Hello & welcome to my new blog, The Fragrant Strawberry. I’m Sheila Pereira, the host of this empty little page. My plan for this blog is to start out by posting recipes of my own, as well as reviews of recipes that I have tried of others, & pictures. For most recipes I will have starting, in between & finished pictures of the food that I make. I adore anything that has to do with food, so if you ever find a cool spice, rub, mix, salad dressing or anything that you want to share with me (your own or store stuff, anything!), please do not hesitate to do so! My favorite form of cooking is really, baking savory & sweet goods. I also like to cook in the oven, on the stove-top, on my little indoor grill, in the toaster oven, etc. If you can cook food in it, then I love it. Truly, I love all forms of cooking & baking and I want to spend my life learning all there is to know about food, and to experience it all!

On to my first recipe of my own, ever put on the internet. Now, for those of you who are used to chilli’s, this is not your typical chilli. There is no chili powder in here (although I do give you some room at the end to add some if you wish), & it’s made with fresh tomatoes. No canned tomatoes, you won’t find em here. Also, you need either a food processor, chopper or emulsifier. If you really want to make this recipe & you don’t have any of those, just take a potato masher to the third tomato & spices. It’ll be a little chunkier, but hey, I would do it! =) I just made this last night for dinner & wrote out the recipe after. The ingredients list isn’t exactly in order, but I’ll get better at that 😉 I feel like the directions are pretty straight-forward but if you have any confusions or questions, please don’t hesitate to ask. I mean it! 😛 Don’t forget to check the optionals* at the bottom of the recipe before you start cooking, they are rather helpful. First things first,

Get your rice going, whether your doing it on the stove-top or in a steamer. Unless it’s fast rice,then you need to wait until just before the chili is done to make your rice.

Now for the recipe–

Sweet Mesquite Chilli

Sheila Pereira

Ingredients:

  • 3 tomatoes (leave one aside for food processor)
  • 3 tbsp ketchup
  • 2 ½ tbsp sriracha
  • 3- 4 tbsp Kirkland (Costco brand) sweet mesquite seasoning
  • 1 cup barley (dried)
  • 1 cup split green lentils (dried, or you may replace this with your own choice of canned bean)
  • 2 cups baby carrots, finely chopped
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 stalks celery
  • beef stock, enough for 4 cups water
  • 4 cups water
  • 1tsp powdered mace
  • 2tbsp hard margarine
  • 1tbsp cornstarch + 1/4cup cold water= whisk together to make a slurry
  • 1lb ground beef

*If you do not wish to add a cornstarch slurry to the chilli, then just simmer with the lid off until the sauce has reduced a little more (about 5min?)

Directions:

Start by dicing your onion, celery and carrots. Put the 2 tbsp hard margarine into a frying pan & turn onto low-medium heat. Place the veggies you just chopped up in the frying pan and stir them lightly with a spoon or spatula. Add your ground beef to the frying pan & crumble accordingly. Chop up your 2 tomatoes and throw them in the pan. Pour in the 4 cups of beef stock & give it a light stir. Take a food processor, chopper or emulsifier & puree the last tomato, the ketchup, sriracha & mesquite seasoning together. Set aside. Drain your 1 cup of barley in a sieve & add to the pan. Add your split green lentils as well. Toss in your mace & stir lightly. Add your seasoned tomato puree to the pan & stir into the chilli. Place a lid over the pan & simmer on medium heat for 20-26 minutes. Remove lid & add slurry to chilli. Stir in the slurry & let it thicken for 1-2 minutes before removing from heat.

Serve with rice

*If needed, add 1-2tbsp water & mix in to the chilli if the slurry thickened it too much

**If you are using a different seasoning other than the Costco mesquite, make sure you use one that has some salt in it, because that is where the salt comes from in this recipe. Or, add a little salt (to your taste) if you are using a spice mix that does not have any salt in it

***If you wish to add some more spice to it, 1 diced jalapeno or 1tbsp of chilli powder will do nicely (Personally, I like it as :P)

There you have it! Here are a couple pictures of when I made it last night;

Veggies! NOM

The chilli just starting up

The seasoned tomato puree

Completed Sweet Mesquite Chilli!

Close-up!!

Please let me know how it turns out if you try this recipe =) Any reviews of my recipes are very welcome, more than welcome, as any reviews will help me to understand how my recipes do (or do not) work for other people & whatnot. It would be cool to see some photos too, if you happen to have a camera, take a pic for me! =)

One last thing before I sign off for now! Below this is a link to the Canadian Living’s website & to their best butter tarts recipe. Super delish when I made mine, the only thing I would change about the recipe is to add just a teensie bit less vinegar to the tart filling itself (possibly 1/2 tsp instead of the 1tsp).

http://www.canadianliving.com/food/baking_and_desserts/best_butter_tarts.php

Here are my pics of the tart shells before baking and when the whole shebang is done.

 

tart rounds cut into halves, to make minis 

   

I hope you enjoyed this as much as I did. Let me know if you make the tarts also,

Sheila =)