Beef, Black Bean, and Poblano Chili

Beef, Black Bean, and Poblano Chili

Now that winter is officially here in Australia, it’s the perfect time to share a super tasty chili recipe. I have a few favourite chili recipes, including this one, which I shared last winter. I’m always looking for new recipes, of course. A couple of weeks ago, I saw that my grocery store suddenly had a huge range of chilis. They normally only have about two to three chili types available, so I was pretty excited to see that chili season had arrived here. I like spicy food, but not extremely spicy food. I knew I wanted to try a different chili, while they’re available, and I wanted to use one that was fairly mild. I started searching for recipes using poblano chilis, since they’re known to be very flavourful but not too hot.

Beef, Black Bean, and Poblano Chili

I found a few great-looking recipes using poblanos. This beef chili was one of them. Of course, I just had to make a few changes to the recipe, to suit my family’s tastes and my cooking methods. I added black beans, omitted the beer (I’d rather drink beer than cook with it, especially since I’ve got a little one), and adjusted the level of heat. Cooking would be so boring if we just stuck to the recipe, right?

Beef, Black Bean, and Poblano Chili

I made this chili for my family, and they absolutely loved it! Hearty beef and beans and those incredible poblano chilis were so good together. The chili was perfectly flavoured, with just the right seasonings and heat level for us (ok, for most of us–I could have kicked the heat level up a notch, personally, but I aim to please everyone). You could easily adjust the seasonings and heat level to your taste. I served this delicious chili with a few tasty toppings and a big bowl of corn tortilla chips.

Beef, Black Bean, and Poblano Chili

I will definitely be making this amazing chili again very soon. My favourite cornbread muffins may have to make an appearance, as well. There’s nothing better on a cold winter evening than a hot bowl of chili with all the fixins, right? (I just had to throw in the word “fixins” there.) I hope you will love this recipe as much as I do, and it will become one of your favourites!

Beef, Black Bean, and Poblano Chili

Enjoy the recipe…

Beef, Black Bean, and Poblano Chili

Hearty beef and black beans and incredibly flavourful poblano chilis are so good together. This chili has the perfect balance of seasonings and heat level, and can easily be adjusted to suit your taste. Serve the chili with lots of toppings and a big bowl of corn chips. There's nothing better on a cold winter evening.

This recipe was adapted from Smoky Beef and Poblano Chili by The Chunky Chef.

Ingredients

Chili:

  • 1 lb./ 500g lean ground beef/ beef mince (10% fat)
  • 1 medium or large brown onion, diced
  • 1-2 poblano chilis, deseeded and diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. chili powder (or to taste)
  • 1/2 Tbsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 Tbsp. tomato paste (good quality)
  • 3 cups low sodium beef stock/ broth
  • 1 1/4 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed under cold running water
  • 1 28 oz/ 800g can diced or crushed tomatoes
  • A few dashes of dry oregano leaves

Toppings:

  • diced avocado (Hass)
  • sliced jalapeños
  • sour cream
  • shredded sharp or vintage cheddar cheese
  • minced fresh cilantro/ coriander leaves

Serve with:

  • corn tortilla chips or cornbread
  • lime wedges

Directions

  1. Pour 2 Tbsp of olive oil into a large pot and heat on low. Once the oil is sizzling, add onion and poblano chilis to pan and saute, stirring occasionally, about 10-15 minutes, until soft.  Add garlic and cook for another 20-30 seconds.
  2. Add beef to pan, breaking up with the back of a spatula. Cook, stirring occasionally, until beef is browned. Add spices (chili powder, cumin, and salt), stirring to combine.  Cook for about 1 minute, until fragrant.
  3. While beef mixture is cooking, heat beef stock (I use beef stock cubes in a large Pyrex measuring cup). Whisk all-purpose flour into beef stock, to incorporate completely. Whisk in oregano and tomatoes.
  4. Stir tomato paste into the meat mixture. Pour in thickened beef stock. Add black beans. Raise heat level and bring chili just to the boil.
  5. Reduce heat to low or med-low (depending on your stove), cover with lid almost all the way (I leave mine on, because it has a hole for air to escape). Simmer chili for about 35-45 minutes, stirring occasionally, to allow the flavours to develop.
  6. Serve bowls of chili. Arrange topping options and sides as a DIY chili bar, or in the centre of the table, if you like.

