Eating is a necessity. However, we choose what to eat. The choices we make reveal a great deal about us. The food you eat can tell quite a bit about your heritage, your family, your fears, your sense of adventure, your attitude toward yourself and others, and a myriad of other personal tidbits to anyone paying attention. Everything about eating is a glimpse into your soul.

I hope to reveal a little bit about myself to you through my food. I enjoy cooking. I enjoy eating. I find pleasure in bringing pleasure to others. I hope that by sharing my recipes I bring you a little bit of joy.

Cook my food. Feed it to the people you love.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Chili Con Carne

Now that winter is on its way, I thought you might want help staying warm.  This chili is hot & spicy-just like the chef!

Servings: 6-8
Hardware:  A cutting board and knives, measuring spoons and cups, a plastic bag, UNPOWDERED latex gloves, a large Dutch oven (or other big pot with a heavy bottom), a wooden spoon, a can opener
Time:  Prep:  10 minutes    Cooking: 1 hour 15 minutes

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 large onions diced (2 cups)
  • 3 cloves garlic peeled, diced
  • 2 hot peppers, diced (I use jalapeños peppers in chili.  Choose whatever pepper you like.  The seeds and the white ribs of a pepper contain the capsaicin, the chemical responsible for the heat.  So remove these if you prefer less heat.  However, jalapenos are very mild. Always seed and chop peppers using gloves.)
  • 2 leaves of culantro
  • 1 ½  pounds stew meat, chopped into bite size pieces
  • 1 teaspoon each, salt & pepper
  • 3 tablespoons flour (I use masa flour)
  • 4 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • ⅛ to ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper (according to how spicy you like your chili)
  • 2 cups low sodium beef stock
  • 1-10 oz can Rotel green chilies and diced tomatoes– do not drain
  • 1-14.5 oz can diced tomatoes – do not drain
  • 1-15 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1-15 oz canned dark red kidney beans-drained
  • For garnish:  grated cheddar cheese, sour cream, and sliced pickled jalapeños

  1. Wash the onions, garlic, peppers, and chop them.
  2. Stack the culantro leaves and roll them up.  Cut them into very fine strips.  (This is called chiffonade.)
  3. Set the veggies and herbs to the side.
  4. Chop the meat into bite size chunks.
  5. Place the flour and S&P in the plastic bag.  Put the meat in the bag and shake it like crazy to coat each piece.  Set aside.
  6. Heat the olive oil in the Dutch oven on medium.
  7. Add the onions, garlic, peppers, and culantro to the Dutch oven.
  8. Stir and allow the onions, etc to sweat for 4-5 minutes.  The onions should be bubbling, but not browning.  Stir occasionally.
  9. Push the onions to the side and turn the pan up to medium high.  Pour the meat and the flour into the Dutch oven.  Allow the meat to sear for 4-5 minutes, stirring often.
  10. Add the chili powder, the cumin, and the pepper.
  11. Add the beef stock and scrape the bottom of the pan, loosening up all the brown bits of flour.  Allow the stock to come to a boil.
  12. Stir in the tomatoes, sauce, and beans. 
  13. Allow the chili to come to a boil and then turn down to low.
  14. Simmer the chili, uncovered, for an hour, stirring occasionally.

Serve over rice. Garnish with grated cheese, sour cream, and pickled slices of jalapeños. Goes great with corn bread and Sangria. 

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