So, over the years I have learned a few things about vegetarian cooking. First, less is more. If you really want to savour the tastes then one or two ingredients work much better than shoving everything and the kitchen sink in. Secondly, the baked beans wasn't such a huge mistake after all.
Back in the day, when I was shoving everything in, I spent one summer in a fit of post adolescent pique sharing a flat with a couple of friends, one of whom was a vegan chef. I learnt several things that summer. Vegan cooking is fantastic for weight loss. I caught sight of myself in the mirror one day and realised that I was SKINNY! I also realised that there was no way in hell I could be vegan. While Chef Leatherbarrow conjured up tasty and wonderful meals, it required culinary skills far beyond my capabilities. The other thing that Monsieur Leatherbarrow let me into was the secret of a good chilli: sugar!
Since then my chilli recipe has developed a wee bit. There was a moment there, where I tried a mushroomless version to please the Frog, but that was just wrong, so the mushies are back.
Tin of red kidney beans
tin of chopped tomatoes
big splash of balsamic vinegar
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp paprika
a few drops of tabasco sauce
1 tsp chilli/chilli flakes
coriander fresh and 1/2 tsp ground
1 tbs oil
a small punnet of mushrooms
a red or green (or yellow or orange even) pepper
- Heat the oil
- Cook the onion till soft.
- Add the chilli, paprika and coriander and fry for about a minute (or until you can really smell the spices).
- Add the tinned tomatoes, mushrooms, peppers, tabasco, sugar and big splash of balsamic vinegar. Bring to the boil and then simmer for about ten to twenty minutes (the longer the better).
- Add the kidney beans and its sauce (don't drain them in other words). Cook for about five minutes more until the beans are warmed through.
- Add the fresh coriander and ground pepper.
Serve with plain rice or with wraps and creme fraiche, grated cheese and guacamole (that's the fat version, but very tasty).