Brrr… It’s chilly outside!
With the cold snap that most of the country is dealing with we’re getting a rare and welcome (to me) blast of winter down here in Texas – I’m loving every second of it! Another exciting thing is that after two months I have a working oven and stove! Last night we celebrated both of these with chili, cornbread, mini pear tarts and friends. And since you guys weren’t here with us I thought I’d share some recipes with you.
For the chili, I have to warn you I have a tendency to add a little of this, and a little of that, and I don’t measure exactly. That said, I do have a basic recipe I follow. This time I made one pot of meat chili and one pot of bean. Some folks mixed the two, and some folks ate one or the other.
For the meat chili, I cooked one large onion, chopped, in a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in the bottom of the stock pot till it was translucent. Then I added about 4 cloves of minced garlic, cooked for just a minute or so more, and added one pound of italian sausage (if it’s in the casings split them and cook the meat loosely) and two pounds of ground bison (we splurged!). Brown the meat, drain any excess grease, then add:
- two diced chipotle’s in adobo sauce
- two large cans of crushed tomatoes
- one bottle of beer (I used Shiner Bock)
- one can of spicy V-8 (thanks to Beth for this idea)
- about two tablespoons of honey
- about four tablespoons of chili powder
- about one tsp of cumin
- about two tsp kosher salt and a few grinds of black pepper
- about 1/2 tsp cayenne
- a few dashes of hot sauce
- one chopped roasted red pepper
- two roasted poblano peppers
I let this cook over low heat for about 3 hours, then doctored a bit with about half a bottle more of beer, more salt, garlic, and hot sauce, chili powder, and a bit more cayenne. The chili simmered for about an hour more.
For the bean chili I did exactly the same thing, only with no meat and slightly smaller increments of ingredients – only one can of tomatoes, a bit less of the seasonings and beer and a bit less peppers. Also I added two cans of barracho beans (if you can’t find these use pinto beans or chili hot beans), two cans of black beans, and one can of red kidney beans.
I roasted my own peppers (once you try it and realize how freakin’ easy and cheap it is you’ll never spend the money for jarred ones again). Just place clean dry peppers on a cookie sheet (I usually line mine with foil or parchment to help with the mess) on the top rack in your oven and turn on the broiler. Keep an eye out and rotate them using tongs ever few minutes till they are blackened on all sides. Pull them out of the oven, stick them in a bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. After about 15 minutes peel the burnt skin off and remove the seeds, stems, and membranes. You can keep these in the fridge packed in olive oil.