Tag Archives: chili

SPICY TOFU PATTIES

spicy tofu patties

We all feel like we should eat a little bit lighter after Christmas but on cold, grey, dreary winter days it’s hard for me to get excited about a bowl of salad.
I need bright colours, bags of flavour and preferably a bit of spice to warm me up from the inside!
I know a lot of people who struggle to get on board with eating tofu. I think it’s because they view it just as a meat substiute. I just view it as a protein source. I know that the flavour can take a little getting used to and that it needs a little help in that department, but that’s also why it works so well in spicy dishes.
These little crispy patties, topped with colourful, chunky salsa certainly remind me that, one day, there will be warm sunny days again!

spicy tofu patties

Ingredients

Patties
450g block of extra firm tofu, drained and pressed
3 spring onions
handful of coriander
1/2 tsp paprika
pinch each of ground cinnamon, cumin, salt and pepper
1 tsp chipotle paste
squeeze of lime juice
chili sauce to taste
3 tbsp panko breadcrumbs

Salsa
3 tbsp sweetcorn
1 small ripe avocado
handful of cherry tomatos
1 jalapeno
handul of coriander
lime juice, salt and pepper to taste

little gem lettuce leaves to serve

spicy tofu patties

Mash up the tofu with your hands in a large mixing bowl. Make sure that there are no large lumps in it. Slice the spring onions and chop the coriander. Add these to the mixing bowl and mix them through with a fork. Add everything else but the panko and mix these through too, making sure that they are well distributed through the tofu. Finally add the panko and mix the whole lot. Let this sit whilst you make the salsa.

spicy tofu patties
Dice the tomatoes and roughly chop the coriander and chili . Mix these with the sweetcorn, lime juice, salt and pepper. Peel and pit the avocado and dice this so that it’s a similar size to the tomatoes. Toss this in with the other ingredients.
Shape the tofu mixture into little patties, a heaped tablespoon is about the right amount. Fry these over a medium heat in a lightly oiled frying pan until the outsides are golden and crisp.
Serve the patties on the lettuce leaves with a sprinkling of the salsa and perhaps an extra drop or two of hot sauce.

spicy tofu patties

 

 

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WARM ORANGE ROASTED BEET SALAD WITH HARISSA GREEK YOGHURT

orange roasted beetroot salad

Just look at the colours of this. Deep purple, vibrant green and fiery oranges. How could you fail to be cheered up on a gloomy January day if you were presented with this? And that’s before your fork has even come close to your mouth!The beetroot is earthy but also sweet and sticky from the orange, the fiery harissa is instantly cooled by the rich, creamy, tart yoghurt, the pistachios add crunch and the thyme lends a savoury finish.

orange roasted beetroot salad
I enjoyed this dish so much that I suspect my fingers might be beetroot stained for the rest of winter. I do lead a glamorous life!
This is really good with a big mixed green salad or some braised green lentils (or both!). I think what I love most about this is that it makes me feel like I’m doing the whole January healthy eating thing whilst not missing out on all that lovely winter comfort food.
As an added bonus you don’t really have to weight or measure any of the ingredients for this, I’ve only put amounts as a guide, you can pretty much do everything to taste.

orange roasted beetroot salad

Ingredients
serves 2-4

4-6 smallish beetroot
1/2 tsp olive oil
juice and zest of 1 orange
couple of sprigs of thyme
salt and pepper to taste
knob of butter
handful of roasted pistachios
150g Greek yoghurt
1 tsp harissa

orange roasted beetroot salad

Pre-heat your oven to 220°c and line a small roasting tin with foil.
Trim the tops and roots of the beetroot but don’t peel them, just give them a good scrub. Cut each one into six or eight pieces (depending on how big they are). Toss them in the roasting tin with the salt, pepper and oil.
Zest the orange and set this aside to use as a garnish. Cut the orange in half and squeeze the juice over the beetroot. Sprinkle on the thyme leaves, keeping back a few to finish off the dish. Roast the beetroot for about an hour, they might take a bit longer if the pieces are quite chunky. Turn them a couple of times during roasting and give them a poke with a knife to see if they are tender.
Once they cooked to your liking take the tin out of the oven and add a small knob of butter to the beetroot. Toss the veg around until the butter has melted and they look nice and shiny. Let this cool for a few minutes.
Dollop the yoghurt onto your serving plate and spread it out into a thick layer. Dot the yoghurt with the harissa and swirl it into it. Pile the beetroot into the middle of the plate and then scatter over the reserved thyme, orange zest and the pistachios as a garnish.

