Posh Chilli

It’s been quite awhile since I put up a savoury recipe, so what better one to share with you than a classic:  chilli con carne.  This isn’t your regular chilli, oh no, it’s a posh one!  Well, that’s what we call it in the Domestic Abode.  And why is it posh?  Instead of using minced beef, I’ve switched it for braising /stewing steak, or if you’re in India, it’s truly posh, as you’ll need to use beef fillet.
This is one of the Domestic Prince’s favourite dishes in my repertoire, which he wolfs down in double quick time.

Posh Chilli

Serves 4 to 6 (depending how greedy you are)

Ingredients

  • 3tbsp olive oil
  • 1 kg braising / stewing steak, cut into chunks
  • 250g chorizo, cut into chunks
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp ground allspice
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne chilli pepper
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 fresh red chillies, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp tomato puree
  • 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
  • 300ml beef stock
  • 1 x 400g tin kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • salt and pepper

To serve

  • Tortilla chips
  • Sour cream
  • Grated cheese

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 140C/gas mark 1.
  2. Heat the oil in a frying pan or a large casserole dish that has a lid. Fry the beef until it’s nicely coloured. Remove the meat from the pan and set aside.
  3. Pop the chorizo into the pan, fry until it just starts to release its juices and starts to brown. Take out the chorizo and set aside with the beef.
  4. Fry the onion and garlic in the chorizo oil until the onions just start to colour.  Add the spices, chillies and tomato puree and cook for 2 to 3 mins.  Add the balsamic vinegar and chopped tomatoes.
  5. Put the beef and chorizo back in the pan along with the stock. Bring up to a simmer and cover with the lid. Transfer to the preheated oven and cook for 2 hours.
  6. Remove from the oven, add the kidney beans and pop back in for another 50 to 60 minutes.

Domestic Princess tips

  1. The chunks of steak can obviously be swapped for regular minced beef.
  2. If you want to lessen the heat of this dish, scrape out the seeds from the chillies before adding them in.
  3. If you can’t get hold of smoked paprika, use ground chilli powder instead.
  4. Check after about an hour, as you might need to add more liquid.  I either add plain boiled water, or a drop of stock.
  5. This recipe freezes really well.

What’s your favourite classic dish?

Have a lovely weekend!

With much love
The Domestic Princess
xoxo

Low Carb Lasagne

I would be lying to you if I said that I didn’t LOVE carbohydrates.  I’m not fussy when it comes to this food group:  delicious, warm crusty bread, an ice cold, crisp glass of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, a slab of Cadbury’s Dairy Milk (I can sometimes be a cheap date!), a crispy baked potato, oozing with butter and filled with baked beans and the strongest cheddar cheese I can lay my hands on, or some sort of pasta dish – I’ll take any of them; when it comes to this food group, I’m not at all discerning!  One of my favourite Saturday night suppers in London was the divine Marks & Spencer’s “Lasagne Al Forno”, which sadly cannot be bought in India.  Now, whilst I love carbohydrates, they DO NOT reciprocate their love.  Unwilling to give up my fix of lasagne, I needed to be creative and come up with a low carb version, which still satisfied my taste buds, but without the high carb content.  After a bit of playing around, this recipe definitely gave me the taste I was after, but without the 47g of carbs in one of serving of the M&S offering.  Serve with a large salad, and if you’re not a carb watcher, a large hunk of garlic bread.

Serves:  4, or 2 greedy people!

Ingredients

  • 2tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large carrot, finely chopped
  • 200g of button mushrooms, finely sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 500g of minced beef
  • 2tbsp of worcester sauce
  • 2tbsp of tomato puree
  • 1tbsp of Italian dried herbs
  • 100ml of red wine
  • 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 75ml milk
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 40g of butter
  • 40g of plain flour
  • 400ml of milk
  • 100g of strong cheddar cheese, grated
  • Pinch of grated nutmeg
  • 1 courgette (zucchini),
  • 50g of parmesan cheese, finely grated

