Once upon a time in Mexico…

After, what seems like a really long time, yesterday we made our way back to a meaty diet. I have to say that Mr. Mazhar went along really nicely with my vegetarian diet challenge, just for the blog! So I rewarded him with some thing extra special. Not just any mince meat dish but one with a delicious Mexican twist, chilli con carne. This recipe comes straight out of this amazing cookbook I found at a local book fair last year. It’s a collection of recipes for quick family meals from a The Australian Women’s Weekly publication. I’ve tried quite a few things from this book and so far everything has turned out really well. 

Case in point, chilli con carne. Mazhar’s seal of approval comes in the form that if he really likes something he says it’s good enough to be served at our next dinner party. He is a party animal and loves to feed his guests just as well as he likes to eat…which is one thing I really like about him! And so we devoured our meaty meal last night and slept like satiated carnivores! 🙂 I did change the measurements a little from the published recipe to suit our taste and to scale down the quantity to serve 4-6 people. We ate some and stored the rest for a later day, اِن شأاللّة.

I had some baby corn in the fridge that I grilled on the stove top till they turned smokey black. Then I rolled them first in melted butter and then in a mix of salt, red chilli powder and chaat masala! squeezed fresh lemon juice on them and served them hot, buttery, spicy and sour! Yum yum! It was quite a moment of epiphany for me when I thought of this little trick to make it an authentic Mexican dinner 🙂 Mazhar was so happy and impressed with my technique. I hope you enjoy the meal as well. Happy cooking!

                                                              

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 500gms minced beef
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp Tabasco sauce 
  • 2 tsp cumin powder
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 400gms canned crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup chunky salsa
  • 400gms canned kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 400gms canned chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
  • 1 packet of 6 quesadillas
  • 3/4 cup coarsely grated cheddar
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella 
  • 20gms butter, softened

Method

  1. Heat half the oil in a medium saucepan over a medium flame and cook the beef until browned all over. Once cooked through remove it from the pan.
  2. In the same pan heat the remain oil, on a low flame, cook the onions and the garlic till the onions soften. Return the beef to the pan, add the sauces, spices and herb. Cook the mix for about two minutes, stirring it to make sure the flavours combine.
  3. Now add the tomatoes, salsa and both beans to the pan, simmer, uncovered, for ten minutes or until the sauce thickens. Season to taste. I garnished the dish with whole green chillies and chopped coriander leaves but this is optional.
  4. While the chilli is finishing cooking, place a frying pan on medium heat, butter one side of the quesadillas and place butter side down in the frying pan till they turn golden brown then flip and cook for another minute. Take off the quesadilla and immediately sprinkle generously the cheese mix on half of the quesadilla surface and fold over the other half on top. This will melt the cheese beautifully in the middle. Dinner is ready!

 

Chilli con carne
  
Quesadillas and grilled corn!
 

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