Notes:

  1.  Recipe makes approximately 6 cups of chili.
  2. Chili may be frozen for up to 3 months.

This recipe was created by Kim Sequoia for a delicious moment.

All written content and photos are copyright Kim Sequoia 2018 for a delicious moment.

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Toad in the Hole

If you love food with weird names that do not imply how delicious they are, then this dish is for you. If you like easy one-pan main dishes, then this is also for you. If you simply like sausages, then Toad in the Hole is for you.

Toad in the Hole

My partner told me about this dish, and a few other foods with odd-sounding English names, when I first came to Australia. There is a thing about wordplay, here, which comes from a long tradition in England. To be honest, I don’t think that I will ever get it. Whenever Glen makes a reference to something using rhyming slang, for example, I just give him a blank stare. I’m American, by the way. So, this funny-sounding English dish was something that I was not exactly in a hurry to try.

Then I saw the recipe for Toad in the Hole in a one-pot cookbook, and I thought it looked pretty tasty. I’ve made it many times, since then. I can tell you, it’s totally delicious.

What is Toad in the Hole, you must be wondering, by now. It’s sausages cooked in Yorkshire pudding. What is Yorkshire pudding? you may be thinking now. It’s a baked batter which turns crisp on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside. I think the Yorkshire pudding is the best part. I mean, sausages are great and everything, but I’m really not a big meat-eater. Give me some of that delicious Yorkshire pudding. It’s awesome.

Toad in the Hole

I like to add onion, and sometimes bacon and/ or mushrooms to the batter, as well, to make the Yorkshire pudding even more delicious. I don’t know if those little twists on the recipe are traditional or not, and I don’t really care. It tastes good, so I do it. That’s my philosophy. If it tastes good, then do it. I like to use beef or pork sausages, really nice ones, in this dish. But you could use any sausages you like. I could see using chorizo, for example, to do a spicy version. (Wow, I can’t believe that I haven’t tried that yet!)

Toad in the Hole is super easy to make, and takes about an hour. My whole family loves it. Serve this with a veg or two, or a salad, and you’ve got dinner on the table.

Here’s the recipe. Enjoy…

Toad in the Hole

If you love food with weird names that do not imply how delicious they are, then this dish is for you. Or, if you like easy one-pan main dishes, then this is also for you. Or, if you simply like sausages, then Toad in the Hole is for you.

This recipe was adapted from the Food Lovers One Pot cookbook from TransAtlantic press.

Ingredients

6-8 sausages, preferably good-quality beef or pork

½ large brown/ yellow onion, diced

1 cup/ 125 g flour

½ tsp. baking powder

½ tsp. salt

2 large eggs

1 ¼ cups/ 300 mL milk

3 Tbsp./ 40 g canola oil

A dash or two of dry oregano

 

Optional extras:

4-5 small mushrooms, diced

2-3 shortcut bacon rashers, diced

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400F/ 200C/ 190C fan-forced. Put the canola oil in the bottom of a large (9×13”) Pyrex roasting pan. Set aside.
  2. For the Yorkshire pudding batter, put the flour, baking powder, and salt in a mixing bowl, and whisk together. Add the eggs and milk, and whisk until completely incorporated. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to stand at room temperature for 20 minutes.
  3. Once the oven is hot, put the oiled pan in the oven for 5 minutes, to heat the oil.
  4. While the pan is in the oven, prick each sausage a couple of times with a fork. Take the pan out of the oven. Put the sausages in the pan. Be careful! The oil will be very hot. Also add the diced onion. If you’re using bacon and/ or mushrooms, add them now.
  5. Roast the sausages and veg for 12-15 minutes, until the sausages are browned and the onions are soft.
  6. Take the sausages out of the pan and set aside on a plate. Pour the batter into the bottom of the pan. Then lay the sausages back in the pan, leaving a bit of room between each one. Sprinkle oregano on top.
  7. Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes, or about 25 minutes for fan-forced oven. The Yorkshire pudding should be light, crisp, and well-risen.
  8. Slice into sections with 1-2 sausages per serve.

This recipe was created by Kim Sequoia for a delicious moment.

