Tag Archives: tinned tomatoes

Sweet Chilli Jam

My mum LOVES sweet chilli sauce.  I honestly think she’d have it on everything if she could.  So I found this recipe for sweet chilli jam and knew I had to make it for her for Christmas.  It’s got a bit of a kick to it but if you’re not keen on spicy then just don’t use so many chillies.  I used a really big deep saute pan much wider than it is tall, which is a really useful pan to have around but any really large pan will do.  If the pan is deep rather than wide the jam will take longer to reach setting point. 

Makes about 4 small (~250ml) jars. 

8 red peppers, chopped (I used 4 long sweet ones and 4 bell as the supermarket didn’t have 8) < would you look at that, didn’t know I could do that I meant 8 then)!
6 large red chillies, sliced
about 2 1/2″ root ginger, peeled and chopped
8 cloves garlic, finely chopped
400g tin cherry or plain chopped tomatoes
750g granulated sugar
250ml red wine vinegar

– Put the peppers, chillies, ginger and garlic in a food processor and whizz until finely chopped and pulpy.  You may have to do this in two batches. 
– Put this into your pan and add the tomatoes, sugar and vinegar. 
– Bring to the boil and then simmer at a rapid pace for about 45 minutes.  Keep stirring to keep it from sticking to the bottom of the pan. 
– When there is a texture change and it goes very thick and sticky give it 5 minutes more while stirring. 
– Put into sterilised jars while still hot and screw the lids on immediately.

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Filed under Easy, Jams and Preserves

Tomato, Sweetcorn and Red Onion Salsa

An excellent salsa recipe.  Related very closely to the Tomato and Red Onion Salsa but to be honest this recipe varys every time I make it according to what’s on hand. 

Serves ~8

1x400g tin chopped tomatoes
1x200g tin sweetcorn, drained
1 large red onion, chopped
4 salad tomatoes, chopped
2 tbsp ground corriander
1 tbsp dried chilli flakes (less if you want a milder salsa)
2 tbsp lime juice

– Drain most of the juice from the tinned tomatoes and discard (or drink!).
– Mix everything together in a bowl then leave to stand for at least 1 hour at room temperature or in the fridge overnight.

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Filed under Easy, Sides

Slow Cooker Chilli

This was the veggie option for the party.  I made it in the slow cooker so that I could throw it together and leave it and then serve from the slow cooker and it would still be hot.  It could easily become non-veggie by using minced beef instead of veggie mince but brown it in a frying pan first then proceed as below.  Essentially this is just my chilli con carne recipe done a bit differently. 

Serves 8

500g veggie mince
2 onions, chopped
2x400g tins chopped tomatoes
2x400g tins red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
3 tbsp tomato puree
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tbsp chilli powder
2 tbsp bisto granules made up with 200ml water
1 tbsp sugar

– Basically throw everything but the kidney beans into the slow cooker. 
– Give it a stir to mix it up well. 
– Add the beans and stir gently. 
– Put the lid on and cook in the slow cooker for 8 hours on low.

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Filed under Easy, Mains

Layered Enchiladas

Wow, what a week it has been!  I’ve been pushing my cooking boundaries already this week and I had to do it again today with the Tortillas.  It’s been a busy few days and I lost a few hours to that little mishap.  I’ve updated the index here again and I’m going to try to keep on top of it this time.  I’m coming up on 100 recipes!  Yes, there will be cake.  I’m generally working hard to get this blog to be the best I can make it.  I’m also hoping to also be able to participate in Adopt-A-Blogger #4 over at Dine & Dish which will hopefully mean improvements around here.  But that’ll be after the christmas madness.  I’m already preparing to go gourmet with the gifts this year.  I have a bunch of recipes lying about that’ll be just perfect for so-and-so so I’m gearing up to get cracking with those.  I hope you’re all getting ready for an excellent holiday season, I know I’ll be stepping up on the Christmas recipes any day now!

Anyway, on to tonight’s dinner!  These Layered Enchiladas were just supposed to be ordinary enchiladas, however, due to the supermarket tortillas going off and my first attempt at tortillas turning out rather brittle I had to go for Layered Enchiladas.  I have to say I am impressed with  how well they turned out.  Instead of having a wrap we each ended up with a slice of ‘enchilada pie’, which was actually really handy for portion control.  This certainly went down well with my dad who asked for seconds, which is almost unheard of!

