Everyone has their own ‘go to’ comfort food and I think that chilli con carne is in my top five. What I like about this dish is that the chilli offers warmth and a little bit of spice whilst the coleslaw counteracts some of that spice and provides certain freshness and a pleasant crunch. Finally, a jacket potato with its crispy skin and wonderfully soft middle fills you up and soaks up all the other flavours on the plate. Perfect comfort food!
I recently entered a competition for comfort food with my lemon drizzle cake with raspberry sauce. It did quite well and was selected as one of the top 10 recipes. However, sadly it did not win. Since entering the competition I have been thinking about comfort food and how what food I go to for comfort changes during the course of the year. For example, in the summer, my preferred comfort food is the aforementioned cake because it is so light and refreshing and gives you a brilliant sugar rush but on the whole doesn’t make you feel that guilty… Whereas, in the autumn months, chilli con carne and lasagne are two of my favourites, particularly when the cold wet weather and short days are getting me down.
Chilli con carne
Ingredients: (serves 4)
- 300g mince
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- 1 tin of kidney beans, drained
- 1 tin of tomatoes
- 4-5 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped (optional)
- 1tbsp tomato puree
- 2tsp ground cumin
- 2tsp mild chilli powder
- 1tsp sugar
- 1tbsp red wine vinegar
1. Place the onion, garlic, sugar and a little oil in a pan – cook on a low heat until the onions are soft.
2. Add the mince and spices and cook until the meat has browned off.
3. Add the tomato puree, tomatoes, red wine vinegar and season well, cook on a low heat for 30 minutes stirring occasionally.
4. Finally add the kidney beans and cook for a further 10-15 minutes.
Salted Jacket Potatoes
- Potatoes (ideally Maris Piper, King Edward or Mona Lisa)
1. Preheat oven to 200C fan
2. Wash the potatoes well removing any bruises, eyes and bad bits.
3. Sprinkle salt all over the potatoes.
4. Place in the oven and bake for 50 minutes – 1 hour and 15 minutes depending on the size of the potatoes. To see if the potatoes are cooked either see if a knife goes through easily or, preferably, give the potatoes a squeeze to check if the middle is soft enough.
5. Serve with a little butter.
- 400g white cabbage
- 2 large carrots
- 1 eating apple
- 1 small onion
- 2-3 heaped tbsp mayonnaise
1. Grate the cabbage, onion, apple and carrots using either a manual grater or a food processor. (Personally I prefer it when the vegetables are coarsely grated).
2. Place the grated fruit and vegetables into a bowl, add the mayonnaise and mix well. Serve.