Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Easy Baked Chilli con Carne

Although I like to create my own sauces as much as the next person, the use of a packet mix in this recipe is for simplicity and the method of baking will transform the sauce completely! 

With an emphasis on completely ignoring the 'cook on hob' instructions found on the packet, baking the Chilli con Carne will provide a dark, rich sauce and with plenty of beans, it's ideal for kids! 

The following should easily provide 5-6 good size portions.

Preparation Time - 10 Minutes
Cooking Time - 90 Minutes


500g Beef Mince 
2 Onions (Sliced) 
1 tablespoon of garlic puree 
41g pack of Schwartz Chilli con Carne mix 
400g can of chopped tomatoes 
400g can of kidney beans (Drained) 
400g can of baked beans 
175ml cold water


  1. Using an ovenproof dish on the hob, add the mince, onions and garlic puree and cook over a medium heat for a couple of minutes until the mince is brown and the onions are slightly softened.
  2. Take off heat and add the packet mix, water, tomatoes, baked beans and kidney beans. Mix thoroughly.
  3. Transfer to a pre-heated oven at 180'C. Bake for 90 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Serve with white rice or potato wedges.

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Nasi Goreng

I have seen many recipes for this and all differ in small ways. Being a dish originally from Indonesia, there are various permutations which generally revolve around what type of meat or fish should be included. This recipe uses Pork and Prawns whilst also substituting Fish Sauce for Shrimp Paste which can be hard to obtain for some.

Preparation Time - 10 Minutes
Cooking Time - 20 Minutes


Please note. As with all dishes that include fried rice, a favoured method is to use leftover rice, or alternatively pre cook the rice, let it cool and place it in the fridge for several hours/overnight in order for the grains to start shrinking and drying out.

300g cooked long grain rice
6 finely diced small/medium shallots
4 finely dicedcloves fresh garlic
3 finely chopped fresh medium strength chillies (any colour)
2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 diced pork chop/leg steak
150g defrosted cooked peeled prawns
100g fresh chopped button mushrooms
1 tablespoon vegetable oil


1. Preheat Wok to medium heat with vegetable or olive oil and immediately add the diced pork, diced shallots and half of the dark soy sauce. Cook and stir for 4-5 minutes until the pork starts to cook through.

2. Add the mushrooms, half of the fresh chillies and the garlic and cook for a further 3-4 minutes until the mushrooms start to soften and cook.

3. Add the peeled cooked prawns, the remainder of the chillies, the remained of the soy sauce and the fish sauce, cook and stir for another 2-3 minutes.

4. Turn the heat up and add the cold pre-cooked rice, stirring frequently to allow the rice to take on the dark sauce and to avoid sticking and burning. Cook for a further 3-5 minutes until the rice is heated through and serve.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Turkey Fajitas

Although traditionally made with chicken, my recipe uses turkey, due to there being not much difference between the two when cooked and also because it is generally cheaper to buy. This recipe also uses a very cheap yet simple ingredient, fresh beansprouts, which really add to the texture of the dish. I also tend to make the sauce using a simple but effective Discovery packet mix which just cuts down preparation time but doesn't hinder the quality of the final dish.

Preparation Time - 5 Minutes
Cooking Time - 20 Minutes


All the following can be used in various measures of your choice:
turkey (either breast steaks or already prepared stir fry type)

1 400g punnet of mushrooms
1 large onion
1 pack of fresh beansprouts
Jalapeno peppers (generally available pickled in a jar)
1 packet of fajita spice mix
8 tortilla wraps
Grated mild Cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon vegetable or olive oil


1, Preheat Wok to medium heat with Vegetable or Olive Oil and prepare a pan of boiling water. Prepare turkey to the desired sized chunks and dice onion and add these to wok stirring occasionally for three to four minutes. Add beansprouts to boiling water and allow to simmer for three to four minutes, this softens the beansprouts slightly making them slightly more transparent and lets them soak the fajita sauce more. Also, I prepare the Jelapenos at this point, just to make them slightly smaller but this is down to your preference.

2, Whilst the turkey and onions are cooking, chop mushrooms to desired size and add them to the wok. I also generally add a little bit of the spice mix at this point in order to flavour the mushrooms, onions and turkey whilst they are still at an early cooking stage. Stir all three ingredients in the wok and leave for two minutes.

3, Next, drain and add the beansprouts to the wok along with the jelapeno peppers and the spice mix. Stir all of this together to make sure that all spice mix is dissolved in the liquid and continue to cook for another four minutes until ready then take the wok off the heat.

4, Preheat your grill and prepare for the tricky and messy part. This all depends on how many Tortilla wraps you have chosen to use but spoon some of the cooked fajita mixture into each one, generally placing in a line across the middle of the wrap helps with the rolling procedure. Roll each one up tightly and place all on a baking tray, seam side down. Sprinkle the grated cheese all over each wrap and place under the grill for 1 minute until cheese starts to bubble and brown. Serve, enjoy and notice how including such a simple and cheap ingredient like beansprouts to a classic dish gives it a crunchy texture and makes the wraps look a lot more filled out.

Corned Beef Stew

A firm favourite in our family, Corned Beef Hash is a relatively cheap dish, always guaranteed to please. Using the quantities below, this should provide 6-8 servings although as with all good stews, it can be kept in the fridge for 2-3 days and be reheated, tasting just as good as the moment you made it! Alternatively, lower or increase the amounts depending on your requirements.

Preparation - 15 minutes
Cooking time - 120 minutes


6 Large Potatoes
8 Carrots
1 Medium Swede
2 Medium Onions
1 Beef stock cube or alternative gravy powder
1 400g Can of chopped tomatoes
1 340g Can of corned beef
1 teaspoon of mixed dry herbs


1, Peel and chop the potatoes into medium/small chunks and place in a large ovenproof casserole dish/pot. Likewise, peel and slice the carrots, onion and swede, placing in the same dish. Pour over boiling water to near enough cover the vergetables and place on the lid or cover the pot/dish, placing in a preheated oven on the middle shelf at 190 degrees celsius/gas mark 5. Cook for 60 minutes, stirring half way to ensure the vegetables get an even cooking time in the water.

2, Remove dish and uncover. Stir in your stock cube or an equivalent 2 tablespoons of gravy powder, dont worry too much about lumps, the granules will break down in the cooking process.

3, Add the can of chopped tomatoes and corned beef, cut into small chunks which will start to immediately break down in the liquid. Add the mixed herbs, stir well and re-cover the pot. Cook for another 60 minutes, stir and serve.