But, back to my reminisces, I can remember Friday night supper gatherings with a large bowl of Chilli on the table, bowls of lovely salad and plenty of wine or beer available. Friends would gather to celebrate the end of the working week, and the atmosphere just couldn't be bettered.
Well now quite a few years on ... it is still nice to gather with friends and family and just chill out, catch up on news, be together, enjoy some great food in some great company.
I recently came across this Sainsbury's magazine Chilli recipe idea. It's by Chefs David Lesniak & David Muniz ... two New York chefs who moved to London to open 'Outsider Tart', an all-American boutique bakery & cafe, where they hold regular Chilli nights!
This dish may be made a day or two ahead to allow the flavours to develop, and as I said, goes down great at a supper party with friends. Why not serve it with a green salad, and perhaps some sliced spring onions and soured cream and chives.
Serves 8 (amend recipe as needed)
3 tbsp olive oil
1.25 kg good-quality beef mince
2 large onions, chopped
1 red or green pepper, deseeded and chopped
2 tbsp Mexican spice blend
1 tbsp hot paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp crushed dried chilli flakes (optional)
1 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
250 ml of your favourite beer
400 g tin chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato purée
230 g tub fresh tomato salsa
410 g tin red kidney beans in water, drained and rinsed
soured cream and chives or sliced spring onions, to serve
1. Heat a little of the oil in a large pan. Brown the mince in batches, moving it to a bowl as you go; set aside. Heat the remaining oil in the pan, add the onions and pepper and cook, uncovered, until the onions are soft and translucent.
2. Add the spices, the black pepper and a teaspoon of salt and cook for another minute or two, stirring.
3. Return the mince to the pan and add the beer, 300ml water, the tomatoes, tomato purée and salsa; bring to a boil.
4. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for about 2 hours, stirring now and then. Add a little more beer or water if it looks dry. Add the kidney beans for the final 15 minutes. Check the seasoning. You can cook it in the oven, too – simply cover the chili and pop it in the oven at 180°C, fan 160°C, gas 4 and follow the cooking times above. To make this in a slow cooker, leave out the added water and cook on low for 8-10 hours.
5. May be served with a green salad, perhaps some sliced spring onions and soured cream and chives.
Why not make this up to 3 days ahead – it freezes well too.
You can make this in a slow cooker too - just leave out the added water and cook on low for 8-10 hours.
Each serving provides:
4.0g carbohydrate 1.1g fibre 9.4g protein
Enjoy - with family, with friends - and it doesn't have to be a Friday night to enjoy this Chilli.
All the best Jan