Cooking from first principles is my aim in the kitchen and pre-prepared, processed meals do not usually appear, writes Uckfield News Fabulous Food blogger Beverley Butler.
As with everything in life there is an exception to the rules and a Schwartz Hot Chilli Con Carne sauce mix sits comfortably in my kitchen cupboard, knowing that one day soon I am going to be looking to produce a quick, easy and tasty dinner that I have limited time to prepare!
Other sauce mixes are available that we haven’t tried and but we discovered this one when preparing for a self catering holiday and knowing I couldn’t take all the ingredients from home this seemed worth a try.
Many years later, the packets can still be seen taking pride of place on the shelf in our kitchen. Schwartz offers a standard Chill mix, but we prefer the ‘hot’ variety.
This enhances a very satisfying meal whether I use the slow cooker or just let the mixture sit in a wok on the hob unit for as long as possible to take in all the flavours.
I make a few tweeks to the directions on the back of the packet by adding gently fried chopped onion, red and green peppers, a good splash of red wine and Worcestershire Sauce.
Served with Tortilla Chips, or rice, topped with a Tomato Salsa and a spoonful of soured cream (or Quark – see previous article), accompanied by a side salad or garlic bread, with very little preparation I think this makes a meal worthy of enjoying with friends or a cosy night in with a bottle of red wine in front of a good film and a roaring fire. It is a real winter comfort meal.
The packet mix is enough for four servings, so if only two servings are required either freeze the other half or serve with Jacket Potatoes another day, or top with mashed potato and create a Cottage Pie with a bit of a kick!
Basmati rice is the usual preferred option in our house, cooked to a Jamie Oliver recipe. Again, easy to prepare and perfect results every time.
Measure out a small mug full (enough for two) of basmati rice and place into a medium sized saucepan.
Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and, if required, a few dried herbs. Cover the rice with almost 2 mugs of boiling water. Put a lid on the saucepan and simmer for 7 minutes. Turn off the heat and do not remove the lid. Let sit for a further 7 minutes at least. Fluff up with a fork and serve.
The mince used for the latest outing for a Chilli sauce mix came from the new butchers in Framfield Road.
Daniel and Kayleigh run D.J. Osborne Family Butchers that has just arrived and offers very good quality meat at fantastic prices.
We also enjoyed one of their Pomfret Chicken and Mushroom Pies. The pastry was lovely and the pie was packed full of delicious tender Chicken. Other varieties are available and would easily satisfy the family with their home-made flavour.
Daniel’s Mum makes the pies and other ready meals that look very tempting. Loyalty Cards are also available, but with their very friendly welcome and superb quality produce I feel sure you will return anyway, I certainly did!