orange roasted beetroot salad

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HARISSA AND FETA CORNBREAD

harissa & feta corn bread

Is there anything more comforting on a crisp Autumn evening than a steaming bowl of veggie chili or a spicy chickpea stew and a wedge of freshly baked, fluffy, warm cornbread? There certainly isn’t as far as Mr Colonial Cravings is concerned, it’s one of his favourites.
I know that I’ve got a fair number of different cornbread recipes on here by now but it’s such an easy thing to play around with. It’s pretty quick to make too and you can easily tailor it to suit whatever you plan to serve it with. This one would be great with a vegetable tagine or some spicy tomato soup.

harissa & feta corn bread

Ingredients
75g self-raising flour
65g cornmeal
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tbsp sugar
pinch of salt and pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
1 egg
125ml milk
1 tsp harissa
75g feta

Pre-heat your oven to 220°c and grease a baking tin.
Whisk together all of the dry ingredients (except the feta) in a large mixing bowl and set aside. In a separate jug/bowl whisk up the milk, oil, egg and harissa. Stir this into the dry mixture until it is only just combined. Crumble in the feta and give the whole thing another, brief mix. Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake it for about 18 minutes, until it is risen and feels springy to the touch. Serve whilst it’s still warm and steaming.

harissa & feta corn bread

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CHILI CHOCOLATE MOUSSE CAKE

Chocolate mousse cake

I don’t think that I can actually overstate how bloomin’ amazing this cake is. Even Roald Dahl Willy Wonka style naming wouldn’t come close to describing exactly how delicious this dessert tastes. Not just tastes mind you, the texture is heavenly too, crisp and meringue-like on the top and at the edges, rich and fudgy in the middle. And oh that slight spiciness too, tingly and warm and brilliant. Yes, I am proud of this bake.

Chocolate mousse cake

The cream complements it wonderfully, and I’ve allowed plenty of it (because I’ll always be a West-country girl), but you could of course serve the cake with just a dusting of icing sugar and scoop of ice cream.

Ingredients
serves 8 (but I wouldn’t share it)

150g dark chocolate
4 eggs
100g sugar
75g butter
1 tsp vanilla extract/paste
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
pinch of salt

Vanilla-rum cream
300ml double cream
1/2 tsp vanilla paste
1 tbsp dark rum
1 tsp sugar

fresh raspberries and mint to decorate

Chocolate mousse cake

Pre-heat your oven to 180°c and grease a spring-form cake tin. Line the base with grease-proof paper.
Chop up the chocolate and melt it together with the butter, either in a double boiler or by using short blasts in the microwave. Let this cool a little.
Separate the eggs, putting the whites and yolks into two large mixing bowls. Add the sugar to the yolks and beat them until they are really pale (the colour of butter) and thick and fluffy. Add the spices and vanilla to this and briefly beat it again.
Whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt until they hold a stiff peak.

Chocolate mousse cake
Pour the chocolate mixture into the egg yolk mixture and mix them together, making sure that they are well blended. Adding the chocolate to the eggs (rather than the other way around) will reduce your risk of the chocolate seizing. Take a big spoonful of the whipped egg whites and mix it into the chocolate goo. This will lighten the mixture a bit. Carefully, using a big metal spoon, fold in the remaining egg whites, a couple of tablespoons at a time.
Pour the moussey batter into the prepared tin and bake it for 40 minutes.

Chocolate mousse cake
Leave the cake to cool in the tin on a wire rack, the middle will sink a lot but that means that you can fill it with even more cream. Don’t worry if you have cracks in the top either.
Run a pallet knife around the inside of the tin and then carefully release the cake. Hopefully it will come away cleanly and you can slide it off the base and onto a serving plate. Carefully peel away the paper from underneath, this can be a bit fiddly because the top of the cake might be a bit crisp and delicate.
Place all the ingredients for the cream in a mixing bowl and whip until it forms soft peaks. Either pipe or spoon this on top of the cake to fill in the crater in the middle and decorate it with the raspberries and mint leaves. You can serve any leftover cream alongside the cake or it’s amazing on top of hot chocolate or coffee.

