A traditional Mexican recipe
Or is it? My Diana Kennedy cookbook, The Art of Mexican Cooking does not list a recipe for chilli, an inauspicious fact given she is regarded as the ultimate authority on authentic Mexican cooking. Chilli is probably a Tex-Mex homogenisation of classic Mexican ingredients and spices – the outcome of which, has been widely adapted and planted in many cuisines around the world. It exists in endless themes and variations, sparking debates about what constitutes a real chilli: does it includes beans with meat or meat without beans or just beans? The answer is that it doesn’t matter – either is good. In fact, it is no doubt possible to cook-up any ingredients in a pan, add some chilli seasoning and call it chilli.
Cheap as chips
I had a pack of ‘economic’ supermarket sausages that needed cooking. They make an acceptable basic sausage but I decided to use the sausage meat in the chilli. Meanwhile, we’d been to the Pick-Your-Own farm and brought back a bag of sweetcorn (45p/ear). It occurred that the other ingredients were also not very expensive. I did a quick calculation: without store cupboard herbs and spices, this nutritious and filling dinner can be made for around £3/person (when cooking for four). We had some leftover (for a couple of lunches), so make that £2/person…