Monday, 9 July 2012

Lamb Meatballs, with Chilli, Mint and Coriander.

So, we have some pretty big Chilli's (from the North East Chilli Festival, which Britt wrote about yesterday) and some Mint and Coriander, Red Onion, Cumin and Smoked Paprika from MMM Newcastle. This is much the same set of ingredients as in my Make it Mint post from a while back, but you get pictures this time.

Divide it up over some Lamb mince, quite a lot of it actually, and keep an egg on hand to bind it all together. Roll them into balls, get the herbs and spices as evenly spread through and into the middle of the lamb balls as possible.

Cooked in a frying pan with a little bit of oil, I should mention that they shouldn't really be moved much during cooking. Press down on one side, cook until the bottom is holding together then flip and press down on the other side. I don't know how long they took to cook. Probably just under ten minutes.

 We had them with Pitta bread, sour cream, a bit of salad and feta, and yes, that's going to work just fine right now but as with all such things the flavours develop a lot, so by day two or even three, the meatballs will be very, very good indeed. It's definitely worth making more than you can reasonably eat in one sitting.

Lamb Meatballs : Day 2

I added additional onions, peas and mushrooms to the pan to soak up the juices. We had this with some steamed broccoli, which is neither pictured nor essential, and some Red Wine, which isn't pictured but was essential. On the second day, the mint and coriander were really making their presence felt and really working with the Chilli.

These were some good Lamb Meatballs.

Saturday, 7 July 2012

North East Chilli Fest

Today was the first day of the North East Chilli Festival at Seaton Delaval Hall. Paul and I agree that we need to visit Seaton Delaval Hall again in the near future, possibly a destination for cycling.

We operated a very strict policy at the festival to avoid buying everything and being rich in only chilli based items. We did a full tour of all of the taster bowls, upon deciding the highlights over a glass of Pimms we purchased. The photo shows our swag, the best of the best in our opinion. Having said that, there wasn't a bad chilli among them, some were simply too hot for my poor taste buds to handle. I prefer a depth of taste over heat. 

Britt and Paul Recommend...

The Chilli Pepper Company's Chilli Honey - Sweet runny honey with a warmth that grows gradually. I think this will be going on my morning crumpet, I think it would also do well with roasting carrots.

The Cherry Tree's Hot Chilli and Carrot Chutney - I'm eating this right now, with some cheese, on an oatcake. I'm also betting it'll be very nice on some good burgers.

A bit Chilli!'s Serano Smokey Chutney - A lovely smokey chutney, as the name suggests. Probably another that will go well on a burger or with sausages actually, yes sausages. Or bacon.

Holly and the Ivy's Scotch Bonnet Preserve - A little hotter than the rest, not having chunks of veg to spread the flavour, this preserve features some chilli seeds which give you some bursts of heat, still quite sweet though. Yum.

Chillilicious's Red Pepper Chilli Chutney - I know I keep saying this but it will go well on a burger. Also I think this would be great for dipping things into, like carrot sticks and celery. Oh, just dress a full salad with it and stick some lamb beside it, cooked with chillies.

Chillilicious's Chilli & Coriander Oatcakes - Remember that oatcake I was having the chilli and carrot chutney off of with cheese? Well this is that oatcake. That makes it the best oatcake I have ever had. Ever.

Fresh chillies, I forget where we got these from, but I'm sure you'll see them if you go along tomorrow. Also there are some chilli chocolates in there which we picked up from the man who does the fudge... opposite them we also picked up a "Relight My Fire" chocolate bar from a lovely stall selling very quirky chocolates.

That green thing behind all those jars, that's a chilli plant. I don't have a good track record with caring from plants but was reliably informed by Simone of mmm Newcastle that they prefer to be mostly left alone anyway. We put it in the same bag as the fresh red chillies, I like to think that will give it some aspirations, a clue as to what it's meant to be. If we get even small chillies I will be quite pleased.

On our final pass, towards closing time we noticed that Pet Lamb Patisserie had also been there earlier in the day, looks like they sold out pretty quick. I must say that if you ever get a chance to try a Pet Lamb cake you really should, hopefully they'll be there tomorrow.

So with all of these chilli products now in the house I feel inspired, I'm going to attempt to make some chilli cupcakes, or possibly chilli muffins, depending on ingredients. Paul is going to make some lamb burgers. We're off to get some lamb mince to have with all of this chilli.

If you get the chance do get yourself down to the festival tomorrow, it's on from 10am until 4pm and has wonderful Wylam Beer to keep you refreshed, a haystack for the kids to jump about on and more chilli than you can shake a stick at.