Tagged: recipe

Chocolate Beef Chili

I don’t know about you, but I have an entire army of aunts and 2 grandmas who simply adore to feed people. Thank goodness, they are all amazing cooks!

I used to think they fed anything with a heart beat as a token of their affection, per se. However, today I’m questioning their motives. This morning, I came across this very cleverly illustrated comic titled “8 Ways to Tell if Your Loved Ones Plan to Eat You” by The Oatmeal. I mean, just take a look at number #1 on that list. Scary stuff.

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Ok, enough silliness for today. In all seriousness, my lovely aunts and grandmas feed people in an attempt to comfort them, to make them feel welcomed, to celebrate, to get rid of those week-old leftovers in the fridge and so on. You get the point. They basically try to feed everyone every chance they get. And, I must confess I do it too. Guilty as charged.

Whenever I have (or want) to feed a large crowd, I usually go with something that is easy to make in large quantities, easy to serve, filling and absolutely delicious, of course. This is where this amazing chili recipe comes in. This recipe is a crowd pleaser, for sure. Come on, who doesn’t like chocolate? Let’s be real.

Whether you’re cooking a small family dinner or for an entire football team, give this recipe a try. You will not regret you did!


Chocolate Beef Chili
(Makes 5 generous servings)

Ingredients:
2 pounds of lean ground beef
2 tablespoon of vegetable oil
1 green pepper, finely chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
3 tablespoons of sweet paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
3 tablespoons of cocoa powder, unsweetened
1 tablespoon of tomato paste
1 can (26 oz) of diced tomatoes, drained
1 ½ cups of beef stock
1 can (19 oz) of red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions:
1. Heat the oil in a large pan. Cook the ground beef until lightly brown. Remove meat from pan but leave fat in pan.
2. Add onion and green pepper to the pan. Cook until the onion is translucent and soft.
3. Add garlic, paprika, cayenne pepper, oregano, cumin, cinnamon and cocoa powder. Cook while stirring for 2 minutes.
4. Add browned beef back into the pan. Add tomato paste, tomatoes, beans and beef stock. Let simmer for about 45 mins to an hour or until it is nice and thick. Add salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy.

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Tips:

  • You can substitute the ground beef for ground turkey if you want this dish to be a bit leaner.
  • This recipe will give you a very mild chili. If you’d like it to be hotter, feel free to adjust the amount of cayenne pepper to your liking.
  • You can garnish this chili with fresh cilantro, sour cream, grated cheddar cheese, chives and/or a wedge of lime on the side.
  • Fell free to add veggies to this chili too. Add them to the chili in the last 10 minutes of cooking to avoid overcooking those veggies.
  • I usually don’t add any extra salt to this because of all the canned goods that go into it. So, be careful when you’re salting this. Pretty please?

Bon appetit!

Roasted Tomato & Goat Cheese Fusilli

Have you seen those dishes that seem very simple at first sight, but as soon as you take that first bite, it’s like an explosion of amazing flavours in your mouth? I guess you should never judge a book by its cover, right? Anyhow, I love those packed-with-flavour-but-ordinary-looking dishes. What can I say? I like surprises.

Well, this is exactly what this recipe is all about. It is very simple to make and very ordinary-looking but you will definitely be pleasantly surprised by how tasty this is. Let’s get started!

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Roasted Tomato & Goat Cheese Fusilli
(Makes enough deliciousness for 4 people)

Ingredients:
2 cup of fusilli
3 tomatoes, peeled and seeded
½ of a medium white onion
1 clove of garlic, lightly smashed
3 tablespoons of olive oil
140g of goat cheese
2 cups of broccoli, blanched
Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions:
1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
2. Place tomatoes, onion and garlic on a baking tray with parchment paper. Pop them in the oven for approximately 20 minutes or until they are nicely roasted.
3. Cook fusilli according to the instructions on the box. Drain.
4. Place the roasted tomatoes, onion and garlic in the blender. Blend until you get a smooth puree. Allow it to cool for 15 minutes.
5. In a large pot and over low heat, start creaming the goat cheese with a wooden spoon. Add the pureed tomato and keep stirring until you get a creamy, rose-looking sauce. Season with salt and pepper.
6. Add pasta. Toss perfectly but gently.
7. Remove from heat. Add broccoli.
8. Give everything a quick toss. Cover. Let it sit for 5 minutes.
9. Serve hot. Enjoy!

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Tips:

  • Make sure you make the sauce over very low heat so that the goat cheese does not curdle on you.
  • Some parmesan cheese shavings are a great garnish for this dish.
  • If you tomatoes didn’t turn out to be as sweet as you expected them to be, add a teaspoon of sugar to the tomato puree.

Bon appetit!

No-Bake Lime Squares

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Let’s talk condensed milk for a sec here. I adore condensed milk. It’s simply delicious. Possibly even better than Nutella. Sorry, Nutella lovers.

Today, I have here for you a very simple dessert recipe to help you re-discover the deliciousness of condensed milk. And, when I say simple, I mean it. You will only need 4 ingredients and 15 minutes of your time to make this! How much simpler can it get, right?

You do not need the oven for this one, either. No hot ovens in the summer for me, thank you very much. What’s even better about this dessert is that your kids can definitely lend a helping hand to make it. Speaking of kids, let me tell you a cute story about this recipe. These lime squares were the first thing I ever “cooked”. I was about 7 years old. On Wednesdays at school, we had to go to a mandatory workshop of our choice for half the day. I picked the cooking workshop, of course. At the time, I think I was just hungry when I was trying to decide on a workshop. Little did I know cooking would soon become my passion.

Making this dessert brings back countless amazing memories, for sure. It doesn’t hurt that it is delicious too. Trust me on that one – I’ve been making them for the past almost 20 years. I should have a “lime square expert in the house” shirt or something by now. Haha.

Give this recipe a try and let me know what you think in the comments below. Also, if you want to make a more grown-up friendly version of this dessert, check out the tips at the end f the recipe.

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Creamy Lime Squares
(Makes 6 mouthwatering squares)

Ingredients:
1 can of condensed milk
1 can of evaporated milk
1 cup fresh lime juice
1 ½ packages of Maria cookies

Instructions:
1. Place condensed milk, evaporated milk and lime juice in blender. Blend until smooth and thick. This will be our lime custard.
2. In a medium rectangular baking pan, place a thin layer of lime custard to barely cover the bottom of the pan. Take a cookie and dip it in the custard. Place cookie on top of the thin layer of custard. Repeat with as many cookies as you need to create a layer of dipped cookies. Cover the cookie layer with a bit of custard so that all the cookies are fully covered. Create another layer of dipped cookies followed by another layer of custard and so on. Keep forming layers until you have used up all of the custard. The last layer should be a custard layer.
3. Cover and refrigerate overnight to allow it to set.
4. Cut into squares of appropriate size depending on the size of your baking pan. Enjoy!

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Tips:

  • If you can’t find Maria cookies, you can use arrowroot cookies instead.
  • If you don’t have limes at home, you can use ½ cup of imitation lime juice instead.
  • If you want an adult version of this, add 1 or 2 ounces (depending on how your day is going) of tequila to the custard and garnish it with lime zest or a thin slice of lime when serving. Perfect boozy, summer dessert!

Bon appetit!