“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” ....Oscar Wilde

Wednesday 7 September 2011

Chilli con Carne with a 'Splayd' on the side.....

Today's post has a retro feel.
I've cooked a Chilli con Carne which I suppose is very '70's but I'm trying to cook all the warming foods in my repoirtee before the heat hits. The days have been warm but the temperature in the evening drops dramatically, so this kind of food is perfect for just now.

I wish I could say these were my own chilli's but my plant looks very sick at the moment. I'm not sure its going to survive....but you never know. I'm always hopeful. 

One of the reasons that I wanted to do this Chilli con Carne post is that I can sing the praises of these wonderful implements.....'Splayds'. If by some chance you've missed them then you've been seriously missing out.
Someone and I just wish I could remember who...bought us a set as a wedding present.....and we've been using them numerous times a week since. I've had a few sets over the years so that we always have enough on hand but we've only got two left of the original set : ( I haven't a scooby where they disappeared but I suppose at least that's one each. How do I know they're the two originals? Because they look and feel so different. They're even heavier too.
So whomever bought them for us....they were the perfect gift for a wedding present.

They have the fork, spoon and knife all together in one utencil. How ingenious. Someone had a good day when they had this lightbulb moment.

Chilli con Carne - serves 4
2 medium onions
1 clove of garlic
olive oil
2 level teaspoons chilli powder
1 fresh chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
1 heaped teaspoon ground cumin (or crushed cumin seeds)
455g /1lb chuck steak minced or best minced beef
200g /7 oz sun-dried tomatoes, in oil
2x 400g /14 oz tins of tomatoes
1/2 a stick of cinnamon
2x 400g / 14oz tins of red kidney beans, drained
Sea Salt and freshly Ground Pepper

If you are to cook the chilli in the oven, preheat to 150C / 300F / Gas Mark 2. An alternative method is to cook on top of the cooker. Simmering gently for 1 1/2 hours. Both methods work well.

Chop the onions and garlic or blitz in a food processor until finely chopped. Then fry in a little olive oil until soft. Add the chilli powder, fresh chilli, cumin and a little seasoning. Add the mince and continue to cook, stirring until browned. Ensure you brown and not steam the mince. Blitz the sun-dried tomatoes in the processor with enough oil to loosen into a paste. Add to the meat along with the tomatoes, cinnamon stick and a wineglass of water. Add additional seasoning if needed.  
Bring to the boil covered with a lid then turn the heat down to simmer for 1 1/2 hours or transfer the pan to the oven for the same amount of time.
Add the kidney beans 30 minutes before the end of the cooking time. They're already cooked so will only need to be warmed up.
Serve with rice or lots of fresh crusty bread, and a crisp salad.


  1. Just spotted this, Neesie - your chilli recipe looks good, and I love the Splayds! I have got something similar, called a "Knork" - a knife and fork combined! The sides are not sharp, but you rock them back and forth on the food and it cuts it, and then you can scoop it up with the fork. It's brilliant.

    Thanks for your lovely comment about my 80th birthday card, and I so agree that you can't go wrong with flutterbies lol! Everybody loves them. We gave her the card yesterday at her birthday party and she loved it, as did everyone else who saw it, which makes it all worth while. When I pointed out the "faux porcelain" to someone, she said, "Oh! Isn't it real porcelain then?" She was amazed to hear that it was card!

    Hope you managed to find a use for your beautifully coloured silk scraps! I'm always amazed at what some people throw away, when you can make such beautiful things with it.

    Not sure how much creating I shall manage this week because I'm really behind with office work (ghastly accounts to sort out) and various other jobs that need seeing to that have been neglected recently. Nothing on my desk at the moment except papers (not pretty ones - office ones lol!).


    1. I adore my splayds and use them virtually every night. They are just so suitable for midweek meals. I've not heard of 'Knork's' but they sound fun too.
      Accounts and not Art...yuk! Poor you Shoshi, you'll need a good arty fix once those boring office chores are out of the way.
      Bring on the pretty papers anyday...maybe enter the accounts on to pretty paper? That might help and I'm sure your accountant will pleasantly surprised to say nothing of the impact they might have on the Tax Office! Hehe ;D


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