“Smoking Chilli Con Carne” from “Virgin to Veteran”

Peter: What are we having tonight then?

Anna: Smoking chilli con carne.

Peter: Smoking? What makes it ‘smoking’?

Anna: Glad you ask. I had to griddle the chillis first before making the sauce. To give them a smokiness.

Peter: Can’t you just use smokey chillis instead?

Anna: Good question. I do use chipotles in my usual ‘posh’ chilli. That is, the chilli I do on weekends or special occasions, rather than my fail-safe, quick and dirty weeknight chilli.

Peter: This is drier than your usual weeknight chilli.

Anna: You mean less sauce? Is that a good thing?

Peter: Yes. This tastes professional.

Anna: That might be because I had to strain the sauce through a sieve. Not something I would normally do, and I have to admit to being rather suspicious of this step in the recipe. But I think it worked.

Peter: I think I prefer this chilli to our usual one, but maybe that’s becuase I wasn’t cooking it. It didn’t seem so bean-heavy either and I liked the addition of the fresh coriander.

Anna: I think this is a keeper then.

“Smoking Chilli Con Carne” from “Virgin to Veteran”

“Quesadillas” from “Plenty”

Anna: We decided to try this as both of us do Bill’s quesadillas as a weeknight staple. Don’t we Kirstin?

Kirstin: Yes, we do.

Anna: So, it’s a Thursday night Quesadilla-off!  Though technically we’re only making the Ottolenghi recipe.  It’s been a bit of a faff to make, it’s fair to say.

Kirstin: Yep, Bill wins for simplicity.  Easily.  But his salsa is crap. We sound like we compare everything to Bill.

Anna: That’s because we always cook from Bill’s books, so we inevitably compare.  It’s just the way it is.  I love the black bean paste, that’s an improvement on my usual quesadilla formula, though again it involves faff like having to wash up a blender.  Not something I’d do if I was cooking on my own on a weeknight.

Kirstin: We shouldn’t judge everything like that.

Anna: But we have to, because you’re not going to cook a quesadilla on Saturday are you?

Kirstin: You were very worried about the sour cream and avocado being warm.  It was really good.  But, I resent having to use a knife and fork to eat it.  A quesadilla quite frankly should be eaten with fingers, and there was all this drippy slop going all over the place.

Anna: I agree.  The sour cream and avocado should go on the side, not be cooked with the dish.  I say, let’s try the black bean paste and cheese, and then put the sour cream and salsa on the side for the next round.

Kirstin: Ooh, CONTROVERSIAL.  That would mean going off piste.  Shall we?  Yeah, lets. Continue reading ““Quesadillas” from “Plenty””

“Quesadillas” from “Plenty”