Method

  1. Pre-heat the oven 180C.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a heavy-based frying pan over a medium to high heat.
  3. Add in the onions and fry until the onion is just starting to brown.  Add in the garlic and continue frying for 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. Add the carrots and mushrooms in and fry for a further 3 minutes.
  5. Make a well in the middle of the pan and add in the beef, use your spoon/spatula to break it up.
  6. Once all broken-up, mix in with the contents of the rest of the pan.
  7. Pop in the tomato puree and Italian herbs and stir in thoroughly.
  8. Carry on stirring until all the beef is browned.
  9. Pour in the wine, mix it in and let it cook until all the alcohol has burned off.
  10. Next, add in the tinned tomatoes and combine with the other ingredients.  Simmer over a low heat for 8 to 10 minutes, whilst constantly stirring before adding in the milk and giving a good stir.  Season as necessary
  11. To make the cheese sauce, melt the butter in a saucepan.
  12. Add the flour and stir until it forms a paste.  Cook for 1 to 2 minutes over a medium heat.
  13. Take the saucepan off the heat and add in about half the milk, whisking as you pour it in to prevent any lumps forming.
  14. Add the rest of the milk and put it back on the heat and constantly whisk.  The sauce will thicken up quite a bit.
  15. Once the sauce is nice and thick, sprinkle in the ground nutmeg and cheddar cheese and continue to stir until all the cheese has melted.
  16. Take a vegetable peeler and peel the courgette.  Still using the vegetable peeler, create long ribbons of the courgette and place to one side.
  17. Take your dish that you’re going to use (I use this 20cm one from John Lewis) and cover the bottom of it with a good thick layer of the meat sauce.
  18. Next, put a layer of the courgettes.  Make sure that all the meat is covered.
  19. Now, pour on a layer of the cheese sauce.  Keep repeating until all the meat and cheese sauces have been used up.  You want the top layer to be a layer of the cheese sauce.  I normally get around 3 layers of each in.
  20. On top of the final layer of the cheese sauce, sprinkle the grated parmesan cheese and pop in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until it’s golden brown on top.

Domestic Princess tips

  1. If making this for fussy little ones, omit the mushrooms and grate the onion and carrot, so they become undetectable.
  2. If you want to make this a more luxurious dish, swap half the milk for double cream.
  3. Not a low-carber?  Then you’ll need approximately 6 lasagne sheets.  I recommend the ones that don’t need any preparation – you just pop them on dry and in the oven it all goes.
  4. The Domestic Prince is a massive cheese fan, so if I’m feeling particularly fond of him when I’m making this, I’ll sprinkle parmesan cheese on top of each layer of the cheese sauce, to make it extra cheesy!
  5. If not using the cheese sauce immediately, put some cling film directly on top of the sauce to prevent a skin forming.
  6. When making this dish, I always make a double quantity of the cheese sauce and freeze it to use at a later date.

Do you love carbs like me, or can you take them, or leave them?  Do you follow a low-carb eating plan?

With much love
The Domestic Princess
xoxo

Creamy Tomato & Rosemary Risotto….without any cream!

There is something extremely comforting about eating risotto; it’s probably my favourite comfort food.  Many people find risotto fiddly to make and are put-off by the need to constantly stir the rice.  This is actually why I like making risotto.  Standing at the stove pouring and stirring for around 20 minutes, is actually my idea of bliss.  I find it extremely relaxing and gives me time to just “be”.  I wholeheartedly recommend it.

Even though the title of this recipe might suggest there’s cream in it, there’s actually not, the creamy texture comes from the starch molecules that are released through the constant stirring, together with the addition of the cold cubes of butter and grated parmesan cheese that are stirred in vigorously at the end, just before serving.

Serves: 4 as main, or 6 as a starter

Ingredients

  • 100g of unsalted butter
  • 1tbsp of olive oil
  • 3 shallots or 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 500g of Carnaroli, Arborio or Vialone Nano rice
  • 300ml of white wine
  • 1.2l of chicken or vegetable stock
  • 2 x 400g of tinned chopped plum tomatoes
  • 1 ½tsp of rosemary (fresh preferably), finely chopped
  • 100g of Parmesan cheese, finely grated and extra for serving
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Method

  1. Melt half of the butter and olive oil in a heavy, wide saucepan that has a lid.
  2. Add the shallots or onion and gently fry for around 5 minutes until softened.
  3. Add the rice and give it a good stir to ensure all the grains are covered with the oil and butter.  After about a minute, the rice will start to look translucent.
  4. Add the wine to the rice and keep stirring until the rice has absorbed the flavour of the wine and the harsh alcohol flavours have evaporated.
  5. In a separate saucepan, heat up the stock and keep it at a low simmer.
  6. Add a ladle of the stock to the rice.
  7. Turn the heat down and keep stirring the rice until the rice has absorbed all the stock.
  8. Add another ladle of stock and stir again.  Add the tinned tomatoes and chopped rosemary.
  9. Continue adding the stock until the rice is al dente.
  10. Once the rice is al dente, take it off the heat and add the remaining butter and Parmesan cheese.  Stir well.
  11. Have a taste and season if required.
  12. Pop the lid on the saucepan and let sit for 2 minutes.
  13. Sprinkle some more grated or shaved Parmesan on the top of the risotto and serve immediately.

