Posts Tagged chilli

Butternut and Chili Soup

Butternut soup madebyjayne.com

I can be very forgetful, its something I worry about occasionally but then I remember that I’ve been the same way for many years so I hope its more the sign of a busy brain rather than a declining one. Occasionally my forgetfulness can be a good thing, like when I made this soup. I wanted to make a butternut squash soup that was not as sweet as they often are so I decided to include chipotle powder to mine to add a hot smokiness. I went on to get the ingredients together and chopped my vegetables, including a red chili pepper. When preparing the soup as soon as I stirred the chipotle powder in, it occurred to me that I already had a chili pepper in the pan! When chopping that red chilli I had forgotten I was adding the chipotle despite the chipotle been the main reason I was making the soup! I stood staring at the pan but it was too late to do anything other than cross my fingers and hope my tongue would survive!

This is a hot soup,  but I loved it! The smoky chipotle compliments the sweet butternut really well. If you don’t like food so hot, I wouldn’t add that extra chili pepper, just stick with the chipotle. However if you don’t mind some heat go for both! I found the soup somehow less hot the next day.

Butternut and Chili soup

ingredients

  • 1 medium butternut squash, de seeded and cut into chunks
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 1/2 red chili
  • 1/2 tsp chipotle powder
  • 500 ml stock, vegetable or chicken

method

  1. Put the chunks of butternut into a roasting tray and pour over 1 tbsp of the olive oil, stir so all the butternut gets coated in the oil. sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast in a preheated oven 200 C, 400 F, Gas 6 for around 40 minutes until the butternut is soft and the edged starting to brown.
  2. Heat the other tbsp of olive oil in a large saucepan and sauté the onion, celery and chili pepper  over a medium heat until the onion is translucent and beginning to soften.
  3. Add the chipotle powder to the onion mixture and stir to combine.
  4. Add the stock, mix well and simmer for 15 minutes until the celery is softened.
  5. Add the roasted butternut squash to the pan
  6. Pour the mix into a blender and blend until smooth.
  7. Add salt to taste and more stock if you like the soup more runny.

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Fresh Salsa

Cinco De Mayo (the 5th of May) doesn’t mean much in the UK, unless you are my cousin Celia whose birthday it is today! In America Cinco De Mayo is a holiday celebrating Mexican heritage. Growing up I remember doing the Mexican Hat Dance at school and looking forward to whacking the pinata at the end of the day, the eventual explosion of sweets/candy so exciting! We had tacos for dinner at home, it was a day of yummy food, like most celebrations!

As it is Cinco De Mayo today I thought it was the perfect day for a little salsa! This is just a few ingredients which quickly combine to make a salsa that will liven up anything from crisps to sandwiches or as a little spice on the side of your plate! Fresh salsa does not compare with the ready-made version in a jar, this will blow your taste bud socks off! It’s easily played around with if you want it hotter, milder, less onion. The olive oil isn’t essential, not traditional but, I think, adds a nice flavour and softens the sharpness of the lime and onion.

Salsa

  • 1 large beefsteak tomato (or 2-3 medium), chopped into small cubes
  • 1/2 an onion, finely chopped
  • 1 red chilli, finely chopped, seeds too if you dare
  • Juice from 1/2 a lime
  • Splash of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Small handful of fresh Coriander, finely chopped
  • Sea salt and Fresh ground pepper to taste
  1. Add all of the chopped ingredients to a bowl and gently stir to combine.
  2. Test for seasoning, adding more salt and pepper to taste.

This will keep for several hours, covered in the fridge. It is best eaten on the day its made.

