chilli

All posts tagged chilli

Two Chill Days, Two Chilli Dishes

Published July 5, 2013 by The Feminist

It must be some strange and relatively weak form of masochism. How else could you possibly explain my love for chillies? They burn your tongue (sometimes even your entire throat), make your eyes water like the Niagara falls and they can break you out into a sweat so intense, you’d think you were sitting in a Scandinavian sauna.

Yes, a lot of my friends declare me utterly crazy for adding so many chillies to my food. “Do you like torturing yourself?”, they keep asking.

Let me tell you something, dear readers. Those people who truly think chillies only bring pain are wrong, and they have definitely not tasted the chilli dishes I like cooking for myself. Yes, they are hot. Yes, they make your tongue sing with a fiery passion. But they are aromatic and fragrant as well! They boost your spirit and lift you up to a foodie heaven!

Now that my exams are finished (and I can proudly call myself “Master in Multilingual Communications”, fancy huh?) I finally have some time for me, myself and I.

Meaning: I snuggled in front of the TV with Mad Men and Game of Thrones and my best friends Ben&Jerry. For the first time in weeks, I was completely relaxed.

However, to spice up the comforting coziness of two days at home in front of the TV, I thought it was suitable to conjure up some ultimate spicy dishes. A chilli overload to contrast the mellow mood I was in! (And also because I was coming down with something, and I had high hopes that large quantities of chilli would tackle a lurking influenza 😉 )

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Sticky marinated Tofu with Spicy noodle stir-fry

Spicy like hell. Fragrant like heaven. Comforting like home. What more could you possibly desire?

Ingredients (serves 4)
• 500gr of firm tofu
• 250gr of rice noodles
• Mix of vegetables
• 2 cloves of garlic, minced
• 3cm piece of ginger, grated
• 1 large chilli, finely chopped
• 2 tbsp honey
• 1 tbsp fish sauce
• 5 tbsp soy sauce
• 2 tbsp tropical fruit juice
• 1 tbsp peanut butter
• 1 tbsp ketchup

For the tofu marinade:
• 5 cloves of garlic, minced
• 5cm piece of fresh ginger, grated
• 1 large chilli, finely chopped
• 3 tbsp mirin
• 3 tbsp honey
• 5 tbsp soy sauce

Method:
1. Mix all the ingredients for the marinade together in a bowl. Cut the tofu in 0,5cm slices and add them to the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for a couple of hours. (This way, your tofu will never ever ever taste bland!)
2. Heat a non-stick frying pan on medium heat and add the tofu slices. Let them caramelize for 3 minutes on each side.
3. Cook your noodles according to packet instructions. Drain and put the cooked noodles in a bowl of ice cold water to stop the cooking process and to stop the noodles from clinging together.
4. Add all the other ingredients (except the vegetables) together to create a lovely sauce.
5. Heat a tablespoon of vegetable oil in a large wok and add the vegetables. Stir fry them on high heat for a couple of minutes.
6. Stir through the cooked noodles and add the fragrant and spicy sauce. Season to taste if necessary.
7. Serve your spicy noodles with your sticky, sweet and spicy tofu slices.

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Sweet and Sour Chickpea Curry soup

It may not be the right time of year to enjoy a good bowl of steaming soup, but I was feeling a bit under the weather the other day, so what better way to kill all those nasty bacteria than be drinking some healthy soup? (and it’s a much tastier and vegan alternative for your ordinary chicken soup!) Besides, the lovely combination of sweet and sour will make you want to serve this soup all year round, even when there’s a heat wave coming!

Ingredients (serves 1)
• One hand of dried chickpeas, soaked overnight
• 1 onion, sliced
• ½ red pepper, finely chopped
• 3cm piece of fresh ginger, finely chopped
• ½ larg chilli, finely chopped
• Handful of raisins and sultanas
• 1,5dl tropical fruit juice
• 1 dl water
• 1 tsp turmeric
• 2tbsp garam massala
• ½ tsp asafetida
• ½ tsp ground cumin
• ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
• Fresh cheese (I used feta cheese, which sounds strange because it’s an Asian dish, but it worked really well and it’s what I had lying around in the fridge 😉 always try to use up those left-overs!)
• Fresh mint

Method:
1. Heat a teaspoon of oil in a small sauce pan and add the onion, ginger and chilli. Sauté until the onions become slightly translucent. Add all the spices and stir well.
2. Stir in the chickpeas and cover with tropical juice and water. Bring to the boil.
3. Put the lid on and let it simmer for half an hour.
4. Add the raisins and red pepper and season to taste. Let it simmer for another half an hour until the chickpeas are cooked through.
5. Serve your soup with some salty fresh cheese to cool down the zingy heat of the soup.

