Dante's Inferno Vegetarian Taco Dip

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GBS Foods Article

Preamble

Just thought I'd share a recipe of mine which I've been doing quite a lot lately. To be honest, I don't know if this is classified as chili con carne or taco dip or whatever, it's damn tasty though. This is a quorn-based dish (the ground variant), for those of you who don't know what quorn is, here's a short description:

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Quorn

Quorn™ foods are made with mycoprotein, from the fungi family - and a relative of mushrooms, truffles, and morel, that offers a strong nutritional profile and an authentic meat-like texture. Quorn™ foods' wholesome and great-tasting meals and snacks have been enjoyed in Europe for nearly 17 years, and the good news is this exciting new food choice is now available in the U.S.!

Basically, it's the vegetarian version of minced meat. If you spice it like you would spice your meat, it tastes exactly like it. It has pretty much the same consistency as meat too, on numerous occasions I'd have to inform people that they were eating quorn and not meat because they couldn't tell the difference.

Ingredients

Here's what I used, I might add that the end result of this was enough to feed about 4 persons.

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  • A little over half a bag of ground quorn
  • 1 regular yellow onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 fresh green Jalapeno peppers
  • 1 fresh Dutch chili pepper
  • 1 bag of Chili spice mix
  • 1 tin can's worth of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tin can of baked white beans
  • Half a jar of Dolmio Extra Garlic pasta sauce
  • 2 cubes of meat flavoured vegetarian bullion concentrate
  • 2-3 tablespoons of garlic ketchup
  • 1-2 tablespoons of green chilli sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of crème fraiche
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • About half a can of beer
  • Basil
  • Oregano
  • Ground black pepper
  • Nacho cheese flavoured tortilla chips

Making the Taco Dip

1. Finely chop the onion, garlic, jalapenos and dutch chili. The finer the better. If you want this dish to be milder, just split the peppers down the middle first and remove the seeds. I like it hot though, so I kept them.

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2. Heat up a pan and pour a couple of tablespoons worth of olive oil into it. I happened to use a fairly fancy variant of olive oil which I normally wouldn't fry things in, but that's all I had at home.

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3. In with the veggies! Fry them for about 5 minutes until the onion turns slightly golden.

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4. In with the quorn, stir around for a couple of minutes until it has browned. In my experience you would want to fry the quorn pretty hard before adding anything else, or risk turning it into a horrible mealy consistency. If you just fry it good this won't happen though.

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5. Add the Chili spice mix and stir around good.

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6. Add the crushed tomatoes and beans, I used regular baked white beans here. My store used to have these really neat tinned 5-in-1 bean mixes from Heinz, but either they have stopped making them or my store won't buy any, because I can't find them anymore.

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7. NO KITTY THAT'S A BAD KITTY

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8. Now add the following stuff: Dolmio Pasta Sauce, vegetarian bullion cubes, green chili sauce and garlic ketchup. Proceed to stir around. I didn't add any salt to this dish, because there's plenty of that in the bullion.

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9. Add the oregano, basil and ground black pepper. Grind up the oregano and basil in your hands, then add a dash of black pepper. Again, stir!

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10. Now for the beer! Pour about half a can into the pan, but be careful or you'll turn it into a soup. From what I've gathered you're supposed to use really dark beer for this, like Guinness. However, I used a very good Finnish beer called Karhu which is paleish brown.

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11. The creme de la creme. Add two tablespoons of crème fraiche and stir around quickly so it doesn't coagulate, this really balances out the flavours and tones down the heat of the jalapenos. Of course, if you want it super mega hot you can skip this. And, if you want this dish to be a bit leaner, you can use cooking yoghurt for this, which works just as well.

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12. Put on the lid and let it bubble on low heat for 20-30 minutes. Since there's no meat in this you don't have to let it simmer for 543986 hours, although the longer the better of course. In the meantime you can sip at what's left of the beer and clean your knife and cutting board so they don't stink of garlic for the next 6 months.

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13. When this is done, get a bowl and pour some of the chili con carne/taco dip/??? into it. Proceed to place liberal amounts of tortilla chips along the sides. When you've done this, put a few slices of cheese on top of the tortillas, it doesn't have to be a lot, just enough to cover them (I happened to use Gouda). After that, slip it into the microwave and blast it on high heat for 1-2 minutes until the cheese has melted.

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The finished product. Top it off with a tablespoon of crème fraiche and serve with a cold beer. I don't know if this was as good for you as it was for me, but it was good fun to make and it tasted fantastic.

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