With the end-of-year festive season drawing close, home cooks will be starting to think about some creative new ideas to wow their guests. Or perhaps there is a special anniversary, family reunion or business lunch coming up and requiring a deft and delectable culinary touch in the kitchen. Whatever the occasion or catering requirements, these three menu suggestions from Chili Gourmet by Helle Barlebo are an excellent starting point.
Chili Gourmet by Helle Barlebo

Tel. (+34) 666 627 105
helle@chiligourmet.es
www.chiligourmet.es 

Delicious Rösti Potatoes

(4 servings)
250 gr. potatoes
½ small red onion
50-60 gr. bacon
2 eggs (free-range farm, naturally)
1/2 dl. whole cream
Handful of freshly chopped parsley
Maldon flake salt and freshly grinded 5 peppers
Butter for frying

Peel the potatoes and put them in water with ice cubes for a couple of minutes. Then cut them into medium strips on a grater, or take the quick solution like us and use the kitchen machine.
Eggs, cream, parsley and spices are whipped together in a bowl.
The bacon and the small onion is cut into thin strips and mixed into the bowl, add the shredded potatoes as well, and mix nicely.Fry on a Belinis pan on medium heat in a bit of butter, on both sides until they are golden and have a good crunch. Can be made in advance and heated in the oven right before serving.


Pork Chops a la Chili Gourmet
(4 servings)

4 large pieces of pork chops with bone (from the local butcher)
2 cloves of garlic
Handful of fresh red chillies
Juice from ½ orange
Fresh thyme
Shot of olive oil
Maldon flake salt and five kinds of pepper
1 big mango
2½ large oranges
4 spoonful of liquid honey
Glace of balsamic

Put one chilli and the garlic, thyme and spices into a mortar and crush them well. Then add the fresh orange juice and the olive oil. Rub the pork chops with the marinade and leave them to rest in the fridge for a couple of hours.
Cut the oranges in cubes and pour over the honey and let it marinate for half an hour. Brown the oranges in a frying pan for a few minutes, until they get a light golden colour. Remove the skin and seed of the mango and chop the meat into smaller pieces. Blend the mango with the excess liquid from the honey and oranges. Then put it in the refrigerator until use.Brown the pork chops in a frying pan or, even better, on the barbecue for a few minutes. Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees and broil the meat until it is tender and juicy, approximately 10 minutes. If you decide to use the barbecue, close the lid instead of using the oven, to obtain the same result.
Decorate each plate with rounds of the creamy mango-orange cream and the balsamic glace. Put the tender meat in the middle of the plate and top it with the orange cubes, a pinch of thyme and a pair of fresh red chillies. Serve together with a couple of delicious crispy rösti potatoes and fresh-baked bread.

Mango Champagne Sorbet
(4 servings)

½ bottle of good Spanish cava
1 dl. cane sugar
1 dl. freshly squeezed lime juice
½ dl. water
2 whole dried star anise
1 mango in cubes
Fresh mint leaves

This is the basic recipe of one of my most popular secrets. It’s always a hit when I have guests at home or when I’m out on caterings. The sorbet is very refreshing, either as a dessert or as a fresh appetiser between the starter and main course, for the gourmet menu. Heat the water, cane sugar and star anise in a pan, just until it boils and the cane sugar is melted, and turn off the heat. Add the freshly made lime juice and leave to cool off in the refrigerator for at least one hour. If you are running late, you can cheat and put it in the freezer as well. Take the star anise out of your homemade “sauer” and blend the liquid with the mango cubes. Put the mango-sauer in the freezer and stir it regularly during the first couple of hours to avoid too many lumps. Remember that bottled lime juice just is a NO GO and not worth it. When the mango-sauer is completely frozen and you are ready for serving, pour it back into the blender. With caution, gradually add half a bottle of cava while the sorbet is getting blended at the lowest speed. Then add more cava till the sorbet is as liquid or as rich as you want it. Serve in sugar-glassed champagne glasses. Dip the top of the glasses in lime juice and after in white sugar, pour the mango sorbet, and decorate with fresh mint leaves on top. Champagne sorbet can be made with a great variety of berries and fruits, depending on your taste. Personally, I also prefer to add a little bit of dark Caribbean rum in mine, but that’s a completely different cocktail story, from overseas.