Crazy-ass Cupcakes: Chilli-chocolate-thyme cupcakes with thyme and honey frosting

Published May 18, 2013 by The Feminist

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I know what you’re all thinking right now: Freak. Nut job. Completely bonkers.

Although I will not deny all these accusations (they are –after all- true) , the fact that you honestly believe that putting thyme and chilli in cupcakes is “not done”, frankly, says more about you than me.

Why are you so afraid to live on the crazy-side of life? Aren’t you tired of eating plain vanilla cupcakes? Wouldn’t you prefer being blown away by awesomely extravagant flavours?

If you are ready to step away from the ordinary vanillas of life and embrace your inner freaky chilli personality, this recipe is definitely something for you! The chocolate provides that reassuring comfort, whereas the chilli and thyme blow your flavour palette wide open. The fresh thyme adds a distinct flowery aroma to the sponge and the chilli creates that little tingle on your tongue, without completely overpowering all the other flavours or making your eyes water. The intriguing honey comes through in the end, composing a taste-bud tickling aftertaste drenched in heavenly sweetness…

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Chilli-chocolate-thyme cupcakes with thyme and honey frosting

Ingredients (makes 6)

For the sponge:
• 20gr unsalted butter
• 10gr cocoa powder
• 50gr plain flour
• 70gr caster sugar
• ¾ tsp baking powder
• ¼ tsp (hot!) chilli powder
• 1 tbsp of fresh thyme leaves
• 1 egg
• 50ml milk

For the frosting:
• 50gr unsalted butter
• 75gr icing sugar
• 4 tbsp runny honey
• Pinch of chilli powder
• Fresh thyme

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 170°C. Put the butter, sugar, flour, baking powder, cocoa powder and chilli powder in a large bowl and mix until you get a sandy consistency.
2. Slowly pour in the milk and add the egg, mixing well until all the ingredients are combined.
3. Stir through the fresh thyme.
4. Spoon the mixture into cupcake cases and bake into the oven for 20 minutes. Leave to cool completely before frosting.
5. For the frosting, mix together the butter, sugar, chilli powder and honey until it is smooth and glossy. Spread a generous amount of frosting onto each cupcake and sprinkle on some fresh thyme leaves.

Make Dinner, Not War: 3 stress-free dishes

Published April 10, 2013 by The Feminist

Let’s be honest here: Now and then we all get really annoyed with other people.

• When someone is constantly talking about his or herself in a very boastful “I’m the Greatest Star this world has ever known” kinda way.
• When someone is too lazy to get his or her ass off the couch and watches TV shows all day, while you’re working your butt off.
• When you’re trying to have a conversation with a teenager who has a very big attitude. “Wha’everrr”
• Sometimes, even the slightest noise, movement or snort can get under your skin.

Yes, we’ve all been there. But instead of letting all the anger boil up inside of you – or worse – instead of yelling all nasty things at that particular person, why not maintain the peace and start cooking? I find cooking to be incredibly soothing and relaxing. Besides, it is also more convenient, because you can now actually use your dinner plates to serve your food on, instead of smashing them to the ground.

Here are some really yummy stress-relieving dishes:

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Indonesian chicken wraps

Ingredients:

• Good quality shop-bought wraps
• 4 chicken breasts, diced
• 300gr of bean sprouts
• Fresh coriander
• 3 spring onions, chopped
• 1 mango, finely chopped
• 1 apple, in fine slices
• 1lime
• Chopped cashew nuts

For the marinade:
• 2tbsp ketchup
• 1tbsp fish sauce
• 1tbsp soy sauce
• 2tbsp honey
• 1tbsp mirin
• 1tbsp sesame oil

For the satay sauce:
• 200ml coconut oil
• 40gr of peanut butter
• 1 small red chilli
• 1 tbsp garam massala
• 2cm piece of ginger
• 1tsp brown sugar

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Method:

1. Mix together all the ingredients for the marinade and stir through the diced chicken breasts. Let it sit for 30 minutes.
2. For the satay sauce, mix all the ingredients together – et voila! – done! 😉
3. Mix the bean sprouts together with the coriander and spring onion and sprinkle over some lime juice.
4. Fry the chicken until brown and tender.
5. Make your own awesome wrap with the beansprout salad, mango, apple, chicken and of course the scrumptious satay sauce and finish with some chopped cashew nuts.