Serves 4

1 pack tortillas or make your own with my recipe here.
~200g grated cheese 
500g passata
1 onion, chopped
1 large clove garlic, crushed
3 chicken breasts, sliced
1 tsp chilli powder
1 fresh red chilli, chopped
1x400g tin chopped tomatoes
1 tsp sugar
2 tbsp tomato puree
1 green pepper, chopped

– First make the sauce.  Saute the onion and garlic with a pinch of salt in a little oil until soft. 
– Then add the chicken and stir until cooked all over. 
– Add the chilli powder and chopped chilli.  Stir well. 
– Pour in the chopped tomatoes with a little water to rinse out the tin. 
– Add the sugar and tomato puree and stir until mixed. 
– Bring to a simmer and add the green pepper. 
– Simmer for 15 minutes until the sauce thickens. 
– Assemble the enchiladas in a greased baking dish either in the traditional way or:
– Place a tortilla on the bottom of the baking dish and sprinkle lightly with grated cheese then add a few spoonfuls the sauce and spread over the tortilla. 
– Add another tortilla on top.  Pour a little passata over and spread over the tortilla.  Sprinkle with cheese. 
– Add another tortilla and sprinkle with cheese.  Add sauce and spread out. 
– Repeat alternating layers of sauce and passata until all of the tortillas have been used making the last layer passata covered with a good layer of cheese on the very top. 
– Bake in a hot oven at gas mark 6 for around 20 minutes until the cheese is melted and everything warmed through. 
– Serve in slices while hot. It’s really good with creme fraiche and avocado slices.

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Filed under Easy, Mains

Pizza

We have homemade pizza fairly frequently in our house.  We’ve tried dozens of different recipes and techniques trying to find the best pizza dough recipe, the most frequent problem is that the middles become soup so we got pizza trays with holes in, which helped a bit.  Last Christmas I got mum a pizza stone but it wasn’t as impressive as all that.  Up until tonight mum has always made the dough and done all the work but tonight I was put in charge.  So I turned to google and my usual foodie haunts trying to make the best damned pizza this family has ever had.  Boasting it may be but I may well have succeeded!

The secret would appear to be part cooking the base first.  It gets all big and puffy but when you put the toppings on that goes down and means that the middle doesn’t stay all goopy but still retains a bit of crispness.  We are also guilty of piling on the toppings, in the past I have been known to have up to an inch deep on mine.  I have no will power, you see.  We set up a little area with all the toppings layed out in bowls to build our own to spec. and I just keep piling it all on!  This, of course, means that they take longer to cook so be aware that if you’re spare with the toppings it’ll take less cooking time, if you’re like me they’ll need longer. 

Makes 3 large pizzas, if not from a family of gluttons makes 4 individual ones. 

For the dough:
500g strong bread flour
2 tsp salt
1x7g sachet fast action yeast
1 tsp sugar
300ml warm water
2 tbsp olive oil

For the sauce:
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 onion, chopped
2x400g tin chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 tbsp herbes de provence (or basil, oregano or any herb that’s good with tomato)

For the toppings:
Whatever you like!  I always think that cheese on top is the only must, below that anything goes! 

– First, as it’s now winter here in the uk, I would remind you to prepare a warm draft free place for the dough to rise.  By the fire, on top of a radiator or boiler, in a gently warmed oven, wherever works for you.  I usually put the oven on the lowest setting (Slow Cook) while I prepare the dough then turn it off when I put the dough in and leave it.
– In a large bowl mix together the flour, salt, yeast and sugar. 
– Make a well in the centre and add the oil and water. 
– Mix with a wooden spoon until mostly combined, then get in there with your hands to get it together and get any bits stuck to the bowl off by rubbing the dough around.    
– Turn out onto a floured work surface and knead for 10 minutes until smooth and elastic adding more flour if necessary.
– Wash your bowl if necessary then lightly oil the bowl using your hand to spread it about. 
– Continue to knead the dough for a minute or two with your oily hands. 
– Place the dough in the bowl then turn over so it’s coated with oil. 
– Cover and leave to rise in your warm draft free place for 1 hour or until doubled in size. 

– Meanwhile prepare the sauce and toppings.  Chop up whatever you’re putting on the pizzas and leave them ready for people to put on themselves if you’re doing it that way. 
– For the sauce melt a knob of butter and a small splash of oil in a medium sized pan. 
– Add the garlic and stir on a low heat until just starting to brown. 
– Add the onion and cook on a low heat for about 5 minutes until it is very soft and starting to go transparent. 
– Tip in the tomatoes, tomato puree and herbs and stir well. 
– Turn up the heat and simmer for at least half an hour until the sauce is reduced by half, making sure to stir it occasionally so it doesn’t stick. 

