Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Mexican Soup

This recipe is so quick and tasty and is an excellent veggie alternative to chilli. It's fresh and spicy and lovely served with cornbread or tortilla chips.

It'll serve around four people but heats up fine the next day (leaving off the garnishes).


1 tbsp Olive Oil
2 medium red onions, chopped
6 large cloves garlic, minced
1 can (400g) chopped tomatoes
2 cans of kidney beans, drained
1 1/2 cups (375g) corn kernels (fresh or frozen)
1 vegetable stock cube
2 cups (500ml) water
1 1/4 tsp cumin powder
2 1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp chopped jalepeno peppers
1 tsp honey
1 1/2 tbsp lime juice
salt and pepper to taste
Coriander, chopped (as garnish)
4 tbsp sour cream


1 chorizo sausage, diced
1 avocado, sliced

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. When hot, add the onions, garlic, cumin, oregano, cinnamon and jalepenos. Cover and let cook for around 6-8 minutes, stirring to make sure the onions don't stick.

If you are going to be adding the chorizo, fry this in a little oil in a separate pan and place to the side when crisp and nicely coloured.

Add the remaining ingredients with the exception of the chorizo, avocado, coriander and lime juice to the pan. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 15 - 20 minutes.

Just before serving, stir in the lime juice and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve in large bowls, garnished with the coriander and a tbsp of sour cream for each bowl.

If you are adding chorizo and avocado, pile them on top at this point.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Spaghetti Bolognese

I would describe this recipe as just about foolproof.

This recipe will feed about 6 people. I usually make enough for 6 and then freeze excess portions as
bolognese keeps really well frozen.


750g (1.6 pounds) steak mince
3 large carrots, grated
1 large red onion, diced
125ml (1/2 cup) olive oil
4 tbsp tomato puree
6 cloves of garlic
2 cans of chopped tomatoes (400ml cans)
250ml (1 cup) red wine
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 vegetable stock cube
2 tbsp dried oregano
1 tbsp dried basil
1 tbsp garlic powder
2 tsp
salt and pepper to taste
250ml (1 cup) milk

Firstly, heat the olive oil in a large saucepan on medium heat. Add the diced onions and grated carrots to the pan and cook for a couple of minutes, making sure they don't stick to the pan.

Push the carrot and onion mixture to the side of the pan and add the steak mince. Brown the mince, stirring everything together. If you have bought lean steak mince, you shouldn't get too much fat from the mince. If you do find that the mixture is looking a bit greasy then you can strain some of the fat away.

Add in the chopped garlic, oregano, basil and the garlic powder and stir thoroughly.

When everything is browned, add in the tomato paste and combine with the contents of the pan.

Now add the red wine. This may seem like a lot of red wine but the alcohol will cook off and it gives it a rich flavour that is hard to get with anything else.

Add the Worcestershire sauce, crumbled stock cube,
Tabasco and the cans of chopped tomatoes.

Lastly, add the milk. This is my secret addition to
bolognese that I usually don't tell people about!! I promise that it won't make your sauce creamy but just gives it a bit of va-va-voom!

Reduce the heat and simmer
for at least 45 mins but the longer you can leave it cooking the better. Make sure and stir occasionally to ensure that the sauce doesn't stick but as it's quite liquid you don't have to worry about going away and doing something else while it's cooking!

Taste and season the
bolognese with salt and pepper while it's simmering.

You can serve this with spaghetti or to be honest, any pasta shape that you like. Make sure and sprinkle plenty of grated
Parmesan cheese on the spaghetti bolognese before serving.