Literally, a recipe that led to victory! Or more accurately, three recipes.
Hucknall Central Methodist Church have a men's group who organise a family "Chilli and fireworks" evening each November. Jacket potatoes are accompanied by any number of different chillies that are made by men from the church. To spice things up a little (see what I did there?!) it's turned into a competition.
For two years in a row, I have entered chillies and have walked away with a prize.
Here are the recipes I went with.
There are bits and pieces of influence from other recipes in what follows, but largely my cooking is done on a "make it up as you go along" basis...
My inspiration for doing something different is the fact my wife is Gluten Free and doesn't like mince.
2016: Most Innovative Chilli - Sweet BBQ Pulled Pork Chilli
Slow cooker all day, 4 hours on high, 4 on low :
3 pork fillets
one bottle of BBQ sauce
half a jar of chopped red chillis
one jar of sundried tomato paste
and then for the last 90 mins,
drained jar of Grilled Courgette Antipasti
Just before you add the courgette, pull your pork for that shredded look.
I branded it medium, but it was by far the hottest one in the competition... You know your tastes, so add chilli accordingly! Bear in mind that in a slow cooker
(Amount of chilli was accidental as I only read the strength guidelines afterwards... If you need it tempered down a bit, try adding sour cream as you serve)
Some would say it's cheating because I technically entered two chillies. My defence is that the latter is just my vegetarian option...
2017: "Phew - The Chilli with the Big Taste" - Ch Ch Ch Ch Chilli
("Chunky Chicken, Chorizo, Chocolate Chilli")
Slow cooker (on High):
2 cartons of passata
Large bar of plain/dark chocolate, broken into chunks
A good drizzle of lime juice
3 Large Chicken breasts (diced)
Half a large chorizo sausage, diced
Large handful of diced cooking bacon
1 large courgette, diced
Half a dozen mushrooms, sliced
A liberal sprinkle of chilli flakes
Fry off in chilli oil until mostly cooked, then add to slow cooker.
Cook on high for and hour, then on low for four hours (ish)
Chilli Fruit Salad:
Heap of strawberries, quartered
Pile of raspberries
2 large mangos, "chunked"
6 kiwis, peeled and sliced
2 large handfuls of blueberries
Apple and Mango fruit juice (fair bit)
Lime juice (liberal drizzle)
Mix in chilli flakes to taste.
Leave to become "chilly" in the fridge.
Chilli Chocolate Sauce:
3 bars of plain chocolate melted over low heat with
1 chunk of butter
Remove from heat and stir in
1 pint of double cream
Lashings of lime juice
Again, add chilli flakes to your liking and mix well before serving.
Put it in the fridge, but it's likely to set, so reheat before serving!
The problem with winning for the last two years is that I'm going to have to up my game again next year to keep up the reputation!
Let's be honest... Those instructions are vaguer than a vague thing in the fog on a winter's evening. It's never going to be made the same way again.
Bottom line is, I treat my cooking like my theology: I have to try it, check it works, and experiment. I'm not happy just following what is written. It might be that there is a reason that people have done things the way they have, but I need to know why and learn it for myself. That's when getting to know God gets more fun, mire real, more personal and is more effective in my life.
Remarcable is one man blogging about Youth Work, Theology, Family, Life and those other random things that come to mind.