Fancy Some Chilli? Ep 12 of Along The Lanes

Vero’s Warming winter chilli recipes for meat-eaters and veggies

This is a very loose recipe, so use your creativity and use the veggies and meats or meat-alternatives you enjoy the most.

Today’s chillies both contained:

  • Onions and garlic with olive oil to get started
  • A mix of courgette (zucchini to the American-speaking viewers), mushrooms, tomatoes, peppers, carrots, roasted butternut squash… but you could add green beans or any fresh veg you have at hand
  • Beans; Butter beans, canellini beans, red kidney beans and one tin of Heinz baked beans
  • Tomato paste and a tin of chopped tomatoes (unless you have tons of fresh ones at hand, of course!)
  • A good glug of red wine (and another for the cook!)
  • A splash of Worcestershire sauce, balsamic vinegar and a squeeze of ketchup

In the veggie one, I used 100g of soya mince. In the meaty one, I went all out with a mix of pork sausage meat, turkey mince and ground beef mince. Choose a combination that makes you happy – we’ve been known to throw in leftover pulled pork or ribs meat!

Start by frying off the onions and garlic, then add the meat and cook it until it catches just a bit and starts browning nicely. Add a glug of wine and let it mostly evaporate. Add in the veggies from the hardest to the softest, and let them cook down a bit.

Once the veggies are partially cooked, add the beans, tomato paste, tinned tomatoes, spices – and the soya mince if usnig the dry version – and mix it all together.

Give it plenty of time; An hour or two will allow the flavours to merge together. Leave to cool, if you can help it, or grab a nice big bowl to enjoy!

We love to serve it with steamed rice or tortilla chips. Even small amounts of leftovers are great in a burrito wrap with rice, guacamole and cheese. So tasty! 😀

The tastiest homemade chicken nuggets recipe ever

It’s Sunday and I’ve got tons to do, but I couldn’t help taking a break to make some yummy homemade chicken nuggets. These were inspired by a Sainsbury’s recipe I found a few years ago when they started making these tiny meal ideas cards you can pick up on your way out. It’s evolved a bit since, getting tastier every single time we have them.

The chicken nuggets are as healthy as you want to make them, and leave plenty of room for creativity – and whatever you have in your cupboards.

Vero’s homemade chicken nuggets

Ingredients

  • Chicken strips, chopped into large bite size pieces
  • Plain fat free yogurt
  • Juice of half a lime or lemon
  • Fresh mint or coriander, chopped finely
  • Bread, preferably a little bit on the dry side
  • A handful of crisps of your choice (I usually use Pringles)
  • Parmesan, grated
  • A bit of your favourite spices (I put in sweet smoked paprika, Aromat salt and pepper

Let’s get cookin’

Turn the oven on to 190 degrees celcius and find yourself a baking tray. Mix the yogurt, lime/lemon juice and mint/coriander and set aside in a bowl.

Put your stale bread, crisps, Parmesan cheese and spices into a food processor and whizz to turn into breadcrumbs.

Now, time to start the action chain. Take your pieces of chicken, dip them into the herbified yogurt, then into the breadcrumbs. Cover with breadcrumbs and press the mountain on top of the chicken to make sure it’s well covered. Put the piece down on the baking tray. Continue until you’ve done all the pieces.

Put in the oven and turn after about 10 minutes. Usually, I leave them in for about 15 minutes, but all depending on the size of the pieces and the mood your oven is in, you may need more or less. Just cut one piece in half when you suspect it might be ready, and for Dog’s sake, don’t leave them in til they go dry! 🙂

Enjoy with some Fiery Guava sauce or some fresh yogurt and mint sauce. (Just don’t reuse the one you used to cover the raw chicken in, that’s not good for you!)

What’s that I hear you say? Om nom nom nom! That’s right!

Asda makes cooking fish easier

Over the past few years, I’ve written quite a few posts about my amazement at many people’s fear of cooking unknown foods, resulting in Britain households cooking on average 4 meals each.

But while watching Hell’s Kitchen (the Marco Pierre White version, not the Gordon Ramsay one), which is a worthless show by the way, I saw an interesting advert by Asda which got me thinking.

Fish is a type of food many people have issues with. It’s wet. It’s slimey. It looks at you funny with its beady eyes. It can smell funny sometimes. So Asda found a low-cost solution for that problem.

They simply put the fish in a sealed bag which can be put straight into the oven, but also add a few bits of herbs and some lemon. This means a non-foodie can easily get a lovely steamed-in-the-bag meal without the hassle of touching fish.

Asda didn’t need to reinvent cooking or teach anyone to cook. Simply remarkable.