Sunday, March 27, 2011

It's getting "Chilli"

 As it is getting cooler and the nights are getting chilly I thought why not share some delicious chilli inspired recipes.
So sit back and get your note book to write notes or even better get an apron on and go and have a chilli cooking night with friends.

My first Chilli recipe is this amazing chilli chutney the great thing about this is you can serve it with a piece of grilled chiclen in a burger or with some pan seared fish or bottle it in cute little jars and give away as gifts….Love that.

Cheeky chilli-pepper chutney

If you want your chutney to last for a while, make sure you have some small sterilized jars .Place your chillies and peppers over a hot barbecue, in a griddle pan or on a tray under a hot grill, turning them now and then until blackened and blistered all over. Carefully lift the hot peppers and chillies into a bowl (the smaller chillies won’t take as long as the peppers so remove them first) and cover tightly with cling film. As they cool down, they’ll cook gently in their own steam. By the time they’re cool enough to handle, you’ll be able to peel the skin off easily.
When you’ve got rid of most of the skin, trimmed off the stalks and scooped out the seeds, you’ll be left with a pile of nice tasty peppers and chillies. Finely chop by hand or put in a food processor and whiz up. Then put to one side.
8-10 fresh red chillies

• 8 ripe red peppers
• olive oil
• 2 medium red onions, peeled and chopped
a sprig of fresh rosemary, leaves picked and chopped
• 2 fresh bay leaves
• a 5cm piece of cinnamon stick
• sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 100g brown sugar
150ml balsamic vinegar

MethodHeat a saucepan and pour in a splash of olive oil. Add the onions, rosemary, bay leaves and cinnamon and season with a little salt and pepper. Cook very slowly for about 20 minutes or so, until the onions become rich, golden and sticky.

Add the chopped peppers and chillies, the sugar and the vinegar to the onions and keep cooking. When the liquid reduces and you’re left with a lovely thick sticky chutney, season well to taste. Remove the cinnamon stick and the bay leaves. Either spoon into the sterilized jars and put them in a cool dark place, or keep in the fridge and use right away. In sterilized jars, the chutney should keep for a couple of months.

For a quick and easy recipe that can be served on a platter for a dinner party or even just for one for dinner try this amazing Thai chicken recipe.

Thai-style grilled chicken (Gai yang)

Serves 8

2 tbsp finely chopped ginger (about 20gm)
2 tbsp finely chopped coriander root (about 2)
4 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1 lemongrass stalk, white part only, finely chopped
2 kg small chicken drumsticks
250 ml (1 cup) light soy sauce
1 tbsp freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp white sugar

Sweet chilli sauce
80 gm white sugar
50 ml white vinegar
4 long red chillies, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 Pound ginger, coriander root, garlic and lemongrass in a mortar and pestle, or process in a small food processor, until smooth, then transfer to a large bowl. Add remaining ingredients, mix well to coat chicken, cover and refrigerate overnight.

2 For sweet chilli sauce, combine sugar, vinegar and 125ml water in a saucepan, stir over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves. Bring to the simmer, add chilli and garlic, cook until syrupy (5-6 minutes). Season to taste with salt, cook for another minute, cool slightly, process in a food processor until smooth. Cool.

3 Preheat a char-grill or barbecue to low heat. Remove chicken from marinade and grill, turning occasionally, until cooked through (10-15 minutes). Serve hot with sweet chilli sauce.

The recipe below  does have Tortillas in it and for those ( like myself) that are intersted in making their very own Tortialla please follow the recipe below and I have added a YOU tube clip on the cooking of a Tortilla.

Fried egg, avocado and chilli Tortillas

80 ml (1/3 cup) canola oil
16 eggs
1 quantity tortillas (recipe below)
4 ripe avocados, sliced
1 cup (firmly packed) coriander, coarsely torn
6 spring onions (green part only), finely chopped
8 small red chillies, finely chopped

To serve: hot sauce and quartered limes

Optional: crumbled feta, crushed fried pork rind (chicharrón), crushed peanuts, chopped kimchi(japanese dried plum), slivers of fried chorizo, sautéed prawns, sliced pickled shallot

1 Heat 20ml oil in a large non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Add 4 eggs, fry until cooked to your liking (2-2½ minutes for soft yolk), season to taste, set aside and keep warm. Repeat with remaining oil and eggs.

2 Place eggs on tortillas, top with avocado, coriander, spring onion and chilli and enjoy.

How To Make a Tortillas

A really good soft tortilla, any purist will tell you, is made from corn which has been boiled and steeped in a solution of lime (calcium hydroxide, that is, not the citrus) to loosen the skin, washed and then ground to form a dough known as masa.

It’s very much worth making your own, because it’s dead easy, and because there’s a world of difference between a freshly made tortilla and the sort you buy in shops. A fresh tortilla needs only some fried eggs, hot sauce, avocado, spring onion, chilli and lime to make a meal, but also provides the perfect vessel for barbecued seafood, thinly sliced steak, or slow-cooked pork, greens, or whatever else your stomach desires.

