Hoisin Beef Chili #SundaySupper

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.

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Aubergine and Chickpea Curry #SundaySupper

I love spices. I have over 30 different kinds of spices and seasonings in my kitchen. One of my favourite things to do when I am traveling is to find local spices to take home and try. So a theme all about spices was right up my alley. Now some people hear the work spicy and they instantly think of spicy hot, but spicy foods can mean so much more then just hot. It is also about flavour.

Now I have wanted to add to my retour or Indian recipes for a while but to be honest it is one of those cuisines that does sometimes intimidate me, especially veggies ones. I have had some bad experiences with recipes turning out not so great so I have hesitated delving as deep as I would like into that culinary world. But I had some aubergines that were calling for me to do something unique with them so I decided today was the day.

I will admit that I questioned whether or not this would work, I don’t know why. I love aubergines, I love chickpeas there was no reason this wouldn’t taste good and yet I still doubted.

So what was the result?

This curry dish has now gone down as my all time favourite none meat curry dish that I have ever cooked at home. It is INCREDIBLE, so full of flavour you won’t know what hit you.

Aubergine and Chickpea Curry

800g (28oz) aubergine (about 4-5 small-medium sized aubergine) cut into small cubes
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp minced ginger
2 red chillies, seeds removed and roughly chopped
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1 Tbsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
400g cooked chickpeas
400mL (15.5 oz) coconut milk
3-4 ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
salt & pepper to taste
1/2 tsp garam masala

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Tarka Dhal

*Edited
Sorry for the long silence. Between getting sick and starting a second job I just haven’t had the time to sit down and blog as much as I would like. I am hoping this week to start carving out more time to dedicate to the blogging world so I can get back into things. This post accidentally went out on Thursday minus any images and after I discovered it went out I quickly took it down. So now I am over due it to you so here we go.

A few weeks ago someone asked if anyone had some good Indian Curry recipes, I thought to myself ‘Oh of course I do, I make curry a few times a month’. But then I looked through my posts and I realized I didn’t have as many as I thought I did. Shame on me.

Curry is the national dish of in England and it is a cuisine that we love and enjoy every month. So I am rectifying the lack of good Indian curry dishes with this fantastic lentil curry, Tarka Dhal. I never knew how much I could love lentils until I tried my first lentil curry, which admittedly wasn’t Indian but Malaysian. When I was 14 we went to Malaysia and I was first introduced to lentil curry. I had only eaten one type of curry dish up until that point but I discovered curry is so much more then just one dish. I have to admit I had no idea how vast the curry world was. The possibilities are endless, there are sweet curries, spicy curries, creamy curries, tomato based curries, vegetable curries, meat curries, I really could go on. If I posted a curry recipe every day I probably wouldn’t run out of unique recipes to share after several months. I could almost guarantee that if you don’t like curry there is probably a curry out there for you. Different cultures have their own versions and their own mixture of spices. I was recently introduced to North African curries and now have a new culinary cuisine that I can’t live without.

One of the wonderful things about a Dhal curry (lentil curry) is they are very cheap to make. I keep all of these ingredients on hand so recipes like this make their way into my kitchen frequently when my budget is at its tightest. This recipe was a new one for my to try and I have to admit I was slightly confused by some of the original instructions and I had to make a few changes to match what I had on hand. I am a bit confused by the original recipe’s instructions for what you do with the chillies. The result is a bit strange of a process and I am not sure what it adds but I will say this tasted wonderful so I guess in the end that is all that matters. Right?

Tarka Dhal

250g (1 1/2 c.) red lentils, rinsed until the water runs clear
1 litre (4 1/4 c.) water
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 Tbsp cumin seeds
1 small onion, chopped
3-4 whole green chillies, pricked with a knife (my chillies were large so I just added 2)
2cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and cut into thin strips
3 garlic cloves, peeled and left whole
3 tomatoes
3/4 tsp ground turmeric
3/4 tsp garam masala
1 1/2 tsp ground coriander
Adapted from BBC Food

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Homemade Falafel #SundaySupper

Happy first Sunday Supper of the Year! I am so excited about this week’s topic because we have all decided to attempt a bucket list recipe. I am sure you have at least one of those dishes that you keep telling yourself you will make but never get to it, or like mine you have attempted it but failed miserably. I think it is so important to always challenge yourself in the kitchen because it is the only way you can grow as a cook. If you never step out side of your comfort zone then you run the risk of getting stuck in a cooking rut. Actually this can be true for any area of your life. So if you do only one thing this year, “resolution wise”, I challenge you to choose to do at least one thing that is outside of your comfort zone.

