Saturday, 8 June 2013

Would you like nachos with that?

After the mad kitchen rush of the weekend, I have been a little slack in the 'new and exciting' food adventures this week.  I did, however, make some awesome Chocolate Oaty Biscuits.
They're the chewy kind, which I love!  And super easy to make.  I can't take the credit for this recipe though.  You can see the recipe here

I did try a variation on our usual nacho meal this week.  I was inspired after watching Rachael Ray.  They were showing all these different ideas and I adapted one.  Wasn't too bad, although there are a few things I would change.  What I did was, I browned some mince and onions and seasoned with salt and pepper, and smoked paprika.  At the same time I had some streaky bacon cooking in the oven ... mmmmm ... bacon ...
Anyway, I tried to do it the American way by heating the chips in the oven first and then topping after, but the cheese doesn't really melt this way, so that is one big thing I would change about this recipe.  So it went - nacho chips, mince, bacon, chopped tomato, grated cheese and served with a dollop of sour cream.  The idea is for it to taste like burgers, which it kinda did, but not quite.
Right then.  Here is how I would do it next time:
Brown mince and season with salt and pepper.
Add can of chilli beans and heat through.  Add a swirl of bbq sauce.
At the same time, cook bacon in oven until crispy.
Arrange nacho chips on plate, top with mince mix, crumble bacon on top, scatter chopped tomatoes over, sprinkle grated cheese and pop in oven to melt cheese.  Serve with sour cream.
My reasoning for adding the chilli beans, other than the fact that it's not really nachos without them, is that it would be easier to scoop mix on chips with the extra sauciness (yes that is a real word!)

The other meal I want to share with you, is the one I made tonight.  Again, inspired by Rachael Ray (same episode), she served this dish over nacho chips also, but I decided to just have it with bread.

Chicken and Chorizo Gumbo!  Never made one before, and to be honest, didn't really know what Gumbo was until now.  I did a bit of research and apparently a traditional Gumbo is made using Okra, but as I have no idea where you can get that here, I decided to just throw in a few different veges.  The result was rather tasty! Hubby even had second helpings :)  Anywhoodle, here is how I made it:

I used chicken thighs (boneless) but you could use breasts too or use a whole bird and make your own stock. 
Poach chicken in either water or chicken stock.  Pull apart and set aside.
Heat oil in casserole pot, add chorizo (skinned and in bits) and bacon if adding.  Brown this and then  set aside.
Add butter/oil to pan to make up to about 1/2C and add slightly less flour to make a roux.
Add chopped capsicum, onion, carrot and potato to pan and stir through.  Throw in a bundle of parsley and thyme.  Cover and let it sweat.
If needed, deglaze pan a little with some white wine vincon.
Add about 3C chicken stock to pan along with a sprinkle of smoked paprika, cumin and coriander (ground).  Stir through.  Depending on your stock, you want to reduce it til it has a gravy like consistency.
Add chicken and chorizo back to the pot.  Heat through.
Serve with bread/nachos/plain cooked rice

As you can see it's a really thick, hearty meal.  Great for a winter warm up.  And it makes plenty!  Stock up the freezer for an easy ready made meal, or make it when feeding a tribe of people :)  I seasoned mine, but don't really think it needs much with the bacon and chorizo in it.  It does have a bit of a kick to it - if your chorizo is a spicy one - so if you're not into that, you could substitute it with another full flavour sausage.

So there you have it. My less exciting adventures in food for the week! A few new meal ideas and of course a chocolatey treat :) Enjoy!