Where There’s Smoky Chunky Chilli There’s Fire

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This Chilli is so smoky that for 24 years, it’s been living next door to Alice. Don’t let that middle-of-the road, easy-listening 70’s Soft-Rock Ballad analogy fool you, though… where there’s smoke there’s fire, and this is no exception! This smoky-fiery chilli will make your nose run and your forehead sweat. It’s illegal to wear a wooly jumper whilst eating this dish.

I’ve often said that every man should have a robust chilli in his repertoire, so I guess it’s somewhat surprising that after over 25 recipes, one hasn’t featured yet on TidyMunch. The honest truth of the matter is that until now, I haven’t had such a chilli! With the weather turning bitterly colder this week, I was determined to fix this with a proper winter warmer. And I’ve certainly achieved that!

Don’t worry – you can always adjust the spices if you prefer a little less heat – the smokiness still makes this a hearty and tasty plateful for cold winter nights!


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Sticky-Fingers BBQ Chicken Wings

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Today, we have our first ever mystery bag challenge! Based on my friend Wayne’s suggestion, I challenged the TidyMunch Facebook community to come up with a list of ingredients, from which I would concoct a recipe; the random-number generator chose Mike with his suggestion of: Chicken wings. BBQ sauce. Honey. Soy sauce. Sweet potato. Corn on the cob. Blue cheese. Mayo (light if desired). Red cabbage. Carrot. Onion. Garlic.

So here you have: Sticky-Fingers BBQ Chicken, with Honey-glazed Corn on the Cob, Sweet Potato Fries, Blue Cheese Dip, and Home-Made Coleslaw!


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Simple Chicken Kiev

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I’ve always loved Chicken Kiev. I think I’m of a generation that does; we all have fond childhood memories of those supermarket bought oven meals.  But my first memory of Chicken Kiev is different from the pre-packaged staple that saw me through many subsequent years.

My mum and her sisters are pretty close, but for several years (the youngest ones of my life) her older sister was absent. I’m not sure if they’d grown estranged as such, but they’d certainly not been in touch for years. Then one day, my mum announced that she was taking me on a trip to London (I don’t remember the announcement, just the subsequent trip).

I’m not sure how old I was – somewhere between 5 & 7, I’d say. So let’s call it 6. I also have no idea how they got in touch with each other again, but I’m glad they did. There aren’t many details I remember clearly; I’ve no idea about the getting there or the getting back, though I’m pretty sure it would’ve involved very long train trips. I do remember meeting a friendly, loving (cleanliness-obsessed) Auntie & Uncle, and a platoon of new cousins. I remember Raymond (he wasn’t Ray, back then) was about 16, and the coolest person on this planet. Or so he seemed, to a 6 year-old. He let me play on his computer, which was a big deal for the earlier half of the 80’s. I want to say the game was “Wimpy” but who knows.

The other very clear memory I have is going out for food. I have recollections of it being a very posh affair, but I could have that completely wrong. I had Chicken Kiev. I don’t know if I’d ever had the ready-meal kind before, but in any event I suspect that my mum expected something like that to arrive. I couldn’t have been any more wrong. An actual chicken arrived (or so it seemed). I don’t think I’d ever tasted anything like that succulent chicken, and the potent garlic butter before, but it was delicious.

And so, my gift to you, fellow foodies, is Lisa Faulkner’s take on Chicken Kiev (with a few of my own tweaks, of course). It’s somewhere in between the store-bought stuff, and that extravagant memory. Simple, but oh, so very tidy!


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Tidy Big T Tapas

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So the last time I went home to the Big T (otherwise known as Tranent) I spent a lot of time cooking. It’s traditional that whenever I’m home (or whenever we’re together anywhere, actually) that the mothership and I go for tapas. Since the good ship TidyMunch set sail somewhere between that visit and the one before it, I decided that instead of going out for tapas, I’d just make my own.

And so I present to you: Croquetas de jamón with alioli, Chorizo al jerez, and Patatas Bravas.

There’s quite a bit to do in these recipes, so unless you fancy spending an entire day in the kitchen (if you’re as slow as me) I’d recommend making the Croquetas and the alioli a day ahead!

Of course, there’s no need to serve them all together, you can pick and choose as you please. It’s quite the feast if you do make the effort, though!


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Bacon & Stilton Tear ‘n’ Share with Celery Soup

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I may have mentioned this a time or two before, but I’ve always wanted to be able to bake bread. I love bread, I mean love it, but I’ve never been able to master it. Actual sad face.

Recently I bought Paul Hollywood’s book Bread from which both of these recipes are taken. As a first attempt, I was really pleased. The soup is delicate, yet tasty, and the bread is just amazing. It’s light and fluffy on the inside, with a good crust that has a bit of chew to it. Make sure you spread with unsalted butter, though, as both the stilton and the bacon are salty enough!

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