Fun with Chilli Con Carne

Chilli Con Carne
I've got new plates!

I know ... I know ... it's very sad to be so excited about new plates, but I really enjoy the artistic side of cooking.

I seem to put nutritionally balanced and flavoursome ingredients together, but it's the plating that thrills me - the arrangement and the garnish.

Yes, sad, I know ... new plates offer all manner of new ways of arranging and presenting.

Friday night ... Chilli Night!

My standard Chilli is a pound of minced beef, a carton of chopped tomatoes, an onion, garlic, ginger, chilli, another chilli, another chilli,  black pepper, oregano, paprika and both chicken and beef stock.

[Edit: I also drop in a chunk of dark chocolate. Thanks for the total recall in the comments, Jean ... actually, the week after I tried some cocoa powder and it worked out really well. Thanks for the tip.]

Chillies, I tend to use Scotch Bonnet for the fire, then Japaneno for the crunch. Sometimes, I smoke it up a bit with Chipotle. Ginger, garlic, black pepper and paprika offer other types of fire flavours.

I brown off the meat, blend up onion, garlic, ginger and initial chilli, pour in to cook through, add the tomatoes and the stock, black pepper, paprika and oregano and let it go for a couple of hours simmering away.

Later on, in goes some Worcestershire Sauce (Salsa Anglais, as Mexicans call it) and more chilli.

Alongside, like all manner of dips, bowls of this, that and the other, but tonight ... a little different:
  • Avocado rice
  • Macerated red cabbage
Avocado rice is simple. Blend an avocado with a little sea salt. Blend it really well. Steam some cauliflower florets and then crush into the guacamole.

Macerated red cabbage is just a case of shredding some red cabbage and steeping it in red wine vinegar. The sweetness really comes out, it softens a little and bleeds a little.

Ready to serve?

It's a rectangular plate, so Chilli Con Carne for about half of the plate, some avocado rice and then some macerated red cabbage at the far end. Garnish ... nice!

Huge fun!