All written content and photos are copyright Kim Sequoia 2018 for a delicious moment.

 

Chicken Corn Chowder

Chicken Corn Chowder

While the spring temperatures may be rising in the Northern Hemisphere, it is feeling much more autumnal here in Australia. One of my favourite things to make when the weather gets cooler is this awesome chicken corn chowder. The warmth of a delicious bowl of soup on a cool, crisp autumn day is something I never tire of. I love autumn. I’m totally into wearing sweaters and scarves, enjoying the rare glimpse of autumn colour on the trees (I do wish we had more of that here), and making my favourite warming comfort foods, at this time of year. Soup’s on! But, hey, spring is a good time for soup, too, right? Especially when it’s this good!

Chicken Corn Chowder

I’ve made this chicken corn chowder many times. Over time, I’ve changed it a little, here and there, until I felt like it’s just how I want it. This soup is so creamy and full of flavour. The sweet corn and the savory elements work together beautifully. Jalapenos or green chilis add flavour and a bit of heat. Bacon gives a salty touch. There are heaps of veggies in this soup, too. There’s corn, carrot, celery, potatoes, onion, and garlic. Herbs can vary, as you like. Almost any herb will do. I really enjoy making this soup with fresh chives, but I usually use dry basil and oregano, because I always have them on hand. Sometimes I use cilantro/ fresh coriander. It just depends on my mood. Feel free to top off your soup with a bit of cheddar cheese and extra herbs, to really bring up the flavour. This bowl of comforting goodness is a classic soup that your family will love.

Chicken Corn Chowder

I really must apologize for the terrible phone pictures of this soup. As soon as I snapped one photo of it on my camera, the battery died. I was pretty bummed about that, but just had to share this delicious soup recipe with you, anyway. I hope you’ll look past the blurry pics and try the recipe. It’s worth it, trust me. This soup is so good!

Here’s the recipe. Enjoy…

Chicken Corn Chowder

This chicken corn chowder is so creamy and full of flavour. The sweet corn and the savory elements work together beautifully. This bowl of comforting goodness is a classic soup that your family will love.

Ingredients

2 Tbsp olive oil, divided

1 brown onion, diced

4 carrots, thinly sliced

3 celery sticks, thinly sliced

4 garlic cloves, minced

2 jalapeno chilis or green chilis, deseeded and finely diced

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into small bite-sized pieces

6 pieces of shortcut bacon, diced or chopped

½ cup low-fat thickened cream/ whipping cream

2 Tbsp all-purpose flour

2 cans of creamed corn

4 large potatoes, peeled and diced

1 cup frozen corn (good quality!)

4 cups chicken stock/ broth

Salt and pepper, to taste

Herbs such as basil, oregano, chives, and/ or cilantro/ coriander, to taste

Grated cheddar cheese, to garnish (optional)

Directions

  1. Heat large lidded sauce pan or stock pot over medium-low heat. Add 1 Tbsp olive oil to pot and allow to heat up. Add onion, carrots, celery, and potatoes to pot. Stir vegetables to coat with oil. Cover pot and cook vegetables gently, stirring occasionally. Cook for about 5 minutes.
  2. Add garlic and jalapeno to vegetable mixture. Continue cooking for 2-3 more minutes. Be careful not to brown vegetables. Turn heat down to low, if necessary.
  3. Meanwhile, heat a large skillet, over medium heat. Add 1 Tbsp olive oil to pan. Add bacon to pan and cook for a few minutes, until lightly browned. Add chicken to pan. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Stirring frequently, cook chicken until golden brown. Remove pan from heat.
  4. As meat cooks, heat chicken stock/ broth in large Pyrex measuring cup. Whisk flour into stock until completely incorporated.
  5. Stir chicken and bacon into soup pot. Add chicken stock/ broth to pot, until meat and vegetables are just covered.
  6. Put lid on pot. Bring soup just to the boil. Then remove lid and simmer soup for 5 minutes over low heat.
  7. While soup simmers, cook frozen corn.
  8. Add creamed corn to soup, stirring well.
  9. Add thickened cream to soup, gradually, stirring until cream is thoroughly mixed into soup.
  10. Stir in cooked (frozen) corn.
  11. Simmer soup for 2-3 more minutes, while seasoning to taste. Remove from heat.
  12. Serve soup garnished with your choice of toppings, if you like, such as fresh chives, cilantro/ coriander, and/ or grated cheddar cheese.

