Flicking through my past few posts I see a bias towards quick and simple dishes. It seems I’ve entered into a rut whereby I lazily wheel out easy recipes I know almost by heart and shy away from anything too challenging.
So one of my New Year’s resolutions is to be more adventurous in the kitchen, to try at least one brand new recipe a week and to not always go for the easiest sounding option. My other resolutions are pretty standard – drink less wine, eat more greens, pay my family more attention, clean the house, turn off the computer, do more yoga…blah, blah, blah.
But before I launch into this new realm of extra special effort in the kitchen, I want to quickly tell you about another cheat’s dish (my excuse being that I drafted this post in 2014).
Spaghetti bolognese is one of Britain’s most popular dishes and most people I know can cook it (even those who claim to be hopeless in the kitchen). I’m not going to insult you with a recipe here because you know the thing – garlic, onion, minced beef, a tin of tomatoes, beef stock perhaps a good slug of red wine and some fresh oregano. What I would like to share with you is my trick for turning leftover bolognese into a chilli-con-carne for day 2 or 3.
All you have to do is add a few bits from your store cupboard and as if by magic you have an entirely new dish.
- About 700g of leftover bolognese (give or take 100g or so)
- 1 tin of kidney beans, drained
- 1 x 10g square of dark chocolate
- ½ a teaspoon of cumin
- ¼ a teaspoon of cinnamon
- ¼ a teaspoon of fresh or dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce
- ½ a teaspoon of sugar
- Chilli, either dried chilli flakes or chopped fresh chilli, amount will be according to how hot you like it with 1 teaspoon of chilli flakes resulting in a fairly mild chilli that my children and husband will eat (with yogurt).
Put all the ingredients above into a saucepan, heat slowly and let the mixture bubble away over a medium heat for 10 minutes. Serve with rice.
PS. This only works if you’ve made a pretty standard bolognese. If yours is laced with pancetta, chicken livers or similar fancy ingredients I wouldn’t suggest trying this (but then if you’re making that extra special effort you probably wouldn’t appreciate the cheat’s tip anyway).
PPS. I’m off to yoga now.