Now onto the falafel. First of all I want to say that while I was browsing around trying to find a new recipe, the last one I tried we didn’t like, I noticed a lot of bloggers describing these as a vegetarian meatball or vegetarian patty. While they are correct in that this is vegetarian friendly I would say this is not the best way of describing these tasty morsels. I know many meat eaters that the second you even utter the words, vegetarian, they refuse to even try it. Countries where this is served do not serve this as a vegetarian option, it just is a regular dish that they eat that happens to not contain meat. So don’t sell these short. Whether it is served as an appetizer or, our favourite, with some salad in pita with hummus, this is a wonderful recipe full of nutrients and flavour.

Also included in this recipe I wanted to share a little tip I use to not only make my life easier but to eat healthier. I am sure by now everyone is well aware that tinned fruits, vegetables and beans are not that good for you, nor are they a cheaper option. For example one 500g (17oz) bag of dried chickpeas cooked produces just over 1000g of cooked chickpeas which comes out to about 4 tins, drained. At the store it costs me .79 for 1 tin of chickpeas while a bag of dried chickpeas costs only 1.09 that is 2/3 more expensive. It might not seem a lot in the long run but trust me when I say it is because of small changes like this that I have reduced our food budget. Plus you know your family is eating a healthier product not eating out of tins which often have chemicals and other not so good things in them.

Falafel

475g (2 c.) cooked chickpeas
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
3 Tbsp of fresh parsley, chopped
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp cumin
2 Tbsp flour
Salt
Pepper
Oil for frying
Recipe from Mideastfood.about.com

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Happy New Year! Enjoy a bowl of Chicken Tortilla Soup with some exciting news *Review*

Happy New Year everyone! I can’t believe another year has gone by so quickly. I am so excited for 2013 and all it has in store for me and Small Wallet, Big Appetite. This year I will begin content writing for a great parenting blog Mama.Mommy.Mom and I am so excited to join the team. I will also be undertaking another adventure that I want to share with you.

Let me start off by saying as a blogger one of the perks is that sometimes companies as your to review their products. This can be great for me and you the reader because it can introduce us to new products and items. I am very picky about what I do review and I try to make sure that the products fit with Small Wallet, Big Appetite. So when HooRag contacted me and asked me to review their tubular bandana my first thought was, this won’t fit. But I have big news for 2013 and it will involve having to wear something to keep my hair within health and safety guidelines so I thought this would be a fun way to announce it. First of all HooRag tubular bandanas are really cute and can be a simple way to keep your hair out of your face and gulp…food. I am not like my sisters in the way they can take things like a simple piece of fabric and somehow tie it up into their hair and have it look fabulous. I am what I call hair ignorant, my hair is either straight or in a pony tail, not very cute. So I had a lot of fun playing around with my new HooRag and trying out the different ways to do it.

So now the question is how does this tie into my news?

Have you guessed it?

Well I am finally taking a leap of faith and doing something I have only dreamed of. 2013 is going to be the year that I open a food stand in the market and hopefully that will one day lead to opening my own restaurant. My stall will serve Mexican Food, yes I am going to help teach Newbury what California Mexican food should taste like. i.e. it should NOT taste like those Old El Paso mixes.

Eek! I am both excited and terrified. I have never done anything like this before and there are so many things I need to do, including getting my food and safety certificate. And I have to say I am happy to know I can wear my cute HooRag instead of a hair net.

So in celebration of my news I thought I would share a dish I have been working on, Tortilla Soup. Tortilla Soup is one of those soups where everyone has their own version. I don’t think I have ever been to a restaurant or someone’s house where it was served the same way. I fell in love with a version that my aunt served us when she was living in Mexico and I have been working on adapting her recipe. It is going to be so much better when I can buy the right chilies wholesale but I have to say for not having the right chilies this soup turned out wonderful.

So once again Happy New Year from Small Wallet, Big Appetite. Thank you for joining in on the adventure in 2012 and I hope you will continue to enjoy the adventure in 2013.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

2 boneless chicken breast halves,
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp ground coriander
480mL (2 c.) Chicken stock
155g. (1 c.) whole corn kernels, cooked
10g (1/4 c.) chopped fresh coriander (cilantro)
crushed tortilla chips
sliced avocado
sour cream
grated cheese *optional
1 can *Mexican Red Sauce*
or 3 Dried red ancho chili’s
water

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