It’s a cold cold day out there, so what better time than now for some hot, rich and meaty chilli.  Wen’t to one of my favourite spice stores here in Edinburgh and got a load of pinto beans, black beans, chipotle chillies, spicy chorizo sausages and tub of good sour cream.  Adding to that 700g of good steak, prefferably from the shoulder.  I wanted a meat that can be tough if cooked as a steak, but is very flavourfull and if cooked over a low heat in a chilli, it becomes very soft and succulent.  To get a very good texture go the extra mile and don’t get the meat ground, cut it yourself into very small cubes a bit smaller than 1cm accross.  The meat will become very soft and adds that extra something to the chili.   My recipy for chili is as follows:  Two good size onions, chopped, small.  4 Cloves of garlic minced into tiny slivers.  tablespoon of ground cumin, 700g -1kg of good meat, chorizo sausage, chopped, washed pinto beans and black beans roughly two cups of each,  a bottle of very dark beer and about four chipotle peppers. can of chopped tomatoes

Garlic and onion sauted for a few minutes until clear, add the meat and cook at medium temperature for about 10-15 minutes, add the rest lower heat to lowest setting and cook for 3-4 hours stirring on occasion.

Eat and enjoy!


Right.  Quite a few of you may never have heard of slow cookers  and what their benefits are.  Until recently I counted myself as one of you.  Now I’m one of the people in the know and I’d like to share my experience with you. Basically slow cookers have come about as an evolution of the crock pot.  They give us the ability to cook our meals at a relatively low temperature and can be left unattended for hours, slowly bringing forth the delicate delicious flavours of our food.  Flavours which are difficult to attain using normal pots and pans.

Other advantages of using the slow cooker are, well, you can set it and safely leave it cooking whilst you attend other matters.  Using cheaper cuts of meat are great for the slow cooker, because the slow nature of the cooker will soften the meat as well as quite often result in tastier pieces than if more expensive cuts were used.

A few things to be aware of though.  If you are using raw beans in your recipes, especially raw kidney beans, then you must boil them in a normal pot for at least 10 minutes as the high temperature destroys a toxin (phytohaemagglutinin) which can be found in many beans.

But don’t let that discourage you.  I must say I’m very happy with my slow cooker, which I use extensively for tasty, juicy roasts and stews which practically explode with flavour.  All because the spices and juices get time to mingle and produce those rich well rounded tastes we all love.


Pots and pans make the most essential part of your cookware. There are lots of various types available for each particular cooking method or a few different methods.

Skillet/frying pan has a flat bottom with short sides that are flared or sloped, which makes it easier to toss and turn food with a spatula. The pan is usually made of a responsive to heat material such as lined copper, stainless steel with a copper or aluminum core, anodized aluminum or cast iron. Non-stick surface is also popular in such pans. They are available in different sizes and generally come with a cover.

Roasting pan is usually of a rectangular shape with low sides allowing the heat from the oven to expose the entire surface of the meat. Roasting pan is generally used with a rack to prevent the meat from sitting in its own juices and stewing instead of browning. The pans are available made of different materials including stainless steel, aluminum with non-stick surface, clay and granite.

Saucepan is a round pot with high straight sides and a flat bottom, can be used for several purposes, such as cooking soup, stewing vegetables, making sauces. There are a few styles to suit special purposes. A saucepan known as a Windsor has sides that flare out and another known as a saucier has sides that are rounded. There are also different sizes and materials of saucepans. Most of them have a snug fitting cover.

Stir-fry pan is a round, deep pan that may have straight sides with a slightly rounded base or more commonly a round base that slopes out and upward. Sizes and handle length can vary to match the cooking process. Heat is evenly distributed across the base while the sloping sides make it easier to stir and turn the ingredients.

Wok is a bowl shaped version of stir-fry pan, best for quick cooking food over high heat. It is available with rounded or flat bottom. Some varieties of woks have one long handle, some have two short handles and others have a long handle on one side and a short one on the opposite side. The materials used are carbon steel, cast iron, and metals with non-stick coating.

Stockpot is a deep, tall, straight-sided pot with two big, loop handles. It is used for simmering large amount of liquid, such as stock, soup and stews, but also works well for thick soups, chili and for boiling pasta. Sometimes comes along with pasta insert – made of stainless steel perforated insert that fits inside a stockpot and acts as a colander for draining pasta.

Grill pan is a heavy metal pan that consists of ridges spaced evenly across the bottom, that closely simulate the grilling process when cooking various meats and foods. Can be with shallow sides or with deeper sides similar to a frying pan. Many grill pans are made of cast iron and are available in different shapes and sizes.

Double boiler consists of two pans – one inside of the other. The bottom pan contains hot water and the top pan holds the ingredients that are being cooked. Generally used for making delicate sauces that have a tendency to separate if cooked on direct heat. Double boilers can be made of stainless steel, enameled steel, glass and aluminum.

Fondue pot is a type of cookware that consists of a pot with a heat source such as a portable cooking fuel or an electrical heating element placed directly below the pot that is used for a food preparation process known as fondues (“fondue” is a French term meaning “to melt”). The heat source melts or fully warms the contents (usually cheese, chocolate, wine or other ingredients) so that food can be dipped into the pot and either cooked or coated with its contents and eaten as an appetizer or part of a meal.


Food is an enormously important aspect of our lives and as such we would be remiss not to devote a certain amount of effort towards improving the quality of the meals we eat.  I’d like to use this platform to share with you all my recipies and hopefully in the future recipies submitted to me which assist in this.  Foremost I’d like to focus on slow cooked foods to begin with.