Sunday, 25 January 2015

How do you like your Eggs in the Morning?

Cookies in Use
Mexican Style Eggs

There is an old joke in answer to my post question but I am far too polite and reserved, you could say I haven't come out of my shell, to finish it for you.  I love eggs and we have some real cracking ones over here on Alderney. Lovely fresh free range eggs from chickens that Lilly held in her hands as tiny, days old chicks. We can see them on the allotments scrabbling in the dirt and boy do the eggs they lay taste great.

In the summer we had some amazingly rich duck eggs which are great with asparagus or Parmesan cheese straws as an ever so slightly indulgent lunch. We actually went all out as I whisked up duck fat fries, fried duck eggs and my duck ham which is cured and sold in the Alderney Farm Shop. But that was a very naughty cholesterol laden treat.

Thank you Youtube

So how do you like your eggs in the morning? Coddled, buttered, scrambled ( with smoked salmon oh yes please!), poached, as the classic Eggs Benedict, an omelet or fried? Well here is something a little different. The classic Mexican breakfast egg dish is Huevos rancheros or fried corn chips topped with eggs and salsa.

For the breakfast menu at Hugo's we wanted to do something as tasty but not with the corn chips, a nice gluten free option.  So I adapted the recipe and developed my Baked Eggs and Bean Chilli. So crank up the brilliant tune, squeeze some fresh orange juice and dig in to this wonderful breakfast treat. To save time make the chilli in advance and just heat up before baking with the eggs.  Left over bean chilli makes a great vegetarian nachos.       

Mexican Style Eggs               serves 4

For the Easy Chilli Bean Stew

50 ml quality olive oil

1 large onion, peeled and finely sliced

3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped

1 400 gr tin chopped tomatoes

2-4 medium-hot smoky red chillies

400 gr mixed beans – pinto, red kidney, haricot, rinsed and drained

1 400 gr tin of chickpeas, rinsed and drained

100 ml vegetable stock

2 tablespoons tomato purée

1 tablespoons dried oregano

1 teaspoon caster sugar

Juice of 1 limes

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 bay leaf

A small handful of fresh coriander, roughly chopped

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

8 large free range eggs
A handful of freshly chopped coriander

For the chilli heat the olive oil in a saucepan over a medium-low heat, add the onions and sauté for about ten minutes until softened. Add the garlic and cumin and cook for a further minute. Add the stock, tomatoes, chickpeas, beans, oregano and sugar. Season with salt and pepper, bring to the boil and simmer gently for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the lime juice and coriander. Correct seasoning.

Preheat your oven to 350 F / 180 C / Gas mark 4 . Spoon some of the chilli into four shallow heat proof dishes and make two small wells in each. Crack in an egg into each hollow and place in the oven. Bake until eggs are cooked and the yolks are still just liquid. Top with chopped coriander and serve.

Sunday, 11 January 2015

It's Dispicably Chilly

Cookies in Use
My Honest to God Damn Fine Chili con Carne

We are back to the cold, wet, windy days of winter. Some how seemingly bleaker and danker, after the fun and festivities of the Christmas season. So how do we cheer ourselves up well Saturday night ? Well Lilly is very seriously into the cartoons Despicable Me 1 & 2 ( owns a Fart Gun ), so we would have to choose one to watch. At the moment two is the slight favourite.

Universal Pictures with Thanks

The villain is Mexican bandit and criminal mastermind hiding out in a Mexican restaurant so there could only be one choice. I slow cooked a wonderful pan of winter warming Chilli con carne, lots of flavour and heat and then smothered it over a pile of crisp tortilla chips. Add Cheddar and some delicious ewe's milk Queso Manchego cheese ( not strictly authentic I know )and finish with fresh tomato salsa and some sour cream and we were ready. A Nachos Grande to go with El Macho, lets hope there isn't a FREEZE RAY.

For some more detail on Chilli con carne please click on the link and visit Beignets and Barbecues in the mean time all that remains is a recipe. This is by no means truly authentic or a definitive recipe but it has been successfully served to a Texans and I lived to tell the tale.

My Honest to God Damn Fine Chili con Carne Serves 4-6

1 large onion,peeled and finely chopped
2 celery sticks, washed and finely chopped
2 tablespoons of quality olive oil
500 gr good steak mince, preferably chuck steak
6 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
2 Chipotal chillies, chopped
6 Ancho chillies, chopped
1 or 2 Birds Eye chillies, if required
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon thyme
1 cinnamon stick
2 green peppers, finely chopped
400 gr tin chopped tomatoes
2 tablespoons of tomato purée
400 ml beef stock
400g tin cooked red kidney beans, drained
50 gr fine dark chocolate, grated
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Take a large, heavy bottomed pan or ideally a pressure cooker and sauté the finely chopped onion and celery in the olive oil over a medium heat for about fifteen minutes without colouring. Remove from the pan add a little more oil, turn up the heat and quickly brown off the mince. Tip the onions and celery back into the pan with the meat and add the garlic, chillies, paprika and other spices and herbs. Cook together for five minutes over a medium heat continuously stirring.

Add the tomatoes, tomato purée and the stock and bring up to a simmer. Turn the heat down and cook for at least an hour, stirring occasionally before adding the beans and peppers. Leave it on a low heat for another fifteen minutes. Grate in chocolate, check and adjust the seasoning, then serve.