This recipe was created by Kim Sequoia for a delicious moment.

All written content and photos are copyright Kim Sequoia 2018 for a delicious moment.

Chicken Corn Chowder

 

Mandarin Chicken Salad

Mandarin Chicken Salad

When mandarin oranges are in season, a great way to enjoy them is in salads. While I don’t tend to eat mandarins (or “Mandy’s”, as they are nicknamed, here in Australia) on their own, I do love them in this zesty Mandarin Chicken Salad. The sweet, juicy mandarins and fresh veg, along with simply prepared chicken breast and an amazing dressing combine to make a really delicious salad recipe.

Mandarin Chicken Salad

If you cannot find fresh mandarins, feel free to use ones preserved in juice (not sweetened). Or, you could use Valencia orange slices. As you can see, I included avocado in the recipe but didn’t actually use them, when I photographed the salad. That’s because Hass avocados aren’t in season now, and I really don’t prefer the kind that are available (although they’re fine for guacamole). It’s tasty with or without avocados, but I do like to add them, when possible, for their creamy texture.

Mandarin Chicken Salad

I’ve made this salad several times, with variations in the way I prepared the chicken. Feel free to make the chicken in other ways. Grilled and baked breaded/ crumbed chicken both work very well in this salad, as does cold or warm shredded roast chicken.

Mandarin Chicken Salad

To me, the element of the salad that really sings is the dressing. It’s so good! Every time I’ve made this salad, I have adjusted the ingredients in the dressing a little, until the flavours balanced out perfectly. If you like honey, lime, soy sauce, and ginger, then you are going to love this dressing! Of course, if you are not a fan of one of the ingredients, then you could easily adjust the dressing to your own taste. It would also work well on lots of other sweet-and-savory salads, too, I’m sure.

Here’s the recipe. Enjoy!

Mandarin Chicken Salad

This recipe was inspired by the recipe for Sesame Chicken Tangerine Salad by Season with Spice.

Ingredients

    Salad:

  • 2 chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
  • Mixed salad greens and/or baby spinach
  • 2 mandarin oranges, peeled and segmented
  • 1 ripe avocado, diced
  • 1/3 seedless cucumber, thinly sliced or diced (peeled first, if you prefer)
  • ½ small red onion, thinly sliced into rings (or 2-3 spring onions, white part only, cut into short pieces)
  •  

    Dressing:

  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 2 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • 3 tsp lime juice
  • 1-2 dashes of chili powder
  • 2-3 dashes of toasted sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp freshly grated ginger

Directions


1. To make the dressing, put all the dressing ingredients in a clean jam jar. Put the lid on and give it a good shake. Taste and make adjustments to dressing, if you like. Refrigerate dressing until ready to use.
2. Heat a frying pan over medium-high heat. Heat the oil in the pan until sizzling a bit. Then fry the chicken, cooking for 1-2 minutes on each side until golden, seasoning with salt and pepper, to taste. Be careful not to overcook the chicken. Remove chicken from pan and set aside on a plate. Cover with foil.
3. Place salad greens on plates or in bowls. Arrange mandarin orange, avocado, cucumber, and onion on greens. Top with chicken pieces and drizzle with dressing (or serve dressing on the side). Serve salads immediately.

This recipe was created by Kim Sequoia for a delicious moment.

All written content and photos are copyright Kim Sequoia 2018 for a delicious moment.

 

Easter Vanilla Bean Bundt Cake

Easter Vanilla Bean Bundt Cake

It’s that time of year again, a time for bunnies, flowers, and chocolates… Easter is almost here! This is the perfect occasion to do a really pretty cake. I have a lovely cake for you, today, which is beautiful for Easter, but it is so easy and delightful that you could make it (minus the chocolate eggs and flowers, as decoration) for any occasion you like.

Easter Vanilla Bean Bundt Cake

Vanilla Bean Bundt Cake is one of my favourite cake recipes. Its wonderfully rich vanilla flavouring comes from vanilla bean paste. You can use vanilla beans or vanilla extract, if you’d prefer, but I’m a huge fan of vanilla bean paste, so that’s what I’ve used for this cake. Both the bundt cake and the glaze which is drizzled on top contain vanilla bean paste, so you get double the vanilla goodness!

