Saturday Tea – 03.09

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Surprisingly it’s already been a month since I last cooked, well five weeks actually seen as this is a little late, but I though I would share with you what we dined on in Chez Balme for my most recent turn in the kitchen.

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As a starter I tried to do my own take on quesadillas, which in reality are probably nothing like quesadillas. Placing a wrap in a hot frying pan I added rice, beans and sauce over which I grated a chilli cheese. After topping with a second wrap I delicately flipped the lot and gave it another minute on the other side. As I may have have spectacularly overdone the first of four wraps, I only served three, slicing and sharing them out to disguise my mistake.

To serve I added a dash of tomato salsa and a sweetcorn dip, for a little extra flavour and something cool to calm the heat of the quesadillas. On reflection the wraps were a little burnt (I chose to photograph the best of the lot!), and needed less time in the pan.

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For the main I cooked up a chilli, the weather thankfully adhered to my meal choices as this warming dish was perfect for the rainy weather. For the first time I used turkey mince as the base for the chilli, hoping to provide a somewhat healthier option. I was initially hesitant as it seemed to produce quite a bit of water, however this quickly cooked down during cooking. As the pan simmered away slowly I added my peppers, red onion, mixed beans and spices bringing a smokey heat to the dish.

Accompanying the dish I plated it with a small side salad, toasted pitta pieces, sour cream and a lime wedge. I think it could have looked a little more appealing on the plate as it did seem rather disjointed. The chilli was warming, but the heat wasn’t unbearable and the lime and sour cream offered respite if the heat did build up gradually. Were I to do this again I think I would plate the dish differently using a larger, but shallower dish in the centre of the plate and add the sour cream directly to the chilli.

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To finish the meal we each had an individual Marks and Spencer melt in the middle chocolate pudding, over which I scooped a generous helping of Madagascan Vanilla Double Cream. They were simple and speedy to make, popping them in pairs into the microwave. Just like last time I painted the plate with chocolate sauce for a bit of an artistic effect.

I don’t try and hide the fact that I often cheat when it comes to pudding, yes I am quite the avid baker, but at the end of a three course meal I also want a little time to unwind personally. Cheating on pudding means that there is often one less thing to stress about. It also means a little less washing up, which is always a good thing in my books!

I’m really keen to try making my own domed chocolate where you pour hot sauce to melt the chocolate and reveal some hidden surprise. Maybe when I’m feeling a little more adventurous I will give it a go. Often a lot of my inspiration comes from things I have cooked previously and want to improve, new ideas that I have or Instagram. I’m always keen to try new techniques and ingredients that I have seen, such as Himalayan Salt or steaming burgers for a healthier treat.

Look out for what I cook next time in another three weeks! By then we’ll have finished quite a busy period at work, so I might try and push the boat out a little more.

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