A Cornish girl's food adventures

Tag: chili

Sweet chili jam

Sweet chili jam

Last weeks high winds seem to have brought down most of the remaining apples from the tree in my garden, at least the ones that our resident squirrel hasn’t already nibbled. He’s very picky and won’t touch them once they’ve hit the ground! This is […]

Crispy tofu tacos – with avocado coleslaw

Crispy tofu tacos – with avocado coleslaw

Before I lived in the States I only ever really thought of tacos as the hard, crunchy shells you buy from the supermarket and fill with chilli and cheese. I was utterly oblivious to the world of deliciousness which ‘proper’ tacos provide, there are so […]

Jalapeno-cheddar biscuits

Jalapeno-cheddar biscuits

Isn’t it funny how certain foods can transport you back to the time and place where you first had them? I’m sure these american biscuits will always remind me of our road trips through the Great Smoky Mountains in our little red MX5.

Whilst biscuits look like your average cheese scone they’re really not. They have a softer, lighter texture and are a little more crumbly. If you’ve never tried them then you really should.
Feel free to adjust the jalapeno in these to suit your own tastes, and it’s totally up to you if you de-seed them or not!

Ingredients
makes about 18

300g plain flour
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
60g very cold butter
150ml cream
100ml buttermilk
100g strong cheddar (grated)
1 plump jalapeno (finely chopped)

Pre-heat your oven to 220°c and brush a baking tin with a little melted butter, it doesn’t really matter what shape it is but it helps for it to have quite deep sides because it will support the biscuits as they rise.
Sift together the flour and raising agents into a large mixing bowl and then mix through the salt and sugar. Cut the butter into small pieces and lightly rub it through the flour. It doesn’t have to be too uniform. Mix through the grated cheese (keeping a little in reserve) and the chopped jalapeno.
Combine the cream and buttermilk and add it to the dry mixture, a bit at a time as you may not need all of it and bring it together to form a soft dough. Don’t over mix the dough or you’ll get tough biscuits. I use a fork to mix it so that my hands don’t warm up the mixture either.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and pat it out to about 1/2″ thick. Fold it in half and then pat it out again. Fold it one more time and pat it out again so that it’s 1/2″ thick. Stamp out 2″ rounds using a pastry cutter. It’s very important that you don’t twist the cutter though. Put the biscuits in the buttered cake tin, it’s okay for them to touch. Brush the tops with a little extra butter milk, sprinkle on the reserved cheese and bake for 15-20 minutes. Once they are all puffed up and golden you can let them cool a touch before devouring them whilst they’re still a bit warm.

Dinky crab & chili pasties

Dinky crab & chili pasties

Crab was a particular speciality where we were living in the USA. Hauled out of the Chesapeake and boiled up with Old Bay seasoning or turned into delicious crab cakes. It’s a delicacy back home in Cornwall too, freshly picked and eaten in sandwiches. I’ve […]

Mexican hot chocolate puddings

Mexican hot chocolate puddings

I keep holding my breath and hoping for the spring weather but the rain and chilly winds keep laughing in my face! I’m trying to make the most of it by creating some delicious, warming, indulgent puddings. These little beauties are just fabulous. Fluffy chocolate […]

Curried pumpkin soup

Curried pumpkin soup

curried pumpkin soup

This is the perfect way to warm up and refuel after a Boxing Day walk, and I’m sure that today we’re all in need of something a little bit lighter after all the indulgences of Christmas day.
I’m pretty certain that I must get through several gallons of soup each winter. It’s like my own personal central heating. Spicy soup is my favourite, it’s extra warming, and a creamy soup is especially comforting, simply slurped out of a favourite mug on a chilly afternoon (or is that just me?)
This is packed with flavour but feel free to adjust the spiciness to suit your own palate. If you aren’t vegetarian then by all means use chicken (or even turkey) stock instead of vegetable.

curried pumpkin soup

Ingredients
serves at least 6
1 tbsp oil
1 large onion
1 medium pumpkin
2-3 cloves of garlic
1″ piece of ginger
1 small red chili (optional – it’ll add a bit of a kick)
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 ground fenugreek
1 – 1 1/2 litres of vegetable stock (depending on how thick you like your soup)
100ml single cream
salt and pepper to taste

curried pumpkin soup

Peel and de-seed the pumpkin and chop it into chunks. Peel and dice the onion. Fry both of these in the oil in a very large sauce pan. Peel and chop the garlic and ginger and add these to the pan along with the chili if you’re using it. Cook for a moment or two longer before stirring in the ground spices. Add the stock, cover the pan and leave the soup to bubble away until the pumpkin is very tender.
Remove the pan from the heat and allow it to cool a little before blending it until it’s velvety smooth. Stir in the cream to finish it and season it with a little salt and black pepper.

curried pumpkin soup

Aztec hot chocolate

Aztec hot chocolate

This summer we visited Ecuador on our way back from the US to the UK (yeah, I know, it’s not the most direct route!) I bought a big block of spiced hot chocolate back with me as an edible souvenir (the best kind). You just […]

Chipotle lime popcorn

Chipotle lime popcorn

When we were living in the States we used to visit Philadelphia quite often and we’d always stay at the same hotel, which served complimentary wine in the lobby every evening. This may have been why we always chose that particular hotel. Along with the […]

Warm winter salad

Warm winter salad

winter squash salad

I really do love my veggies but when the chilly weather arrives I’m less keen on the idea of tucking into a fridge-cold refreshing salad. I always want something that feels a bit more hearty and nourishing.

This vegetarian delight certainly ticks those boxes. The lentils are filling and satisfying, the squash is rich and sweet and the fresh raw beetroot gives the salad a lovely crunch.
I’m not convinced that this salad needs a dressing because it’s already packed with flavour but you can always use a simple balsamic/olive oil dressing or a minted yogurt if you like.
Obviously if you want the salad to be vegan just leave out the cheese (it’ll still be very tasty).

winter squash salad

Ingredients
serves 2 generously
250g butternut squash (deseeded)
1 tsp fennel seeds
pinch of salt & pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
2 shallots
1 can of green lentils (drained)
1/2 red chili
1/4 tsp cumin
2-3 beetroot
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 big handfuls of watercress
50g crumbly cheese (I used Wensleydale)

winter squash salad

Cube the butternut squash and toss it in 1/2 tablespoon of the oil, the fennel and salt and pepper. Roast it for 30 minutes at 200°c, tossing halfway through so that it is tender and starting to become golden around the edges.
Whilst the squash is roasting you can prepare the beetroot. Peel and grate (or spiralise) them and then toss them in the balsamic before letting them sit and marinate for a bit.
Peel the shallots and thinly slice them before frying them in the remaining oil. Finely chop the chili, it’s up to you if you want to leave the seeds in or not. Add the chili and the cumin to the shallots and continue to cook until they start to caramelise, then toss in the lentils and warm them through. Add the roasted squash and then you’re ready to assemble the salad.
Tip the warm lentils and squash onto a serving platter and pile on a couple of big handfuls of watercress. Add the beetroot and finish it with a scattering of crumbled cheese.

winter squash salad

Lemongrass and ginger prawn cakes

Lemongrass and ginger prawn cakes

Succulent and aromatic, these little prawns cakes make a delicious appetiser or a great addition to any Asian soup or noodle dish if you’re in the market for something more substantial. They’re pretty easy to whip up with the help of a food processor but […]