Everyday Chilli is the first of four variations on Basic Bolognese. The chilli uses store-cupboard ingredients to create a spicy meal with all the vegetables included. Just add rice for a complete meal.
Not all my family like spicy food, so this is not too hot. You can always add more chilli powder if you want!
You don’t taste the chocolate, but it adds some richness. I first heard of adding chocolate to chilli years ago and was dubious but gave it a go. Now I see everyone is doing it so it probably isn’t a surprise to you. I have to admit that my favourite chocolate for eating is dark chilli chocolate, so I know the flavours go well together, and I usually have a bar stashed away for emergencies. I really like the Montezuma variety but Lindt is good too. I should hastily add that this isn’t what I add to the cooking. For that I tend to keep Waitrose Continental Dark Chocolate in my pantry for anything – sweet or savoury – that needs it.
But on the subject of chocolate, we’re really lucky to have the Chocolate Cafés in our area. For me that means Hot Chilli Chocolate every time. And cake of course, but sometimes I think I would have a second cup instead of a cake. Oh yum. I must go again soon.
Back to dinner and Everyday Chilli. This is always a joy to make for me because I did all the hard work making the Bolognese days, weeks or, sometimes, months ago. Now I reap the reward and take a pot out of the freezer, defrost, add a few bits and pieces and hey presto! A different dinner with not much effort. That, for me, is what Everyday Cooking is all about.
Next week I’ll turn the Basic Bolognese into a Mince and Potato Gratin for a completely different type of dinner.
- 1 quantity Basic Bolognese for 4 people
- 1 teaspoon hot chilli powder, use more if you like very hot food (5ml)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (2.5ml)
- 10 g plain chocolate - the darker the better
- 1 tablespoon 15ml chutney rounded tbsp (30ml). I use Branston Pickle or a sweet mango chutney like Geeta's
- 1 tin kidney beans (400g)
- Defrost the Basic Bolognese if you haven't already
- Drain the kidney beans into a colander or sieve and rinse thoroughly with cold water
- Break or chop the chocolate into 6-8 pieces
- If you're cooking rice, start that now
For the Chilli:
- Put the Bolognese sauce, chilli powder, and cinnamon into a saucepan on a medium heat, stirring occasionally
- When the sauce is bubbling, continue to stir so that it is thoroughly heated. If in doubt keep it bubbling for 5 minutesThe sauce will be 'piping hot'
- Turn the heat to low
- Stir in the chutney. Add the chocolate and stir well. You don't want the sauce to be boiling (bubbling) fast at this point or the chocolate will grain
- Stir in the kidney beans carefully so that they don't break up. Bring the sauce back to bubbling. Then it's done
- Serve with rice.
- Make the Everyday Chilli sauce with a batch of Basic Bolognese before you freeze it. Just microwave to piping hot to serve.