Thursday, October 30, 2008

Chili Recipe

Here is a chili recipe I made up! I had never made chili in my life, but was compelled to do so. Why? Because at my Master Gardener class, someone had brought in a basket of (presumably home-grown) mysterious hot-looking peppers on the snack table. I decided to take one of each and make a large quantity of food that could handle whatever spicy level came forth from the peppers. Hence, chili! After gleaning some ideas from several cookbooks, I cobbled together my first chili.

And it rocks!!! Arvonn was duly impressed, and I was pleasantly surprised that this chili tasted so magically delicious. So I just had to share -- if you feel so inclined, I wholeheartedly recommend trying it for yourself!

1. Get out a huge pot (with lid). This makes a LOT, but that's what freezers are for!
2. Brown ~2.5 lbs hamburger in said pot. Take it out when done, set aside.
3. Chop/dice a medium onion and throw it in the pot (still on medium heat).
4. Add ~3 Tbsp. chopped garlic and cook till onions start getting clear.
5. Add ~4 Tbsp. EACH of cumin, chili powder, paprika.
6. Add ~0.5 tsp. black pepper
7. Add ~1 tsp. celery seed
8. Now, I added half of each of my mystery peppers (one of which I think was a Scotch Bonnet), but in retrospect I think the proper heat could be obtained by using one whole habanero pepper, diced as small as possible, no seeds. Yes, the little red pepper of DOOM! I suppose you could adjust to taste if you are a wimp. Don't worry, I used to be a spicy food wimp myself, but now I am bold and brassy!
**SAFETY NOTE: Be sure to wear gloves when cutting Peppers of Doom, and wash cutting surfaces and knifes thoroughly, and don't touch your eyes, etc.!!**
9. So this stuff is all cooking away, now deglaze the pot with 0.5 cup of white wine (or beer, which I wanted to use but didn't have). Stir.
10. Add back the beef!
11. Add a capful of Liquid Smoke, the flavor enhancer of the gods.
12. Add 3 (~16 oz.) cans of kidney beans, 1 (~15 oz.) can of diced tomato and
13. 32 oz. of medium salsa. I bought a huge 64-oz. jar at Costco for just this purpose, and had lots leftover for chip-dippy fun. I guess any salsa would do!
14. Add ~4 Tbsp. honey AND ~4 Tbsp. molasses.
15. Stir, heat through, and let simmer for, I dunno, at least a couple hours, with the lid ajar. I had it going all afternoon. Do not worry about the spice level as you sample it; it will come out perfectly!
16. I let it sit off the heat for an hour for flavor melding and thickening and all that. DONE!

Enjoy with big hunks of bread (yes, I was crazy and simultaneously made a random loaf of brown Finnish bread from scratch) and/or tortilla chips. Eat while watching Babylon 5. Drink milk. Enjoy your surprisingly-full belly from only 1 bowl. Sneak a bit more if you want. Pat yourself on the back for having a supertasty snack/meal on your hands and a freezerful for another time!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

A seemingly very Northwest thing to be doing

I'm going to go outside now in the overcast weather with my big cup o' coffee, and do some weeding. Hah!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

quick rundown

Yoga goals: out the window (oh well)
Apple pie making party: in 2 hours
Master Gardener homework: must be done NOW
Further blogging: irrelevant (today)
till next time . . .