Tag Archives: Spicy

Homemade Baked Beans (With Chorizo)

These are an absolute treat as a healthy but filling accompaniment to roast chicken, sausages, fajitas, and so on. As with most of my favourite recipes, these can be customised with whichever additions you prefer (or you can leave some things out to your taste, or if you’d like a veggie version for example). Although I’ve said this is a healthy recipe, I should caveat it by saying I included some chorizo because I thought it would add a nice extra layer of spice and depth (and because I had some in the fridge).  You could add smoked bacon instead, or pancetta, or go animal fat-free.

A big batch will keep for a week or so on the fridge, assuming you store in a sterilised airtight container. I reused a passata jar which I cleaned thoroughly and sterilised in the oven (150C for 15 minutes).

   
You will need:

1 tin chopped tomatoes 

Half jar of passata

4 shallots

1 sausage sized cooking chorizo, or a couple of rashers of bacon

1 tsp tomato purée 

1 tin cannellini beans

1 tin haricot beans

1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

1tsp Dijon mustard

1 tbsp caster sugar

2 tbsp red wine vinegar

1 tsp lemon juice

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp chilli powder 

1 tsp cumin

Salt and pepper to taste

  
1. Finely chop the onion and chorizo. Add to as the dry teaspoon on a medium heat.

2. Cook until the shallots are soft and the chorizo has started to leak oil and take on oil. You can blot out some of the excess oil with a paper towel if you’d like. 

3. Add the tomato purée and cook out for a couple of minutes then do the same with the vinegar. 

4. Add the tomatoes, passata, Worcestershire sauce, sugar, lemon juice, mustard and spices and stir. Swirl water around in the tomato can and add this to the sauce. Stir and leave the lid half on at a simmering level for at least an hour, stirring occasionally and adding additional water as and when necessary. 

  
5. Taste the sauce and adjust seasoning as necessary. Rinse and add the beans. Simmer for another hour or so (the longer the better all in all) and serve or cool and store. 

  
Step away from shop bought! 

Sweet Potato Wedges

These are a delicious and nutritious alternative to chips and go really well with anything spicy (they are a delight with chilli con carne) or dishes that don’t really have much in the way of sauce, like baked chicken or salmon.  I know this will seem like a pretty obvious recipe, but they are my go to when I want a substantial veggie accompaniment that’s lighter and tastier than potatoes, and dinner guests have asked for the recipe on a number of occasions.  You may not know that sweet potatoes count as one of your 5-a-day, whereas potatoes don’t, as they apparently don’t contain enough nutrients and vitamins.  By the way, do you guys in the US have the concept of 5-a-day or is it just an NHS thing?  I promise to share a sewing project soon – I have part of it drafted up but the instructions are going to be pretty mammoth!

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You will need (to feed 1):

sweet potato – 1 or 1/2 depending on how big the sweet potato is.  I find the size of these varies tremendously depending on supermarket and crop

1 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp chilli powder or cayenne pepper (optional)

oil for roasting

salt and pepper

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1.  Heat your oven to about 200C.

2.  Chop your sweet potato into wedge-shaped chunks, or cubes, as chunky or narrow as you’d like, bearing in mind that they will shrink with roasting.  When I started making these, I always peeled the sweet potatoes first, but Charles suggested leaving the skins on “because that’s where the nutrients are” (lazy boy) and we tried it.  Now, I leave the skin on every time – it goes chewy and marshmallowy and delicious – plus, no peeling! (Or washing up the peeler…urgh).

3.  Line a baking tray with foil (you may want to fold up the sides if it’s smaller than your tray and add a small glug of oil (sorry, I don’t measure my oil!) onto the foil, and swish it around a bit.  Put it into the oven to get the oil nice and hot  – about 5 mins or so should be fine.

4. Once your oil is nice and hot, remove the tray from the oven and quickly dump in the sweet potato, which should sizzle when it hits the oil.  Be careful here – the oil and tray will be ridiculously hot so please don’t burn yourself.  Toss the wedges in the oil so all sides are covered, with tongs, a fish slice or your hands  (I’m hard like that).

5. Sprinkle on your spices and seasoning and toss again.  Put back in the oven.

6. These take about 30 minutes to cook, depending hot your oven is, but check them after about 20 minutes. When they are looking golden, flip them over and they should only take about another 5 minutes from there.

7. Serve and enjoy!

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