t celebrate it at all which means i get to spend a few days on my own, doing whatever i feel like while (it feels like) the rest of the world dons its santa hat and settles in for a tradition-filled period of celebration and excess.

not having to think about traditional food xmas food and having only my foodie whims and foibles to take into account, i decided that lobster was on the menu this year. well, that and a good deal on frozen canadian lobster at lidl.

i had big plans – homemade ravioli stuffed with lobster or asian-flavoured dumplings to go in a spicy broth were my starting points. however, a stinking cold and a hefty dose of associated laziness saw those plans go out the window and i ended up falling back on that cupboard standby, dried pasta – linguine to be precise. twice.

this was my first lobster and linguine dish – cavolo nero cooked slowly in a mix of butter and smoked oil with garlic and chilli until it started to crisp up. this took about the same time as the pasta did to cook so i took it off the heat just before the pasta was ready and added the lobster plus a handful of oak-smoked tomatoes (it was their oil i was cooking everything in) to warm through. i then added the cooked pasta plus some of the cooking water and seasoning.

the flavours are quite rich and  work really well together as everything has a robust flavour, so nothing gets drowned out. i made a version of this last week, using smoked pancetta pieces, which was just as delicious, albeit a bit less indulgent.


roast chicken and chorizo with red and green tomatoes


having used nigel slater’s recipe for red and green tomato chutney i also wanted to try his baked chicken with (red and green) tomatoes and olives, to use up a few more of my green tomatoes.

in this the red and green tomatoes are mixed with one-third green to two-thirds ripe ones. he adds garlic, thyme and olives for flavour; i also added a handful of chorizo chunks.

this is incredibly easy to prepare (in advance if you want) and really delicious. you need something to mop up the juices though – we went for brown rice (plus cauliflower cheese) but couscous or crispy bread would be just as good.

Click to read more ...


an unusual lemon and herb dressing


having bought asparagus to make the moro scrambled eggs with prawns and asparagus i wanted to try something different with the rest. the focus of this dish is the lemon, tomato and herb dressing which nigel slater wrote about earlier this year – he describes a fresh and bright marriage of herbs and sharp citrus (you use the flesh of a lemon, finely diced and with all the pith and peel removed) which has been  tucked away in my memory ever since.

the balance of flavours works really well – there is a lot of olive oil to help reduce the impact of all that lemon flesh. i used a different combination of herbs – fennel, lemon balm, basil and tarragon – and think the recipe would work well with many combinations, just use whatever you have in.

we ate this with burgers and some tomato jam on the side.

Click to read more ...


fresh tomato and peppered pancetta pasta

this was such a simple supper to pull together and, as long as you have decent tomatoes, it’s well worth a try on a lazy sunny evening – slices of peppered pancetta fried in a little olive oil while the pasta cooks and until it starts to crisp up, add halved cherry tomatoes and a glug of white wine, let it bubble to boil off the alcohol, stir in a handful of basil and add to the cooked pasta. super simple, super delish.