Vegetarian Chilli con Carne Recipe

Chilli is one of the best dishes with which to experiment – if an ingredient is dark, rich and flavourful, it can probably be put to good use in this classic American dish. Indeed, Stout Chilli was on our menu not so long ago and the intense, rich notes of the Bristol Beer Factory’s ‘Milk Stout’ resonated wonderfully with the meat. Vegetables, however, seem to work better with something lighter than stout, so it seemed only natural to develop a recipe for Golden Ale Vegetarian Chilli.

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Stout Chilli

St. Patrick’s Day is upon us once more and though the Irish appear to have forgotten how to play rugby – they got stuffed by the Italians – this stout chilli is certainly cause for celebration. Indeed, as you may have inferred, ‘stout’ refers not to the build of the dish, though it is rather meaty, but to its contents. Guinness is, of course, the most popular stout and is one that, as popular opinion would have it, the Irish drink almost perpetually from birth. Could there be a more perfect St. Patrick’s Day meal? Probably not.

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Does anyone else feel that sweet chilli sauce has become so popular it has all but entered the realm occupied by ketchup, mayonnaise and brown sauce?

To be honest, up to this point I’d never been the biggest fan of sweet chilli sauce, but after making it the reason soon became clear. Homemade sweet chilli sauce simply has masses more flavour that the relatively insipid, oddly coloured tat you can purchase in one’s local supermarket.

It’s also rather ironic that making your own sweet chilli sauce takes around the same length of time as it takes to visit a local shop – it really is that quick. Indeed, from beginning to end, this recipe probably took between ten and fifteen minutes – no time at all.

It really is testament to how lazy the general populous has become when it comes to cooking. Please buck the trend, as I have, and make your own sweet chilli sauce. I shall make it worth your while tomorrow, with yet another gastronomic wonder.

Thai Sweet Chilli Sauce

Makes 1 small bottle, the recipe is easily scalable

Ingredients:

• 250ml water

• 2 red chillies, seeds are optional depending on individual taste

• 2 cloves of garlic

• 3 tbsp sugar

• 2 tsp corn flour (starch)

• Salt

Method:

1. First, you’ll want to blend the water, chillies, garlic and sugar together in a food processor. Transfer the resultant mixture, which should be a little chunky, into a saucepan and cook gently for 3-4 minutes. Once the mixture has thickened a little season it and add the corn flour which should be mixed with a tiny little water to make a roux. Cook for a further 3-4 minutes before allowing to cool. Once cool transfer the sauce to a jar or bottle and refrigerate. If the sauce turns to a jelly simply add a little more water without heating.

Cost: Sweet chilli sauce, like most sauces, is rather over-priced in general. A bottle of this sauce, as made by the market leader, costs £1.29. One might think that price fairly reasonable, however this sauce when made at home should set one back a mere 15-20p for roughly the same amount. Everything is relative, my friends.

As I’ve already posted an extremely delicious Beef Chilli I thought it would be best to share my recipe for the vegetarian version. To be honest it must be admitted that over the past couple of weeks I’ve fallen off the band wagon of health, so my next few posts shall be dedicated to rectifying this relapse. I think it’s the shock of doing lots of shifts in work that has forced me into my old and particularly sordid ways. However, autumn food is generally of the sort that can be cooked in advanced and left on the stove for heating up and or dipping into – which is why it is also some of my favourite.

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Penne Alla'rrabiata

Recently I’ve been providing more complicated recipes that aren’t on the cheaper side of the frugal scale. Whilst they are still very cheap, I can do better, so I will. There really is nothing nicer than a good, traditional pasta sauce, with simple, yet delicious flavours that don’t try to do anything too complicated. For this reason I have found that basic pasta sauces based around tomato always taste better without any tomato puree or balsamic vinegar, to name but two examples. It is my opinion that the most that should be added are more basic ingredients, chilli or basil for instance.

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