Chili con Carne . can go with rice or bread


I was thinking what to cook for our usual Sunday dinner, my husband was trying to help and brain storm. Suddenly he came across “Chili con carne”, he said he can eat that for the entire week. I am not a fan of Mexican food at all, and I am not sure if I know exactly what Chili con carne is… Tried to search a bit online and look into few recipes, my husband also trying to explain to me how should that tastes like. All right, even I do not like Mexican and beans that much, let’s stay open-minded and try something new!

I found few different recipes, and I am going for the one with more vegetables to make it a bit more healthy, so I decided to base on the recipe from Jamie Oliver and improvise. Looking at the ingredients, somehow I feel that I am making the spicy Bolognese sauce, just with more beans.

There are a lot of chopping to do, so better get everything nicely chopped and ready before starting to cook. Of course you can make use of the food processor to help out a bit. Finely chop the onion, carrot, celery, garlic, and finally chop the red peppers into  medium squares. Get some coriander chopped and separate the stalks from the leaves. I also like to add some red chili to make the dish a bit more hot, just get them chopped and ready.

Are you ready? So, get the biggest sauce pan out, heat it up and put some butter into the pan. Put the minced garlic and the onion in the pan to start with, then add the carrot and celery together with a pinch of salt, let them cook a bit until they turn soft. You can add some olive oil if you feel there is not enough oil, then put the minced beef in and fry them nicely until they start to turn brown. Then, add the kidney beans and chickpeas, together with the coriander stalks and the red chili. Give them a good stir, add all the spice into the pan, chili powder, ground cumin, ground cinnamon and ground paprika, of course some salt and pepper, then add the chopped tomato sauce into the pan. Let them cook a bit, and then add some water into it, bring it to boil and then switch it to lower heat, let it boil for at least 30 minutes to one hour.

When it’s done, you can serve it with some long grain rice, by adding some yogurt and corindar as garnish. That’s how I like to eat, as I love rice. My husband prefers to have it with bread, so he had it with some baguette, French meets Mexian. Somehow I feel like having Indian food….? My husband said that has nothing to do with chili con carne, but at least it tasted good. He thinks the vegetable makes it so non-Mexican, he said he will cook me a real one later, let’s see… well, I kind of like it, at least it is not too beany and not too Mexican 😝

Sunday homemade dinner – Tandoori shrimps skewer with long grain rice

Tonight I would like to cook seafood, was thinking to cook something with shrimps. What can I do with shrimps? Searching online for idea, and I found something with tandoori shrimps, sounds like a good idea to me! A touch of Indian and a bit of spice. I think the best thing to go with the shrimps is the long grain rice that my husband likes, he do prefer long grain rice much more than the Chinese one. After my last trip to India, I always would like to cook something Indian, why not trying it tonight?

The ingredient for tandoori shrimps is not complicated at all, I almost have all the herbs at home, just missing turmeric powder because I finished up with it and need to buy a new one. The first thing to do for this dish is to marinate the shrimps, make sure you’ve spend enough time to marinate them before cooking. At least marinate the shrimps for half an hour, the best at least up to two hours. Remove the head and shell of the shrimp but leave the tail on, and make sure you devein them nicely. Use a large bowl to put all the ingredients for marination, around 300ml of Greek yogurt, together with some olive oil, pinch of salt, lime juice, minced garlic, Garam Masala, turmeric powder and chili powder. Please go for your taste, as there is not a fixed formula because the level of spice that each of us like or can take is very different. Mixed all the ingredients well, and check out the taste always, then place all the shrimps into the bowl and let them sit inside the fringe for around 1 to 2 hours.

Meanwhile, you can prepare the rest, getting things chopped up and ready. I would like to put also onion, red pepper and pineapple to the skewer, so I need to chop them into pieces. For the long grain rice, I would like to cook with carrot and broccoli, so I have to chop them into small cubes as well. You might want to use green pea instead of broccoli, but I really do not like green pea, so I rather go with broccoli. You can choose other green vegetable as you like, for example other kind of beans or even chopped celery. If you are using wooden skewers, please make sure you’ve soaked in water at least for 15 minutes before cooking, as you do not want them to burn later on. I do have some stainless steel skewers, so I do not have to do that.

Let’s start cooking the rice before starting to cook the skewers. I am not sure what are you using to cook the rice, but I am using the rice cooker, as each Chinese should have one at home which is very convenient. If you do not have one, just put the rice with double portion of water and boil them. Add a pinch of salt, and the chopped carrot and broccoli into the rice just right before the rice is done, mix them well together and let them sit into the rice cooker or pot for at least 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

I was cooking the skewers in the oven, but you can do it by frying. Pre-heat the oven under 210C, and get a tray ready covered by foil. Put one piece of onion, red pepper, shrimp, onion, pineapple, shrimp, and so on, alternatively on the skewer until it’s filled up. Repeat the same until you finish with all the ingredients. Place them nicely on the tray and put some olive oil on each single piece, and place them in the oven and grill them for around 15 to 20 minutes. Turn them over in the middle of the way, but the oven is hot enough to cook for both side.

Serve the skewers with the long grain rice, and garnish the skewers with finely chopped coriander and a touch of lime juice. My husband feels that the rice is a bit blend, but I love it with vegetables and actually the touch of carrot is adding some good flavour into the rice. Maybe you can try to use the marinade to make a source for the rice or the overall dish. The dish is not spicy at all for us, I guess next time I will try to add more spice.

Thai Shrimp Salad

I want to do a Thai salad tonight, the thing that I am not sure is, should I do a beef salad or a shrimp one? I guess I had enough meat for the last few days, maybe it’s better to go for shrimp.

The ingredients of this salad are, shrimps, cucumber, red pepper, mint, coriander, mixed greens, red chili, shallots, pomelo, pomegranate, vermicelli, cashew nuts and shredded coconut. For the salad dressing, we need fish sauce, soy sauce, lime juice, brown sugar and minced red chili.

The first thing to get ready is the shrimps, boil a pot of water, and cook the shrimp in the hot water until they turn into red meaning cooked. Put the shrimps aside until they cool down. Repeat the same thing for the vermicelli, cook them quickly in the hot water, not to overcook them, then put them aside until they cool down. On the other hand, we need to get two things done as well. Heat up the pan and then put the shredded coconut in the dry pan, fry them until they turn into brown colour. The next thing to get ready is to grind some cashew nuts with the mortar.

Let’s start to get all the chopping done, cut the cucumber and red pepper into thin strips, chop the shallots, mint and coriander, then mixed them into a large bowl. Put the pomelo, shrimp and vermicelli into the bowl as well when they are both cool down, then mix everything together. You can either add the mixed greens here or lay them on the plate as a base when you serve the salad, it’s up to you. What I did is lay the mixed greens on the plate as a base, then put the mixed salad on top of the mixed greens, and now put the salad dressing on the salad. Sprinkle some shredded coconuts and cashew nuts on top of the salad, and do the final touch with the pomegranate.  I also serve the salad with some garlic breads.