– Heat your oven to as high as it will go.  Mine does gas mark 9. 
– Once the dough has risen knock it down and lightly knead it for a minute. 
– Cut into portions and cover the dough you aren’t working with. 
– Roll out the portion of dough into a very rough circle about 5mm thick. 
– Pick it up (you’ll lose the shape here) and place it on the pizza tray then pull and stretch the edges into a circle and neaten it up. 
– Repeat for each portion of dough. 
– Leave to rest for 10 minutes. 
– Put the bases into the oven and cook for 10 minutes.  *
– Remove from the oven and put the sauce on and spread out to the edges then put your toppings on. 
– Put back in the oven and cook for 15-25 minutes until the cheese is melted and the edge of the crust is golden brown. 
– Slide off the trays and onto plates to serve. 

*I had to do some improvisation with the oven shelves as I had 2 shelves and 3 pizzas.  I could have used the top oven as well but I’d rather only use one oven if I can and save energy.  I placed a deep cake tin on the bottom of the oven and put the grill tray on top of that to create an extra shelf.  Then I swapped the pizzas about throughout cooking so they were cooking at about the same rate.  Obviously opening and closing the oven so often meant they took longer to cook but better that than having the top one burnt to a crisp and the bottom one still soft!

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Filed under Breads, Mains, Moderately easy

Chilli Con Carne

I think my dad has been cooking this Chilli Con Carne recipe since before he met mum!  The original recipe comes from this ancient ’70s St Michael’s cook book but it’s one of those family dishes that no longer needs a recipe, we just get on with it.  I like this recipe as it’s a nice, tasty and warming way of getting more pulses in my diet and I’m trying to get away from eating so much pasta so rice makes an excellent staple carb alternative.   My dad’s a bit of a spice maniac it has to be said.  Back in his army days he once drank coffee with Tabasco in it and declared it to be delicious!  I, however, am not so fond of chilli, I like a bit of spice, sure, but I like to be able to taste the food that comes with it and noone likes to eat a meal with their nose running constantly.  So spicy food is always a bit of a compromise in our family.  We aim for somewhere in the middle and I cool mine down with yoghurt or creme fraiche and dad adds Tabasco to his. 

Not the best photo, it's all a bit white!

Serves 4

1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
750g minced beef
1 tsp chilli powder
1 chilli, chopped (either leave this out if you’re not a fan of spice or put more in if you’re mental!)
1x400g tin chopped tomatoes
150ml beef stock
2 tbsp tomato puree
1 tsp sugar
1x400g tin red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

– Heat a few tbsp oil in a large pan.  Add the onion and garlic and fry until soft. 
– Add the minced beef, chilli powder and chilli.  Cook until browned, stirring occasionally. 
– Add the tomatoes, beef stock, tomato puree and sugar and stir until well combined. 
– Put a lid on the pan and simmer on a low heat for 30 minutes, stirring a few times. *
– Add the beans and cook for another 5 minutes. 
– Serve with basmati rice

*Normally we cook it up to this point early in the day or evening then leave it standing until dinner time when we heat it up again then add the beans for the final 5 minutes.

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Filed under Easy, Mains, Uncategorized

Spaghetti and Meatballs

A staple meal in our house.  The recipe varies a little each time I make it but this is tonight’s recipe!  There’s not much to say about it really, it’s a simple warm filling year round meal. 

Serves 4 (with enough for seconds ;o) )

750g minced beef
6 thick cheap pork sausages*
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
herbes de provence
2x400g tins chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato puree
1 tbsp ketchup
~200g mushrooms, sliced

– In a large bowl mix together the minced beef the insides of the sausages (discard the skins), half the onion and 1 of the cloves of garlic along with 2 tbsp herbes de provence and salt and pepper to taste.  Get in there with you hands!
– Shape the mixture into balls with your hands and place them on a floured plate or chopping board. 
– Lightly dust with flour and leave to rest for at least 30 minutes, preferably in the fridge. 
– In a very large deep frying pan brown the meatballs, in batches if necessary. 
– Once browned on both sides tip in the tinned tomatoes with a quarter of a can of water.  Add the tomato puree, ketchup and mushrooms as well as another tbsp of herbes de provence. 
– Gently stir the sauce to mix in the space between the meatballs and poke the mushrooms down into the liquid. 
– Put on a lid and leave for 15 minutes until the sauce is bubbling. 
– Take the lid off and  continue to simmer for another 45 minutes on a gentle heat stirring occasionally. 
– Serve on top of spaghetti all covered in cheese!

*Better yet use a pack of sausage meat, preferably from a butcher, rather than already made sausages.  You will notice such a difference if you do.  Alas it was a thrown together meal tonight so no sausage meat.

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Filed under Easy, Mains