November 5th, 2007

Dexter & Stagg
  • tmfiii

"Old-Fashioned" Chili

Well, the weather is finally taking a turn toward the colder side so I figured it is about time to hit the kitchen for something other than a drink.   If you know Sean and/or I, you know that we both love to cook.  I decided that this weekend was a time to get in the kitchen and make up something tasty.  I decided on chili.  But, because cocktails have been a big part of my culinary adventures of late, I decided to try and do a little mash-up.  The recipe below is what I came up with.  Even if I say so myself, it turned out really damn good.

"Old-Fashioned" Chili
5 strips bacon
1 lb. ground pork or mild sausage
1 lb. ground beef
1 lb. chuck steak, trimmed of fat and cut into one-inch cubes
1 Tbls. olive oil
3 Tbls. chili powder
3 Tbls. cumin
3 Tsp. dried oregano
5 chipotle peppers and adobo sauce, minced
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tsp. salt, plus more to taste
2 cups water
18 oz tomato paste
3 cups chopped onions
3 cups diced red bell pepper
3 cups diced tomatoes
1 large can hominy, drained and rinsed well with cold water
6 oz. bourbon/whiskey/rye
2 Tsp. sugar/simple syrup/blue agave syrup
Agnostura bitters
1 cup chopped cilantro
beef broth to thin out chili (if needed)

1.  Dice bacon and fry in olive oil until all fat is rendered and diced bacon is crisp.

2.  Eat bacon (or reserve and put in final chili).  Two guesses on what I did.

3.  Brown ground beef and ground pork (or sausage) in bacon fat/olive oil mixture.

4.  Add chuck steak pieces and garlic and saute for 5 minutes.

5.  Add 2 cups of water and 3 ounces of bourbon, bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes.

6.  Add cumin, chili powder, oregano, and salt.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

7.  Add tomato paste and sugar.  (I used blue agave syrup for the tex-mex theme, but any sweetner is good here.)  The sweetner does two things.  First it helps temper the sourness of tomato paste and second it is an ingrediant in an Old Fashioned.

8.  Simmer for 5 minutes.

9.  Add chipotle peppers, tomatoes, onions, bell peppers and hominy.  Simmer until onions and peppers are tender, about 35-45 minutes.

10.  Add about 10-12 shakes of the Agnostura bitters and the remaining 3 ounces of bourbon.

11.  Check the consistancy of the chili.  If you want it thinner, add some beef broth (low sodium please).  Mine turned out just fine without any extra liquid.  

12.  Add chopped cilantro.  Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.

One thing about this chili.  It isn't very spicy.  In fact it is pretty mild but very flavorful.  If you want more spice, and next time I definitely do, I would add a teaspoon of cayenne pepper with the other spices or I would add some fresh chopped jalepenos, poblanos, serranos, thai chilis . . . whatever, with the veggies.

Top with a little grated cheddar and have with a piece of corn bread.  Damn tasty!  And just like a good cocktail, perfectly balanced flavors.

Pics to follow sometime tonight.

beer

I can has scallops?

Hmmm, since tmfiii posted a recipe I'll do the same!

Yesterday on my way out of Charlottesville I stopped at Anderson's Carriage House to pick up some steaks.  I grabbed two ribeyes and two New York strips, then on impulse added a pound of bay scallops to my order.

Anderson's has wonderful meat.  The steaks I just kept in the fridge until just before grilling, then put some olive oil, salt, and pepper on.  YUMMY.

But the scallops - I found a recipe that I wanted to try.

Basically, I put one pound of scallops into a bowl.  I chopped one quarter of a very large extra sweet onion, about a half dozen smallish cloves of garlic, and added a cup of Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA to the bowl.  I then dumped in some crushed red pepper flakes and black pepper, stirred it all up, and let it sit for a few hours in the fridge.

After it had marinated, I put the scallops on skewers and grilled them up.

Delicious.

Tonight we've got a buffalo roast going in the crock pot which I'm sure will be darn nice.  I've decided thanks to leg cramps and my sprained wrist that I'll be taking a few days off from the gym; that and the Steelers game tonight might mean a chance to start experimenting with our "winter" drink.

Oh, and Mixology Monday is coming up - next week, I believe, which means I need to come up with a gin drink.  At a bar in Charlottesville I had a drink called the "Parliament":
Hendrick's Gin
Cointreau
Lime
Basil
Simple Syrup

I thought about recreating it for the Mixology Monday but honestly I'm a bit hesitant about the basil aspect to it.

I've about burned myself out on Satan's Whiskers, so I may do some martini experimentation, though I'm guessing that'll be a popular one.