Every so often I am gifted with some fresh produce from various neighbours. Everything from gorgeous cauliflowers the same size as my head to fragrant fresh herbs to the latest drop-off - a bag of green chillies! In a world where retailers bombard us with messages to buy buy buy I *love* the simplicity and sense of community that comes from homegrown produce that is grown and shared at home. Speaking of which, our turn to share has come around because in the last few days our guava tree has started producing a deluge of fruit!
With temperatures just starting to dip slightly and the definite onset of autumn I could not resist a warming chilli con carne. Rather than adding chilli powder I added fresh green chillies for heat and a delicious flavour. I like just a hint of chilli in my food - a touch of heat but not so much that I can no longer discern the flavours that I am tasting.
This chilli con carne tastes even better the next day and is the ideal meal to make in advance. Make it and keep it in the fridge overnight or freeze for a quick week night meal. If you are entertaining make the chilli con carne a few hours before dinner time, then when it is time to eat pop everything on the table and let your guests assemble their own tacos. Good times.
Cook's notes - You can enjoy these tacos with any of your favourite accompaniments. For me it has to be sour cream, and today I have jazzed it up with a handful of fresh coriander and some lime juice. If you like your tacos hot, hot, hot then feel free to add extra chillies to the pot.
GREEN CHILLI CON CARNE TACOS
with CORIANDER LIME CREAM
Makes approximately 10-12 tacos depending on size
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 tsp crushed garlic
5 small green chillies (about 20g), deseeded and chopped
2 bay leaves
1 tsp cumin
500g lean beef mince
1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
1 x 400g tin red kidney beans, drained
1 tsp brown sugar
salt to taste
For the sour cream:
1/2 cup sour cream
small handful coriander, washed and chopped
1/2 tsp lime juice
ready-made taco shells
grated cheddar cheese
Step 1.) Heat the olive oil in a deep saucepan or pot. Add the onion, garlic, green chillies and bay leaves. Sauté until soft. Add the cumin and cook for a further minute.
Step 2.) Add the mince and brown. Add the tinned tomatoes with their juices, the drained beans, brown sugar and a good pinch of salt. Fill one of the empty tins with water and add this to the pot. Give the mixture a stir and leave to simmer with the lid on for 45 minutes.
Step 3.) Stir the mixture. Leave to simmer for a further 10-15 minutes with the lid off until most of the liquid has evaporated and the mixture has thickened. Remove the bay leaves and check the seasoning.
Step 4.) To make the sour cream combine the sour cream, coriander and lime juice in a small bowl and mix well. Keep in the fridge until just before serving.
Step 5.) Crisp up the taco shells in the oven as per the manufacturer's instructions. Pop a little fresh lettuce into each shell followed by a generous spoonful of chilli con carne. Top with lashings of sour cream and grated cheese. Serve immediately.