The Sunday Supper team isn’t adverse to a little competition so today we are excited to share a chili contest. We have all been challenged to share our best chilli recipe and it is up to you to vote on which one you think is the best. After reading through everyone’s titles I am so excited to say that competition seems to bring out the best in us because we have come up with some incredible sounding chilies.
And just to make things interesting, there will be prizes involved. The dish with the most votes at the end of the voting period will get one ticket to the 2014 Food and Wine Conference, being held once again in sunny Orlando, Florida this July + a $25 gift card. If the person with the most votes is unable to attend, then they will still get to keep the gift card, but the ticket will be passed on to the person with the next highest votes.
How do you vote? We will be holding votes through Thursday February 27th on the Sunday Supper website. Choose a tried and true one that you have attempted or let your taste bud imagination make the choice. This is such an incredible list I know it won’t be an easy choice to make.
What I have decided to try and tempt you with today was an attempt to step a little outside my box of regular chili thinking. I have actually already shared some of my favourite chili recipes so I wanted to challenge myself by creating something completely new that I had never tried before. Seeing as how my natural instincts is to go more towards Asian flavours I decided to play around with Hoisin sauce. The result was incredible but definitely a 9 out of 10 on the heat scale. So make sure you serve it with a nice big scoop of sour cream for those nervous about heat.
Hoisin Beef Chili
1 400g (14.5oz) tin diced tomatoes
65g (1/4 c.) tomato paste
1-2 Tbsp Sriracha sauce
80g (1/4 c) Hoisin sauce
1 Tbsp chili powder
2 tsp salt
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp oregano
1 tsp cocoa powder
Freshly cracked pepper to taste
1 Kilo (2 lbs) top round or beef chuck, cubed
2 bell peppers, chopped
1 large onion , chopped
8 garlic cloves, minced
2 4oog (14.5 oz) tins kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 Tbsp fresh chopped cilantro
*Optional: Sour cream.
I have a confession to make, a few months ago I decided to start eating healthier and reduced my intake of carbs and started working out. I was so happy as I was feeling great and seeing results. But yet again life got in the way and derailed me. I get stuck in this pattern every time. I set out with such determination to change my life and finally lose the weight and it lasts for maybe a month. I have no will power and sadly neither does my husband so we always seem to derail our healthy goals. I keep thinking that I must not really want it badly enough if I keep failing at it but I know that isn’t true. I do want to be healthier and to not pass on my bad habits to my daughter. What is annoying is that the reason I keep falling off the wagon isn’t because I don’t enjoy eating healthy. I actually would often choose some of the healthier meals when given a choice, it is all down to time and money. Cutting out carbs increased our family budget quite a bit. We found that our portion sizes had to be a bit larger in order to feel full and eating that much fresh veggies just ended up costing more. But I know the cost of my health is far greater then the financial cost of buy more produce. I am not entirely sure what it is going to take to make these changes permanent as I have been a yoyo health eater for years now. But yet again I am climbing back on to the wagon. I stared off the week with this stew, similar to a stroganoff, and served it over a bed of greens from my garden. It was yet another reminder how good and filling healthy food can be. Lets hope this time I stick with it. I will let you know how my progress is going over the weeks. Maybe talking about it more on here will keep me accountable.
Can you believe that there was once a time when I didn’t like bacon? Now there is a sensible reason why I went off liking it, I once worked in a kitchen where every Sunday I had to cook 20-30 lbs of bacon for Sunday Breakfast and after a while just the smell of bacon made me feel sick. So for almost 15 years I couldn’t stand to even have it cooking in my house.
My poor husband.
But I gave bacon a try again for the first time last year and my eyes were opened back up to the taste I have been missing all these years. Although I will say I prefer English bacon over American streaky bacon which has a much higher fat content. But I am finally back on the dark side and loving it.
Finally the sun is shinning and we are getting the much needed spring weather that we have so needed. I have been desperate to get cracking on my neglected gardening. This weekend I pretty much stayed covered in dirt and loved every minute of it. I just finished putting in broccoli, curly kale, beets, cauliflower, french beans, peas, 3 types of tomatoes and peppers. So far my tomatillo, courgette (zucchini) and squash seedlings haven’t sprouted like but I am hoping this weather will help encourage them.
Do you do much gardening? I remember for years thinking I had a black thumb because I just seemed to kill everything I tried to grow. But I know understand that I just didn’t know what I was doing. Learning more about growing and taking care of plants has shown me that I can do it. And I love it so much. I would spend every day out in my garden if I could. Feeling the warmth of the sun on my back and my hands in the soil is so therapeutic.
The one thing that I struggle growing are parsnips and carrots. My soil is very rocky and things like carrots and parsnips really do better in less rocky conditions. I made an attempt last year but I have decided to hold off on trying again until I can either build an above ground garden with soil without rocks or we finally sift out some of the rocks. So until then when I want to enjoy amazing dishes like this cottage pie with parsnip mash I am going to have to sick to the parsnips I get from the market.
If you do garden what is the one thing that you struggle to grow in your garden?
Cottage Pie with Parsnip Mash
250g (1/2 lb) lean minced beef
2 onions, chopped
2 garlic, minced
4 carrots (about 450g/1lb), peeled and coarsely grated
2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbsp tomato purée
2 beef stock, cubes dissolved in 425ml/ 3/4 pint boiling water
1 tsp cornflour
350g (3/4 lb) potatoes peeled and cubed
350g (3/4 lb) parsnips, peeled and chopped
2-3 Tbsp skimmed milk
Recipe adapted from BBC Good Food
Sometimes Waitrose, the grocery store I shop at, has great offers on their vegetables that are close to their sell by date. I always head to the section of the store to browse and see what catches my eye. Last week I was excited to see a packet of shitake mushrooms, normally 1.50 reduced to .60! I knew these needed to be the feature in my next crock pot creation. So I decided to throw together a beef and mushroom stew. Now really any mushrooms will do for this recipe. But we are big fans of the delicate taste of oyster mushrooms. Oh who am I kidding we love all mushrooms, but it was a real treat as I often stick to chestnut mushrooms which are cheaper.
What is your favourite way to serve mushrooms?
Slow Cooker Beef and Mushroom Stew
500g (1 lb) beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 Tbsp flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
(1 1/2 c.) beef broth
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
1 tsp paprika
150g (5oz) oyster mushrooms, sliced (any mushrooms will do)
2 medium carrots, sliced
2 medium potatoes, diced
1 small white onion, chopped