A family-friendly pasta recipe that makes the most of tinned foods. If your kids love Hawaiian pizza then this ham and pineapple pasta is a great twist to try for a quick mid-week dinner.
- 400g/14oz spaghetti (or pasta shape of your choice)
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, minced or finely chopped
- 200g/7oz tinned ham, cut into cubes
- 400g tin pineapple chunks in juice
- 200g/7oz full-fat cream cheese
- salt and black pepper
Cook the spaghetti or pasta in a saucepan of boiling salted water according to the packet instructions.
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a medium saucepan over a low heat. Gently fry the onion for 4–5 minutes, or until softened but not coloured. Add the garlic and chunks of ham and cook for 2–3 minutes more, stirring regularly.
Drain the pineapple, reserving the juice. Add the cream cheese and pineapple chunks to the onion and garlic, along with half the juice. Cook together for 2–3 minutes, or until the cheese melts and the pineapple pieces are hot. Add the remaining juice and heat through gently.
Drain the pasta then return to the pan and add the ham and pineapple sauce. Season with a little salt and lots of black pepper. Toss together until the spaghetti is lightly coated in the sauce and serve immediately.
What Do Jalapeño Recipes Taste Like?
What Do They Taste Like?
Jalapeño peppers have a vegetal flavor similar to a green bell pepper and a front-of-mouth heat effect. The spiciness can vary widely among individual peppers. Jalapeños are picked green and generally used in this unripened state. Jalapeños turn red as they ripen, both on and off the plant. They do not get any hotter as they ripen, but the flavor becomes somewhat fruitier and less grassy.
You can use jalapeños in pretty much any recipe calling for mild to moderate heat. They also make a good substitute for hotter peppers when you want to tame the flame in a dish. Keep pickled jalapeños in the fridge for a quick addition to tacos, nachos, and other dishes that would benefit from their assertive bite.
Where to Buy Jalapeños
Jalapeños are one of the most common chile pepper varieties found in U.S. grocery stores. Look in the produce section among a display of chile peppers, which you can usually find with the bell peppers. Generally harvested when they’re between two and four inches in length, fresh jalapeños should be bright green, firm, and smooth with the stem still tightly attached. White striations near the stem end can indicate a hotter pepper. As they age, they may start to turn darker green and then red, with a slightly shriveled appearance. Avoid peppers that appear mushy or with a loose or missing stem.
You can purchase smoked and dried whole jalapeños, called chipotles; crushed or ground dried jalapeños; canned chipotles in adobo sauce; and jars of pickled jalapeños at Mexican grocers or in the Mexican foods section of most grocery stores. They’re also available fresh at farmers’ markets, where you may find less common varieties, and from bulk retailers and online grocery services. You could also consider growing your own jalapeños at home if you have a warm location with all-day direct sun.
Store fresh jalapeños in a paper bag or wrapped in paper towels in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator for up to a week. You can freeze whole jalapeños in plastic freezer bags or airtight containers, or chop them first and freeze them in individually portioned packages; for best quality, use within three months.
Turn a tin of kidney beans into a gently spicy and budget-friendly veggie burger that you can whip up in 20 minutes.
For the burgers
- 1 large potato (about 285g/10oz), peeled and cut into large chunks
- 400g tin red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 small red onion, finely chopped
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp dried chilli flakes
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 slice bread (about 65g/2¼oz), blitzed to crumbs (see recipe tip)
- 3–4 tbsp vegetable oil
Place the potato in a pan of boiling water and simmer for 12–15 minutes, or until very tender but not breaking apart. Drain well and leave to air dry for a few minutes.
In a bowl, mash the rinsed beans using a potato masher. Add the potatoes and mash those too. Mix in the remaining burger ingredients, except the oil. Shape the mixture into four large patties.
Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large frying pan (preferably non-stick). Cook the burgers over a medium heat for 3–4 minutes on each side until golden, adding a little extra oil when the burgers are turned.
Toast the buns, in a dry frying pan or griddle, cut-side down and divide between four plates. Add lettuce and tomatoes, if using. Top with the hot burgers and serve with sauces of your choice.
Preparing Southern-fried buttermilk chicken with tomato salsa
This fried chicken is proper Saturday-night dinner territory – serve it on a giant sharing plate so all the family can dive in.
For the chicken
- 400ml/14fl oz buttermilk
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 whole chicken, jointed, then cut into 10 portions
- 125g/4½oz plain flour
- 1 unwaxed lemon, finely grated zest only
- 1½ tsp hot smoked paprika
- 1½ tsp English mustard powder
- 1½ tsp celery salt
- 1½ tsp dried thyme
- 1½ tsp dried oregano
- 2 tsp cracked black peppercorns
- vegetable oil, for shallow frying
For the salsa
- 90g/3¼oz caster sugar
- 300g/10½oz tomatoes, finely chopped
- 2 red chillies, finely chopped
- 300g/10½oz tinned sweetcorn, drained and rinsed
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 lime, juice only
- 2 tbsp roughly chopped fresh flatleaf parsley leaves
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
Whisk the buttermilk and salt in a bowl until combined. Add the chicken pieces and mix until coated in the buttermilk. Cover and chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours, and preferably overnight.
When the chicken has soaked in the buttermilk, remove the bowl from the fridge to allow it to return to room temperature before cooking. Preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6.
Mix the flour, lemon zest and all of the spices in a bowl until well combined.
Lift the chicken pieces out of the buttermilk, scraping off as much of the mixture as you can, then roll them in the spiced flour until completely coated.
Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based, ovenproof frying pan to a depth of 1cm/½in, until a breadcrumb sizzles and turns golden-brown when dropped into it. (Caution: Hot oil can be dangerous. Do not leave unattended.)
Add the chicken pieces to the hot oil, in batches, placing them skin-side down. Fry for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until golden-brown all over.
Transfer the pan to the oven and continue to cook for 12-15 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and the skin is crisp. (The chicken is cooked through if the juices run clear when the chicken is pierced in the thickest part with a skewer.) Remove from the pan using tongs and set aside to drain on kitchen paper. Keep warm.
Cook the remaining batch of chicken pieces in the same way.
Meanwhile, for the salsa, heat the sugar in a heavy-based frying pan over a high heat, without stirring, until it melts to form a golden-brown caramel. Swirl the pan occasionally to stop the caramel from catching on the bottom of the pan.
Add the chopped tomatoes to the pan, stir to coat them in the caramel, and cook for 1-2 minutes, or until just softened.
Add the chillies, sweetcorn, red wine vinegar and lime juice and continue to cook for 6-8 minutes, or until the tomato has completely broken down. Stir in the parsley, then season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
To serve, pile the chicken pieces onto a serving platter. Serve the salsa in a bowl alongside.