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Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Post the Thirty-ninth (in which our heroine gets some very good news)

I'm going to be a paid blogger!  You may recall me posting that I was entering the food blogging competition a while back.  Well, shock-horror and joy of joys, I won!  I will now be writing a food blog for and getting paid for it, can you friggin believe it?  I'm still kind of in shock, to be honest.  I'm still waiting to be told the finer details, but fear not - you'll be the first to know when my first entry is published!

So, I'm going out for dinner with my sisters this evening to celebrate.  We'll also be taking advantage of the fact that Dine in Dublin is back - we're going to Bijou in Rathgar, which is offering three courses for the low-low price of €30.  You can't really argue with that.  If you fancy partaking, all the participating restaurants and their menus are listed on

If you don't have the good fortune to be located in (or within driving distance of) Dublin, don't despair - I'm about to give you a gorgeous recipe that's just as good as going out to a restaurant*

White chili is a staple in our house, but it's not a concept people are at all familiar with.  It's not rocket science, though - you simply replace the beef, tomato sauce, kidney beans and other red ingredients of "normal" chili with white ones - turkey mince, chicken stock and cannellini beans.  As you can see from the photo, the end result can run anywhere between beige and pink.  This batch turned out very dark, thanks to a particularly red tin of refried beans.  Next time I make this, I'm going to make my own refried beans using cannellini beans - I reckon that'll make for a truly pale chili.

Btw, I always get my turkey mince in Aldi.  You can sometimes get it in Tesco, but the Aldi version is much leaner - I reckon Tesco mince the skin and everything, because theirs is much fattier.

*May not actually be true.

White Chili - serves 6

450g turkey mince                             1 large onion, diced
2 green or organge chilies, diced        4 fat cloves garlic, crushed
1 tbs cumin seed                                250ml chicken stock
1 tsb ground cumin                             2 tbs dried oregano
1 tsp ground coriander                       1 tsp cayenne pepper
Half tsp ground ginger                        1 can refried beans                           
1 can cannellini beans                         Juice of half a lemon

1) In a large pot or wok, heat a small splash of oil, then add your turkey mince and cook til no pink remains.  You'll need to really work this with a fork as it cooks, otherwise you'll be left with one big slab of mince, which isn't cool.

2) Add the onion, garlic, chilies & cumin seed and cook until the onion is soft, but not coloured.  Add the chicken stock and the rest of the spices.  Give everything a good stir and allow to simmer until the stock has reduced by about a quarter.

3) Stir in the refried beans, making sure they're well incorporated.  Add the drained & rinsed cannellini beans and the lemon juice.  Check the seasoning, correct it if needs be, then allow to simmer for another 15 minutes.  Serve in deep bowls with a swirl of natural yoghurt.

Like all chilies, this one improves with age, so feel free to make it early in the day, or the day before, and reheat it when you're ready to eat.  If you find it's dried out a bit, just add a bit more chicken stock to loosen it up again.

I mentioned before that I always serve my chili with tortilla chips that I bake at home myself.  By doing this, you'll save yourself roughly a kajillion calories on the store-bought kind.  They're dead easy too, so it's a win-win situation.

I use the Aldi garlic & herb tortillas, and three of them makes enough chips for Emmet and I.  Simply cut the tortillas into halves, then quarters, then eighths, giving you nice, even "slices" of tortilla.  To make the chips, layer a few slices on top of eachother.  Cut the bottom piece off to give you a triangle.  Cut the remaining piece into three more triangles - good spatial ability comes in handy here.  Repeat till all the tortillas are used up.  Spread them on a metal baking tray in a single layer - you may need to use two sheets or do them in two batches.  Bake in an oven preheated to 220C until just turning nice and golden.  They burn incredibly easily, so keep your mincers on them.  Serve in a warmed dish.

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