This, then, could be about cooking with the seasonal fruits (well, the veg, actually) from the garden - red onions, elephant garlic, bulbous yellow courgette - all of which I am currently blessed with.
It could have been a debate about what consitutes 'chilli'' given that I seem to apply it to pretty much anything I add kidney beans too, and yet equally, bandy the word around to cover meals that don't even include a sniff of even the mildest chilli or chilli powder in them.
|Chilli for 45 - but no kidney beans. Does that make it tomatoey mince?|
|Happy 'official' 40th to the Husband|
Indeed, I ended up with 8 cans of value red kidney beans and 3 tubs of guacamole, having cooked chilli for 45 for the Husband's 'official' 40th birthday camping & sailing weekend (it's not till December, but no one else wanted to camp/sail then), forgot to add the kidney beans in, and bought too much guacamole. Chilli without kidney beans - and then plenty of kidney beans to use up.
It could have been about how I am progressing with sharing the kitchen with the children, and how Blue chopped up a courgette, worked out how to use the tin opener and threw most of a tin of chopped tomatoes all over his school uniform, and I didn't get cross once (well, may be a little irritated, but, you know, little steps and all that).
Finally, it could have been about those moments when you look in the cupboards, the fridge and the freezer when you haven't planned anything, wonder what on earth you are going to eat that night, and do it all on the fly with disproportionately pleasing results (always a winner!)
All are equally applicable, and I suppose intertwined, to this, so I leave it to you to decide which angle - or angles - you'd prefer, and I'll just add that it's probably one of the best received meals I've cooked for a long time.
Chicken, chorizo & courgette 'chilli'
1 large red onion
1 large clove of garlic
125g cooking chorizo
2 chicken breasts
1/2 tsp each paprika, ground cumin & ground coriander (I would have used my favourite smoked paprika, but I had - gasp - run out!!)
1/3 large yellow courgette (frankly, how ever much you think you can get away with)
1 400g can chopped tomatoes
1 400g can red kidney beans
2 tsp veg stock
salt & freshly ground pepper
guacamole & sour cream to serve
Finely chop the red onion and the clove of garlic. The Husband's elephant garlic is massive, but not as strong in flavour, so a lot goes a little way.
Heat a splosh of olive oil in a large pan and add the onions and garlic.
Cut the chorizo into chunks and add it to the onions. cooking for 5 minutes or so till it releases its juices. Cut the chicken and the courgette into chunks. Put the kettle on.
Stir in the ground paprika, cumin and coriander into the onions and chorizo, cook for a minute then add the chicken and stir it in, browning the pieces on all sides.
Add the courgette, stir, add the chopped tomatoes, then put the 2 tsp veg stock into the empty tin and top up with hot water. Stir, then add to the pan along with some salt & pepper.
Bring everything to the boil then simmer for 20 mins or so till the chicken is cooked.
Serve with sour cream and guacamole, on rice, and watch with satisfaction as every last bit is licked up off the plate.