Domestic Princess tips:

  1. Do not wash the rice.  The starch in the rice is essential to make your risotto creamy.
  2. Don’t be tempted to leave your post of chief stirrer – this is probably the most critical part of making a delicious risotto.  Stir, stir stir!
  3. Don’t rush the adding of the stock.  Each ladle needs to be absorbed before the next one is added.
  4. The stock must be hot when adding it to the rice.  Cold stock will result in hard, uncooked rice.
  5. As you come towards the end of the cooking process, add smaller quantities of the stock, as adding too much will mean an overcooked risotto.
  6. Start tasting the risotto around 15 to 17 minutes after adding the first ladle of stock
  7. You may not need to use all the stock; equally, you might use all of it with the rice still not cooked.  If this happens, add hot water instead of stock.
  8. Risotto should be eaten as soon as it has finished cooking, as otherwise it clumps together and can dry out as it carries on cooking.
  9. If you want to make this a vegetarian dish, choose a vegetarian Parmesan cheese.
  10. Bangaloreans, you can buy fresh Rosemary in most Namdharis and also the new supermarket in 1MG.

Please don’t be put-off by the constant stirring, it really is easy and is so satisfying to make.  Oh and did I mention absolutely delicious?  What’s your favourite comfort food?  Please share it with me in the comments box.

With much love

The Domestic Princess

xoxo

The Most Divine Chicken Pie Recipe…..EVER!

I don’t think there’s anything quite as comforting, when it comes to food, as tucking into a pie, and a homemade pie is even more sublime.  The inspiration for this chicken pie recipe comes from the Domestic Goddess herself, Nigella Lawson and has become a staple and “fall back / fail-safe” recipe in my supper repertoire.  It always receives fantastic feedback; plenty of mmms and aahhhs and completely clean plates!  Nigella’s recipe calls for short-crust pastry, however, I find it works just as well with puff pastry, and whichever you choose, I can promise you won’t be disappointed.

Serves 4

500g of ready-made short-crust or puff pastry (unless you’re a purist and want to make your own)

For the filling

  • 60g unsalted butter
  • 30g plain flour
  • 2 – 3 chicken stock cubes (I prefer these ones)
  • 325ml milk
  • 325ml double cream (heavy cream)
  • 100g frozen peas
  • 100g finely diced cooked carrots (since they’re so small, they should cook in about 2-3 minutes)
  • 400g cooked shredded chicken
  • 1 egg
Method
  1. Melt the butter over a low heat, ensuring sure that you don’t let it burn.
  2. Once melted, whisk in the flour and cook for 2 – 3 minutes.
  3. In a jug, combine the milk and cream.
  4. Take the saucepan off the heat and slowly whisk in the cream and milk mixture a little drop at a time, until it’s all been incorporated.
  5. Once it’s all been whisked in, put the saucepan back onto a medium heat and continue whisking for around 5 minutes to get rid of the starch, making sure there’s no lumps and the sauce becomes lovely and thick – it should be a wonderful glossy sauce that coats the back of a spoon.  If you feel it is too thick, keep adding drops of milk to get the consistency you’re looking for.
  6. Either pop in the gel cubes for them to dissolve, or crumble in the stock cubes and carry on whisking.
  7. Turn the heat down.
  8. In a bowl, pour boiling water over the frozen peas and leave for 1 – 2 minutes.
  9. Into the savoury white sauce, add the shredded cooked chicken, the diced cooked carrots and the drained frozen peas.
  10. Combine and keep on stirring, being careful not to bash your peas, for another 5 minutes.
  11. Tip the filling mixture into a bowl and cover with cling film directly on top of the filling.
  12. Once the mixture is cooled, pour into a pie dish.
  13. Roll the pastry out to the required shape and pop on top.
  14. Whisk an egg and paint on the top of the pastry.
  15. Using the pointy bit of the knife, cut a small cross in the middle of the pie to let any air escape.
  16. Pop into a pre-heated fan oven at 170C (gas mark 5) and cook for 30 minutes, or until the pastry is golden.

Serve with some delicious creamy mash and some tasty broccoli or any other green veg that you might fancy or have in the fridge!

Domestic Princess tips:

  1. By placing the cling film directly on top of the sauce, this prevents a skin forming – great little tip for when you’re making custard too.
  2. When egg-washing the top of the pastry, use a silcone pastry brush to avoid any hairs getting stuck in the egg wash.  I’ve had mine for a few months now and love it!  Look out for my favourite and essential kitchen gadgets in the coming weeks.
  3. For a less creamy sauce, replace the cream with milk.
  4. You could use a mix of frozen vegetables instead of the carrots and peas.
  5. Always place pastry on top of cool or cold pie filling, as otherwise you’ll end up with either soggy or crisp as a board pastry.

Let me know if you make this and how it turns out.  I’d also love to know what is your fail-safe / fall back recipe?  And are pies one of your comfort foods?

With much love

The Domestic Princess

xoxo

%d bloggers like this: