November 20, 2013


Finally, it happened.

Finally, I got the urge to get back into my kitchen, turn the radio up, pour a huge glass of wine and make something new. This hasn't happened in ages and I've really missed it (and to be honest i was getting a little worried). Don't get me wrong, we have been eating (mainly tacos I'll admit) but I just haven't seen any recipes that I was desperate to give a go - until the other night. I pulled down my Kitchen & Co book again & whipped up their veggie chilli. It's bloody good, and the way they recommend you serve it with wraps, fresh guac and salads was awesome. 
When i'm testing out a new recipe, I like to do as I'm told the first time around and this time it really paid off. It was like a burrito / chilli mash-up and one I'll be making until the cows lentils come home (see what I did there? Genius).

This is perfect winter grub, ideally eaten in front of a roaring fire. All together now, "ahhhhhhh".
Recipe from Kitchen & Co

You will need (serves 6):
- 200g pearl barley
- 200g green lentils
- 200ml fresh filter coffee
- 3 large dried chillies
- Olive oil
- 1 large white onion, halved & sliced
- 1 tbsp smoked paprika
- 1 tbsp cumin
- 1 tbsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
- 4 large cloves of garlic, sliced
- 2 fresh red chillies, deseeded & sliced
- 2 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes
- 1 x 400g tin of red kidney beans, drained & rinsed
- 2 jarred roasted peppers, halved & sliced (optional)
- Vegetable stock (approx 750ml)

and to serve:
- Flour tortillas, warmed 
- 400g cheddar cheese, grated
- soured cream
- fresh guacamole - homemade is always best!
- gem lettuces, shredded
- 1 bunch coriander, chopped
- fresh lime halves to squeeze

And you will need to do this:
1. Preheat your oven to 160/GM3.
2. Soak the pearl barley and lentils together in a big bowl of cold water and set aside. Pour the fresh coffee over the dried chilli's and leave them to soak.
3. Heat the oil in a large ovenproof casserole pot over a low heat. Add your onions, smoked paprika, cumin, cayenne pepper and ground cinnamon and cook gently, stiring often for about 15 minutes.
4. Once the 15 minutes have passed, the onions should be nice and soft. Add the garlic and fresh chillies and mix.
5. Next, remove the dried chillis from the coffee mixture, and slice (no need to remove the seeds, just the tops). Add to the pan along with the coffee, tinned tomatoes, kidney beans, drained lentils and pearl barley. If you are using the jarred peppers, add them here also.

6. Top the pan up with enough stock to cover all the pulses comfortably. Put a lid on and cook in the oven for about an hour. You'll know the chilli is done when the lentils are soft but they still have a little bite left to them - do not let it turn to mush as it will ruin it. Season well & serve with all the sides or spoon over an oven baked jacket topped with soured cream.

and here's a treat for you - I often get asked what my kitchen is like (!) Well, let me tell you this - it is pink, very tiny and i hardly have any work space at all, team that with the fact that I am the messiest cook out there and you get this! A new series if you will:

this is what the kitchen looked like after:

and I always cook listening to something. This time, it was this podcast.

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