With the coriander used in this recipe in mind I am linking this with the Herbs on Saturday blog challengeon @KarenBurnsBooth blog Lavender and Lovage.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Guacamole

I’ve had a real Mexican theme going on with my cooking recently. The theme wasn’t planned but I went to Leith’s cookery school for a Mexican cooking class on Friday so I think subconsciously I’ve been in the mood for all things Mexican. I have memories of eating wonderful Mexican food while growing up in California, my father made the best tacos! While I was the happiest girl ever when “Old El Paso” came to the UK it’s the fresher, more authentic, less processed Mexican food I really want so I was really excited about the cookery class! We cooked some lovely things on Friday, one of the most impressive things was the whole box of ripe avocados they had! When do you ever see that here? I can hardly ever get avocados from the supermarket for use on the same day, I find markets better for having riper and cheaper avocados otherwise I have to be organised and buy them a few days before I need them. We made chilled avocado soup in the class, it was good but to be honest not really my thing also the lovely teacher did ask that her recipes not be published. So today I am writing my recipe for guacamole. I adore avocados, apparently I was weaned on them! Guacamole is one of my favourite ways to use them. It’s so easy to make your own, all you need is a chopping board, knife and a bowl! Chop everything, add to the bowl, mix and its done! If you have never made your own do try it, it’s so much fresher and nicer than ready-made guacamole. I use it in tacos, as a sandwich filling, as a healthy lunch with some chopped carrots and celery. Its delicious spread on crispy toast. As well as being delicious avocados are really good for you too they are a good source of potassium and folate as well as vitamin E. They apparently have anti cancer properties, can help lower your cholesterol as well as lowering the chance of strokes and heart disease.

Once the avocados are cut they do go brown, the lime juice in the recipe does help to prevent this. A long time ago I read that if you put the avocado stones back into to the guacamole when it’s prepared it wont go brown. I don’t know why but this really works so don’t throw away the stones, pop them into the guacamole when its done, cover with cling film/glad-wrap and it will happily stay in the fridge until you need it.

Guacamole

  • 2 Avocados
  • 1/2 a red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 chilli, (red or green as you prefer), finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • juice of 1/2 a lime
  • a small handful of coriander, chopped
  • Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
  1. Halve the avocados, reserving the stones. Scoop the avocado flesh from the skin with a spoon, put into a bowl and roughly smash with a fork. Do not puree the avocado you want some chunks and texture.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and give a quick stir to incorporate everything.
  3. If not using right away pop the stones into the guacamole and cover with cling film. Store in the fridge until needed.

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Chocolate Chili Cupcakes

Two weeks ago I went to my first book launch! I had such a nice day!

I started my blog when I did a recipe test for Vanessa Kimbell. She was looking for people to test the recipes from her upcoming cook book Prepped! It was the most scary but fun thing Id done for ages! Little did I know I would be lucky enough to test more recipes and then get to go to the Prepped book launch. As a recipe tester I wore pink along with other recipe testers at the launch! It was lovely to meet some of the other recipe testers and so many others. Any nerves I may have had disappeared with each friendly new person I met! There were lots of lovely treats made from Prepped, such as Chocolate Raspberry cake, Victoria Sponge with Cardamom Rose Cream & Rhubarb. There were Cookies, Chocolate, Vanilla &  Black pepper Cupcakes and more! It was all delicious, of course I had to try everything, it would have been rude not too!

I took some Chili Chocolate Cupcakes to the book launch. The recipe is from the book Prepped, although Id tested some recipes this was the first of many recipes I will be making from my own copy of the book. I must mention how beautiful the Prepped book is. From the beautiful bright pink cover to the gorgeous photos and inspired recipes  inside, it  really is such a lovely book. Well done to Vanessa!

Anyway the cupcakes, they were adventurous for me. Not only is there chili in the cake but also beetroot, neither of which Id used in sweet cooking before. The results were great, the cake is moist and light. I couldn’t detect the beetroot taste that I had expected! The chili leaves a slight warming of the throat after you swallowed the cake, thoroughly pleasing, I thought! The cupcakes have a chocolate ganache filling, (you can double this recipe and make gorgeous truffles with the other half!). To finish the cupcakes are topped with a smooth chocolate icing. Delicious! I will definitely be experimenting with mixing chili and chocolate again!

The recipe for the cupcakes is on Vanessa’s blog www.Prepped.co.uk  The recipe on the blog is for a large chocolate cake but use a large cupcake pan and you will get 16 cupcakes.

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