Cajun Chili Fries with Avocado Coriander Sauce

Morita chiles are red, fully mature Chipotles. This gives them a unique, medium – hot smokey flavor which is popular in many Southwestern dishes. These can be added to sauces (including Mole) to add smokey flavor and maintain the red color of the sauces. These peppers are about 2-4 inches in length, 1 inch in width, and have a deep brick reddish brown color. The word Chipotle translated to smoked chile. Consider the Chipotle a 6.5 on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the hottest). Scoville heat units 7,000-25,000.

Suggested Use:
Use Morita in enchilada sauces, chili, stews, barbecue ribs, and corn bread. Their smoky quality combines well with poultry, meats and fall squash.

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Servings: 4


For the chili:
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion finely chopped
3 cloves garlic crushed or finely grated
1 yellow or red capsicum (bell pepper) finely chopped
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
2 cans chopped tomatoes
1 can black beans rinsed and drained
1 can kidney beans rinsed and drained
1/4 cup quinoa (I used red quinoa, any colour is fine)
1 cup vegetable stock
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp salt
1-3 chipotle peppers finely chopped (rehydrated in hot water till soft, then chopped)

For the fries:
4 large floury potatoes (I used agria potatoes)
2 tbsp olive oil
For the cajun spice mix:
2 tbsp brown rice flour (or regular flour if not gluten free)
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

For the avocado sauce:
1 avocado
1 cup coriander leaves (cilantro) loosely packed
2 tbsp lime juice
1/4 cup water
1/4 tsp salt


Preheat oven to 210C (410F).

Get the chili underway first.

Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large frypan (skillet) or saucepan.

Add onion, garlic, capsicum and ground cumin and cook over a low to medium heat for 5-10 minutes, until everything is softened, fragrant, and starting to colour a little.
Add tomatoes, black beans, kidney beans, quinoa, vegetable stock, bay leaf and salt. Stir to combine, and turn down heat a little.

Depending on how spicy you like your chili, add 1-3 chopped chipotle chiles. Adding one will result in a mild chili that still has a little kick, and adding three will make it pretty spicy.

Cook for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the quinoa is cooked and the chili is thick, glossy and smells amazing. If it gets too thick while cooking, add a splash of water.

Discard bay leaf before serving.

Chili can be made ahead of time and reheated to serve, if desired.

For the fries:
Begin by making the cajun spice mix – mix everything together in a small jar or dish. This recipe will make enough spice mix for two meals, or one meal if you’re cooking extra potatoes.

Wash and dry the potatoes well, leaving the skin on. Trim away any blemishes.

Slice lengthways into large wedges. I cut mine in half, then into quarters, then cut those in half again to get eight wedges from each spud.

Use a plastic bag or a large mixing bowl to coat the wedges. Put chopped potatoes in and drizzle over 2 tbsp olive oil, shake or stir to coat all surfaces. Then add a few tablespoonfuls of the spice mix, and shake or stir again to coat the wedges evenly in spice mix.

Tip the wedges into a large roasting dish or tray, and put them in the oven to bake for 30-40 minutes. Turn the wedges every 15 minutes to ensure even cooking, and leave them in for an extra few minutes if necessary. When done, the wedges should be darkly golden brown, crispy on the outside and tender on the inside.

For the avocado sauce:
While everything else is cooking, make your avocado sauce.
Scoop avocado flesh into a blender or food processor.
Add coriander (cilantro), water, lime juice and salt.
Blend until smooth.

Taste and adjust seasoning with more lime juice or salt, if required.

Add a little extra water to thin the sauce to your desired consistency, if required.

The sauce can be made ahead of time and refrigerated until ready to serve, but is best made and eaten on the same day.

To serve:
Pile a good scoop of chili onto a serve of fries, drizzle with avocado sauce, and sprinkle with extra coriander (cilantro) and chopped spring onions (scallions).

Slightly adapted from