Saturday, 14 November 2009

Nigella Express

I have had this book as my recipe book of the week for quite some time now... I am still working my way through it but already have a few favourite recipes. All those that I've tried have been very quick and easy, many made from store cupboard ingredients and those that need any fresh additions can easily be put together after a quick stop at the local supermarket after work. Many of the recipes can be found at but I really recommend getting this book for anyone who is short on time but still enjoys cooking and entertaining at home. If you fancy a warming bowl of chilli or a comforting dish of pasta with ragu sauce but can't face the thought of chopping onions and endless simmering to break down tinned tomatoes, Nigella has some nifty shortcuts. If you're like me, you'll have the odd jar of ready made pasta sauce lurking in the cupboard (although to lessen the guilt of buying "convenience" foods, I try to make mine organic at least!) and one of these can form the basis of a satisfying meal with a few other additions.

If you try one recipe, make it the Quick Chilli. I am a big fan of chilli and usually turn to Jamie Oliver's recipe which uses a jar of blitzed sun-dried tomatoes and a cinnamon stick to produce a deeply aromatic dish which never fails to disappoint, but I was really impressed and quite amazed at this extremely quick recipe. Here is my version of the recipe:

Nigella's Quick Chilli - serves 4
150g chorizo sausage, chopped
500g minced beef
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
3 cardamom pods, bruised
1 x 500g jar tomato and chilli pasta sauce
1 x 390g can chilli beans (I used Biona organic ones from Waitrose)
2 tbsp chilli sauce
A good pinch of chilli flakes

Heat the sliced chorizo in heavy saucepan over a medium heat and cook until a little crispy. Add the mince and cook until browned.
Stir in the spices and cook for a further couple of minutes. Add the pasta sauce, chilli beans, chilli sauce and chilli flakes (there's no such thing as too much chilli!).
Bring to the boil and then turn down the heat and simmer for 20-30 mins.
I served mine with a dollop of sour cream and fresh chilli from my brother Dom's garden.

Can also be served with rice, topped with grated cheese, guacamole or sliced avocado, or as a topping for jacket potato.

And the no-churn Margarita ice cream makes the perfect dessert - I can't be without a tub of this in my freezer and have converted my friend Suz from her all-time favourite chocolate ice-cream! Next, I'm going to try out some other cocktail flavoured ice-creams, strawberry daquiri could be very good.

1 comment:

  1. oh I love this chilli, it's a great recipe. The margarita ice-cream sounds wonderful, I shall try this next time I have the girls round for dinner. Lucie x