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Tutti Frutti prawn curry

Ingredients (serves two):

For the curry paste:
• Two small red chillies
• 3cm piece of fresh ginger
• Coriander stalks
• 1 clove of garlic
• 1 onion
• 1 tsp garam massala
• 1tsp brown sugar

For the fruity prawn curry:
• 16 prawns
• Half a pineapple, diced
• Half of mango, diced
• 1 banana
• 400ml coconut milk
• 1tbsp peanut butter
• 1tbsp fish sauce
• Fresh coriander to decorate

Method:
1. Make the curry paste by mixing all the ingredients together in a blender.
2. Fry the curry paste in a large wok in some vegetable oil until fragrant.
3. Add the coconut milk, the peanut butter and fish sauce. Let it simmer for a couple of minutes.
4. Add the prawns, pineapple and mango and simmer for 5 minutes.
5. Finally add the banana and heat through.
6. Sprinkle some chopped coriander on top.

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Italian meatloaf with homemade pasta and basil-sundried tomato pesto

Ingredients (serves 4):

For the meatloaf:
• 750gr minced beef
• 1 courgette
• Cherry tomatoes, on the vine
• 1 onion
• 1 clove of garlic
• 15gr grated pecorino cheese
• 1 egg
• 1tsp dried oregano
• 1tsp paprika
• ½ tsp cumin
• ½ tsp garam massala (You’re now probably shouting: “Garam massala?? In an Italian dish??? Well, it actually works 😉 )

For the pasta:

• 350gr plain flour
• 4 eggs
• Salt

For the pesto:
• 200gr semi dried tomatoes, in oil
• 30gr pecorino cheese
• 2 cloves of garlic
• Handful of cashew nuts
• Bunch of fresh basil leaves (lots and lots of them!)

Method:

1. For the meatloaf, line a baking tin with baking parchment. Using a vegetable peeler, peel strips off the courgette and line them in your tin. (This will create a lovely courgette blanket for your meat)
2. In a bowl, mix together the meat with the chopped garlic and onion and grate in some of the remaining courgette (the white part). Add the cheese, the egg and the spices and mix through.
3. Put the mince in the courgette baking tin and put in a preheated oven at 200°C for 35 minutes. Take the loaf out of the oven and put the vine cherry tomatoes on top. Put back into the oven for 10 minutes.
4. For the pasta, pour the flour into a mound onto a flat surface and make a well in the centre. Crack the eggs into the well and gradually mix with either a blunt knife or your hands. Knead until well blended and the dough is soft and flexible. Leave the pasta to rest for about 15-30 minutes. Cut it into your favourite pasta shape.
5. Cook the fresh pasta in boiling water for 3-5 minutes and immediately drain the pasta and coat it with the fresh pesto.
6. For the pesto, mix all the ingredients together in a blender and season with salt and pepper.
7. Serve the meatloaf and pasta with a rocket salad with balsamic dressing.

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Put your microwave meal away! This wonderful dish was on the table in just 15 minutes!

Published February 19, 2013 by The Feminist

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If you don’t know what to have for dinner this evening, maybe this recipe will inspire you. It is perfect for a Tuesday evening when the last thing you want to do is cook. But please, forget those dreadful ready meals, this impressive looking dish isn’t just very simple to prepare, it will also be before you in less than 15 minutes! These udon noodles with minced beef, shrimps and a sweet mirin sauce are both filling and super healthy. What more could you possible want? You don’t even have to resort to ready-chopped vegetables (oh horror!) or bottled sauces .(oh horror!) Mouth-watering Asian flavours at the speed of light! (If you don’t believe me, use a stopwatch!) That is what I like to call “speedy comfort in a wok”!

Ingredients (serves two hungry noodle freaks) :

• 400gr udon noodles, cooked according to packet instructions
• 200gr minced beef
• Approx. 12 shelled shrimps
• Mini pak choi
• beansprouts
• 1 teaspoon chilli powder
• 2 tablespoons mirin (Japanese sweet rice wine)
• 1 onion, chopped
• 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
• 1 tablespoon muscovado sugar
• 2 tablespoons fish sauce
• Fresh coriander and chopped fresh chilli to decorate

Method:

1. Heat a tablespoon of vegetable oil in a large wok and stir fry the onion and garlic.
2. Add the minced beef and the chilli powder and stir fry for a couple of minutes.
3. Add the shrimps, pak choi, mirin, sugar and fish sauce and –again- stir fry for a couple of minutes (See how easy this recipe is? 😉 )
4. Add the noodles, give it a quick taste and see if needs more seasoning or not.
5. Top your noodle dish with some crunchy beansprouts, fresh coriander and chilli.