Chocolate mousse cake

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WATERMELON AND FETA SALAD WITH JALAPENOS AND MINT

watermelon & feta salad

I’ve been trying to make the most from what my little ‘micro allotment’ (it’s just a few pots on my deck) produces. Aside from my crazy basil I also seem to have a pretty endless supply of chilis and mint. Now, I could drink many, many mojitos and eat a lot of jalapeno dip or I could throw some refreshing watermelon and salty, creamy feta into the mix and have a pretty tempting salad. Yum! I suspect that I will be eating this a lot over the next few months.

I leave the seeds in my chilis because mine aren’t especially hot and the watermelon provides and instant cooling effect but it’s totally up to you whether you follow suit or not.

watermelon & feta salad

Ingredients
serves 4
1/4 medium watermelon
2 small jalapenos
big handful of mint leaves
200g feta
black pepper
olive oil

Deseed the watermelon if necessary and cut it into bitesized chunks. Slice the jalapeno, removing the pith and seeds if you want. Shred the mint leaves, keeping back a few for garnishing.
Toss all of this together in a serving dish and then crumble over the salty feta cheese. Finally sprinkle on a little freshly ground black pepper and drizzle the dish with a touch of olive oil.

watermelon & feta salad

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SKINNY JALAPENO YOGHURT DIP

skinny jalapeno dip

This is such a quick and easy dip to make, it doesn’t really warrant a recipe. You can adjust the taste to suit yourself by increasing, or decreasing the amount of chili that you use. You are also quite welcome to leave in the seeds if you are particularly hardcore about that sort of thing. I’m a bit of a wuss so I deseeded mine.
The other great thing about it is that you literally just sling everything into a food processor and whizz it all together. Easy peasy! No real measuring. No fuss. Done!

Ingredients
serves about 4

1 small pot fat free Greek yoghurt (about 200g ish)
1-2 jalapeno peppers
small bunch of fresh coriander
1-2 sprigs of fresh mint
1/8 tsp ground cumin (or just a big pinch will do)
squeeze of lime juice

Wash and dry the herbs and remove any stalks that may be a bit too thick or woody. De-seed the chili if you like. Put all the ingredients in a food processor (a small one is fine) and whizz the whole lot up until it is all well combined and the chili and herbs are very finely chopped so that the dip is quite smooth. That’s it, you’re done. Told you it was easy.

skinny jalapeno dip

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HONEY-PAPRIKA CORNBREAD

honey & paprika cornbread

Do you like rice or cornbread with your chili? I can never decide which I prefer. Brown rice with lime and coriander is always pretty tasty but Mr Colonial Cravings likes being able to mop-up the last bits of chili with his cornbread. I aim to please so cornbread won the debate for our most recent chili-fest (fiesta?)
This recipe makes quite moist and fluffy cornbread with a delicious crust. The honey and paprika are a great combination and the perfect accompaniment for richly flavoured chili. Yummy! It’s got a bit more fat and sugar than the apple sauce cornbread that I’ve made previously (https://colonialcravings.wordpress.com/2015/02/09/apple-sauce-corn-bread/) but it does taste a little more indulgent because of it so it makes a nice occasional treat. Plus I tend to serve it with vegetarian chili so I like to think that I’m saving myself some of the fat there!

honey & paprika cornbread

Ingredients
makes 10 pieces
85g plain flour
75g cornmeal
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp sweet paprika
pinch each of salt and pepper
about 1/4 of a medium white onion
about 4 tbsp sweetcorn (canned or frozen & thawed)
35g butter (melted)
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp olive oil
1 egg
150ml buttermilk

honey & paprika cornbread

Pre-heat the oven to 220°c and lightly grease a 8-9″ cake tin. Whisk together the flour, corn meal, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt, pepper and paprika in a large mixing bowl and set aside.
Roughly dice the onion and whizz it up in a food processor along with the sweetcorn until it is mushy but not totally pureed.
Whisk together the buttermilk, melted butter, egg, honey and sweetcorn mixture in a separate bowl or jug.
Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and stir together a few times so that it is just combined. Don’t over-mix it or it will become tough rather than tender.
Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake it for around 25 minutes, until it has risen and is golden brown. Leave to cool in the tin for a few minutes before serving warm.

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