Easter Vanilla Bean Bundt Cake

As you can see, for Easter, I’ve decorated the cake with candy-coated chocolate eggs on top and flowers, which were from my garden’s pink trumpet vine, around the bottom edge. Feel free to decorate the cake any way you want to–or not at all. I can imagine a few tiny chocolate bunnies on top of the cake, along with the chocolate eggs, or maybe a few sprigs of very small flowers (either real ones or sugar flowers, like forget-me-nots) circling the top. Get creative! This is an occasion for celebration and beauty.

Easter Vanilla Bean Bundt Cake

I wish you could see how gorgeous the inside of the cake was. I didn’t get any photos of the inside of this cake, because I was too busy serving it to our guests, at last year’s Easter lunch. The crumb of this cake is very tender, and the flavour is just wonderful. As simple as vanilla may seem, it can be very satisfying. This cake totally gets it right. Those adorable chocolate eggs are delicious, too! (I could eat them by the handful, if I let myself!)

Happy Easter, everybody! I hope your holiday will be beautiful.

Enjoy the recipe…

Easter Vanilla Bean Bundt Cake

This cake is beautiful for Easter, but it is so easy and delightful that you could make it for any occasion you like. Vanilla Bean Bundt Cake is one of my favourite cake recipes. Its wonderfully rich vanilla flavouring comes from vanilla bean paste.

This recipe was adapted from Sweetapolita.

Ingredients

For the Cake:

  • 3 cups (375g) all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon (4g) baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2g) baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon (4g) salt
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons (2-1/4 sticks or 255 g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1-3/4 cups (350g) granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) vanilla bean paste or 2 tsp vanilla extract or 2 vanilla beans, halved lengthwise
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (240 ml) buttermilk, at room temperature

For the Glaze:

  • 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
  • 1-3 tablespoons whole milk (use less milk if you use vanilla extract)
  • About 1 cup confectioners’ sugar/ soft icing mixture

To Decorate:

  • 30-40 mini candy-coated chocolate eggs (I used Cadbury’s eggs)
  • A handful of fresh flowers (They must be organic/ not treated with chemicals of any kind, to be near food.)

Directions

For the Cake:

Preheat oven to 350°F/ 180°C/ 160°C fan-forced with rack in middle. Generously butter pan or spray with canola oil, and dust with flour, knocking out excess flour.

In a large bowl, whisk together dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

Cream butter and sugar together with an electric mixer at medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Scrape seeds from vanilla beans with tip of a paring knife and add into butter mixture, reserving pods for another use, or add vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract, and beat until well combined, about 1 minute.

Add eggs, one at a time, to creamed butter and sugar, beating well after each addition. At low speed, add flour mixture and milk alternately in batches, beginning and ending with flour mixture, mixing until just combined.

Spoon batter into pan, smoothing and spreading evenly. Gently tap pan on counter to eliminate air bubbles. Bake until the tip of a skewer inserted into center of cake comes out clean, about 1 hour. Cool in pan for 1 hour, covered with a clean tea towel. Then invert cake onto a rack and cool completely, for about 1 hour.

For the Glaze:

Put confectioners’ sugar/ soft icing mixture and vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract in Pyrex measuring cup. Add milk 1 tsp at a time, whisking constantly, until you get desired consistency. The glaze should be thick yet pourable.

You want to make sure that it’s not too runny, or it won’t dry white on the cake, and will run off too quickly. It should take a few seconds to whisk it, and it will feel too thick at first–keep whisking until you get desired thickness. If too thick, add a teaspoon or so of the milk. If glaze is too thin, add more confectioners’ sugar/ soft icing sugar 1 tsp at a time.

Once the cake has cooled, drizzle glaze over top.

To Decorate:

While the glaze is still moist, gently press candy-coated chocolate eggs into the glaze on the top of the cake. Arrange fresh flowers around the bottom edge of the cake.

This recipe was created by Kim Sequoia for a delicious moment.

All written content and photos are copyright Kim Sequoia 2018 for a delicious moment.