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Entries in chilli (20)


Pozole Rojo

This recipe first appeared on the Borough Market website as part of a 3 part series I am writing exploring lesser-known religious traditions in December from around the world.

This spicy soup with hominy and slow-cooked pork shoulder is a party favourite in Mexico. It is often served at Las Posadas festivities, celebrated from 16th to 24th December.  However, the religious significance of the dish precedes this Christian festival. Corn was a sacred plant for the Aztecs, so they cooked pozole to mark special occasions.

It is a great party main because it is easy to make in large batches (this recipe serves about 8-10 people) and there are lots of garnishes that guests can add to customise their bowl of soup.

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Harissa, if you haven’t discovered it yet, is a vibrant Middle Eastern condiment that can be added to many dishes to give them a zesty hit of sweet and spice and all things nice.

It goes particularly well with lamb. I often use it as a condiment alongside roast lamb, coated lamb chops in it, slathered it on burgers and my new favourite, in a bun with merguez sausage, mayo and rocket.

It can also work with chicken or a meaty fish, like monkfish or hake, so long as you are not too heavy handed. I love adding a tablespoon or two to a tomato-based stew, such as my chicken, chorizo and chickpea stew or albondigas. You can also stir it through mayonnaise or yogurt to give them a bit of a kick.

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Babatunde's jollof rice with chicken

I have an affinity for West African people. Whenever I find myself attracted to a person of African descent, they inevitably turn out to be (a) Nigerian or (b) Ghanaian. At the risk of making a sweeping generalisation based on the behaviour of 3 ex-partners, the downside of this is that they are near impossible to pin down for any kind of social arrangement. The upside is that when they finally do commit, there is bound to be jollof rice on the table. I can live with that.

Jollof rice is perhaps the most popular dish in West Africa. You will find it at every large social gathering and small ones too. In Nigeria, you can even get it as a side dish at KFC.

It is said to have originated in Senegambia and to be named after the Wolof tribe, but like any such claims when it comes to food, this is fiercely debated by other West African nations. I have heard a Ghanaian and a Nigerian argue for almost an hour about where jollof rice is really from and who makes it best (their mums, of course).

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Artichoke spaghetti with chilli, lemon and parsley

I made this pasta a few weeks back for my cooking demo at the Natoora shop in Chiswick. Everyone loved it. One man loved it so much he bought every ingredient on the recipe card so he could recreate it at home.

For such a simple pasta, it took a while to perfect. The first one was too dry, the second too lemony, the third was just right. This is the third recipe.

In the pictures, the artichokes are the mammole variety. They are similar to globe artichokes, in that they have meaty and tender outer leaves which can be eaten raw or cooked. A colleague who was watching me do my practice run for the shop asked why I had used mammole if I was only using the heart. He suggested tema or spiky artichokes instead. He is Italian so I thought I’d best not argue.

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Andrew's Roasted Delica pumpkin with garlic, herbs and chilli

Pumpkin is not something I often choose to cook. I generally prefer something more savoury. But the Delica pumpkin from Natoora really is exceptional. They are grown in Mantova, Lombardy following traditional methods that involve a final curing process in heated warehouses that maximises the sugar contents and reduces the amount of water in the flesh.

My colleague, Andrew, made this recipe for the Natoora autumn seasonal meeting and it was a hit. Gone in seconds. It's a simple recipe which makes the most of the Delica's sweet and tender flesh. Roasted with garlic, herbs and chilli, it caramelises beautifully in the oven.

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