The keys to tortilla perfection are getting the consistency of your dough right, then letting it sit, cooking it right and, crucially, letting the tortillas steam, wrapped in a towel, in their own heat at the table.

Tortilla making :


Serves 16
Cooking Time Prep time 20 mins, cook 15 mins (plus resting)

360 gm (2 cups) masa flour (see note)

1 Place flour in a bowl with a pinch of salt, then add 250ml warm water.

2 Mix with your hands to a soft pliable dough (2 minutes), adding more water or flour if necessary.

3 Form into a ball, cover with plastic wrap or a damp tea towel and rest for at least 20 minutes.

4 Divide dough into 16 and roll each piece into a ball.

5 Line a tortilla press (see note) with two squares of baking paper, cut to fit.

6 Working with one ball at a time, press gently but firmly in press to form a thin disc, then set aside on paper.

7 Heat a dry comal or pan over medium-high heat, peel baking paper from tortilla (be careful, it’s fragile) and cook tortilla, turning twice, until lightly browned (30 seconds on each side). Repeat with remaining tortillas.

8 Stack cooked tortillas in a basket lined with a tea towel as you go and rest to steam gently and soften slightly (3 minutes).

Note :Masa flour is available from Asian and other select grocers and The Essential Ingredient located in Prahran Market. Tortilla presses and comal griddles are available online from Monterey Mexican Foods

Something Sweet

Churro pastry is choux pastry without the eggs, with oil in place of butter. When you’re making this type of pastry, there’s a fine line between superb and mediocre.

The difference between the Spanish Churro and the Mexican Churro is that the Mexican Churro are piped with a flat piping nozzle as opposed to the ridge effect and the Mexican churro are usually eaten with a hot chocolate for breakfast.

Either way they both sound great to me.

Churros with Chilli Chocolate

Serves 6
325 gm plain flour
60 ml (¼ cup) olive oil
For deep-frying: vegetable oil
2 tspns Cayenne Pepper

250 grams Dark Chocolate

For dusting:
caster sugar

1 Sift flour and a pinch of salt into a heatproof bowl.

2 Combine oil and 450ml water in a saucepan and bring to the boil over medium-high heat. Pour over flour and beat quickly with a wooden spoon to combine.

3 Transfer mixture to an electric mixer fitted with a paddle and beat until a very smooth dough forms (2-3 minutes). If you do not have an electric mixer mixer works just as well with a wooden spoon but put some muscle into it.

4 Transfer dough to a piping bag fitted with a 2cm star nozzle and push down to remove any air bubbles in bag. Refrigerate to rest and chill (30 minutes).

5 Heat oil in a deep-fryer or deep-sided frying pan to 180C. Pipe long lengths of mixture (about 15-20cm) into hot oil, creating a swirl, and cut with scissors. Be careful as oil is hot and may spit.

6 Fry churros in batches, turning occasionally with a spider, until golden (3-5 minutes), then remove with a spider and drain on absorbent paper. Toss in a bowl with caster sugar, shaking off excess,.

In a separate  bowl melt Dark chocolate and once chococolate is melted add Cayenne pepper and stir till mixed in . Go to a secluded spot in your home and dip each soft warm Churro into the chilli chocolate and devour!!!

Laughing Chef’s Favourite local business’ of the week

Now I have already written about both of these business' before but I cannot stress enough how great they. So when you get a minute go and visit them...

Jackson Dodds

611 Gilbert Rd, West Preston (at the end of the Gilbert Road tramstop)
Mon-Fri 7am-4pm, Sat-Sun 8am-4pm
9471 1900

My favoiurite place this week is Jackson Dodds. Jackson Dodds is the new venture from "Small Block" alumni Cameron Willis and his wife Jackie. Initially anxious there would be no demand in West Preston for the kind of café that serves organic OJ and dukkah eggs, the pair have found the locals keen. Cameron makes a mean soy Chai Latte.
Go and check out Jackson Dodds...the Ricotta Pancakes with Maple Syrup and Bacon are to "die for", )pic below)

Pope Joan Cafe

79 Nicholson St, East Brunswick
Daily 7am-4pm
9388 8858

I love Pope Joan is it  the fact that you know the food is going to be great or even the coffee for that matter  or is because of the cute porcelain items on every table. Whatever your reason for visiting Pope Joan  Ben Foster and former Circa chef Matt Wilkinson won't judge you. The menu at Pope Joan uses whatever fresh produce and is reasonable priced. Right now that involves doing all sorts of delicious things with eggs and makes a creamy just right Latte.
An array of sweets including "Chocolate Brownie with berry compote" and "Mandarin and Poppyseed Cake" (pic below).
I was advised the Menu and specials can and will change depending on what is in season..gotta love that.

Next blog will be about knives and what to buy and what are essentially the best...and EASTER stuff... Until then keep on Cooking !!!

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