Lamb and black bean chili

Without a doubt this is  one of the most requested dishes in our home . It is  delicious and filling especially in the winter when I serve it on top of baked potatoes with cheese and a spicy salsa and in the summer simply topped by a fresh avocado relish .

Bobby Flay

Photograph by Rahul Mahtani

Serves 8

2 1/2 lbs lamb from the leg , boned and cut into 1/2 inch cubes

1 cup olive oil

1  1/2   large onions , finely diced

1  1/2  tbs chopped garlic

3/4  cup dark beer

one 16 – ounce can whole tomatoes , drained and pureed

1  1/2  pureed canned chipotles

3/4  cup ancho chile powder

1/2  cup pasilla chile powder

1 tbs  ground cumin

2 cups Chicken stock

3 cups cooked or canned black beans , drained

6 tbs fresh lime juice

salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a large frying over high heat , heat the oil until it begins to smoke . Add the cubed lamb and saute until seared and brown on all sides . Add the onions and garlic and cook for 3 Minutes, taking care not to let them burn. Add the beer and reduce until it has completely evaporated. Add the tomatoes, chipotles, chilli powder and cumin. Stir well and cook for 10 minutes.

Reduce the heat to medium, add the stock, and simmer for 45 minutes. Add the beans and simmer for 15 minutes more.  Degrease. Add the lime juice and salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a serving dish and serve hot. Maybe made upto 2 days ahead and refrigerated, covered, reheat, stirring, just before serving.


Tamarind-Cracked black pepper glazed chicken

Here is another winner from Bobby Flay’s Mesa Grill. My family loves the sweet tart flavor of Tamarind which is widely available in Asian or online at Please do usefreshly ground cracked black pepper as its bite pierces the sweetness of the glaze

3 tablespoons canola oil

1 small red onion

2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh ginger

1 quart orange juice(not from concentrate)

3 tablespoons tamarind paste

1 tablespoon honey

Kosher salt

1 teaspoon cracked black pepper

4 (8 oz) bone-in,skin on chicken breast halves

Freshly ground black pepper

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Add the onion and ginger and cook until onion is soft 3-4 minutes. Add orange juice and cook. Stirring occassionally,until reduced to 1 cup,20-25 minutes.

Whisk in Tamarind paste,honey and 1 teaspoon salt and cook until the tamarind paste has dissolved 3 to 4 minutes. Strain into a bowl and stir in the coarsley ground pepper. Let cool to room temperature.This can be made up to 1 day ahead refridgerated.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees

Divide the glaze between 2 small bowls one to be used for brushing the chicken as it cooks ,the other reserved for serving.Heat the remaining oil in a large oven proof saute pan over high heat. Season the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. Place in the pan skin side down and cook until golden brown 3 to 4 minutes.

Turn over the chicken and brush with some of the glaze. Carefull drain off the excess oil,transfer the pan to the oven and bake,brushing with some of the glaze every few minutes,until the chicken is just cooked through,8 to 10 minutes. remove from the oven ,drizzle with the remaining glaze,and let rest for 5 minutes.

Queso Fundido with Roasted Poblano Vinaigrette

According to the description this is one of the All-time requested recipes at Mesa grill. Not surprising. Its all at one comforting and out of this world delicious. The recipe reccomends serving this with piles and piles of chips,please take this advise seriously because I gurantee your guests will not stop digging till the last morsel is gone.

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 cup whole milk

1 tablespoon all purpose flour

3 cups Monterey Jack cheese,12 oz

1 cup whole 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

8 oz goat cheese,cut into 8 slices

Roasted Poblano Vinaigrette

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

1  9 oz bag good quality tortilla chips or Home made chips

Preheat broiler

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour and cook for 1 minute. Whisk in milk and cook until slightly thickened. Remove from the heat and stir in Monterey Jack cheese;season with salt and pepper

Scrape the mixture into an 8 inch cast iron pan and place the slices of goat cheese over the top. Put the pan under the broiler and broil until the goat cheese is golden brown on top. Remove from the oven ,drizzle with the poblano vinagrette,and sprinkle with cilantro. Serve with chips.


2 Poblano chilis,Roasted,peeled and seeded and chopped.

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

1 garlic clove,chopped

1 teaspoon honey

1/4 cup canola oil

Kosher saqlt and freshly gound pepper

Combine the poblanos,2 tablespoons cold water,vinegar,garlic,honey,canola oil ,salt and pepper in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. May be made 8 hours in advance and refridgerated.

Spicy coconut Tapioca with Mango and Blackberries

This super ,absolutely delicious,subttly spicy,creamy dessert is a real winner. On my behalf I have to say I love it for all those reasons but also because its great for those people who do not eat eggs. This comes from Bobby Flay’s Mesa Grill and is one of Vicki Well’s signature dishes.

1/2 cup Tapioca

2 (14 oz) cans unsweetened coconut milk

2 cinnamon sticks

1 (1 inch) piece fresh ginger,peeled

grated zest of 1 lime

1/2 serrano chili(optional)

1/2 whole nutmeg,crushed1/4 cup sugar

1/3 cup simple syrup,equal parts of sugar and water,boiled to dissolve sugar,cooled.

1/3 cup creme Fraiche

Mango and Blackberry salad

Put Tapioca in a bowl,pour 2 cups of cold water over it,and let sit 1 hour.

Combine the coconut milk,cinnamon sticks,ginger,zest,serrano,nutmeg and sugar in a large saucepan and cook,stirring occassionally ,over medium heat until reduced to 3 cups. 25 to 30 minutes.

Set a medium bowl in a large bowl of ice water.Strain the coconut milk mixture into a medium saucepan. Drain the tapioca and add it to the pan. Place the pan over medium heat,bring to a simmer and cook for 2 minutes. Pour the mixture into the bowl set in the ice water bath and stir until cool.

Whisk the simple syrup and creme fraiche into the coconut milk-tapioca mixture. Serve immediately,in bowls topped with the Mango and Blackberry salad.

Mango And Blackberry Salad

1 ripe Mango,peeled,pitted and diced

1 cup fresh blackberries

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 Vanilla bean,split lengthwise and seeds scraped

1 tablespoon finely grated ginger

Fresh Mint leaves,for garnish

Combine the mangoes,blackberries , sugar,Vanilla bean and seeds,add ginger in a medium bowl and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Remove the vanilla bean before garnishing with fresh mint leaves and serving. This can be made up to 1 day ahead and stored in the refridgerator.

cranberry -Marinated Vodka

Believe it or not I started thinking about the holidays already. Its so strange,in my neighbourhood leaves have already started to change color and fall.This reminded me of a great cocktail I served at one of my holiday get togethers. It was,simply put,a raging success. This great cocktail comes from Mesa grill in lower Manhattan owed by none other than the famous Bobby Flay.It’s just perfect for the holiday season,or…why wait!!

makes about 5 cups

5 cups cranberries

21/4 cups water

11/4 cups sugar

2 cups vodka

Ice cubes

Combine 5 cups cranberries,water and sugar in heavy large saucepan. Bring to boil,stirring frequently to dissolve sugar. Cool completly. mix in Vodka. Cover cranberry mixture and let stand 2 days at room temperature.

Strain cranberry mixture through sieve. (can be prepared 1 month ahead. Cover and refridgerate). Fill glasses with ice,Pour cranberry Vodka over and serve.