Chili

ChiliA small cold front came through Florida Saturday night and Sunday. When I say cold I mean a teeth chattering 50-ish degrees. 😉 Yes I know, I can hear all my north and midwestern friends and readers collectively tell me to get F’ed.

Anyway when its cold, there is nothing better then a nice warm bowl of chili. I am not talking that canned shit, or some ground meat with taco seasoning. I am also not talking about anything with beans. I am talking about authentic Texas chili from scratch. Its easier then you think to make and I promise you that once you make it like this you wont want it any other way. Well you might but in your mind you’ll be all like, what the hell is wrong with me, I just should have made it like Brock did.

Chili_meatSome Texans and in fact some sanctioned Chili cooking competitions allow for ground meat. If you like ground meat in your chili go for it. However to me and I am betting you will agree when you try, chili with small chunks of meat his much better. When I make chili I just buy a two to two and a half pound chuck roast and cut the meat up into small cubes.

Authentic Texas style chili is easy to make and really only requires a handful of ingredients. If you want to add beans to your chili, you can, if you feel you must. Authentic Texas style chili however rarely has any beans. Onion, meat, tomatoes is really all you need in as far as the ingredients to make good chili. Of course there is the spices but I am going to show you have to handle that since its easy enough.

Now lets talk spices. Its easy enough to buy Chili powder in the store and if you want to, go for it. Its not a problem. However, I make my own and if you have a blender, food processor, a spice grinder or even and old school mortar and pestle then I would try to make your own chili powder. Its easy to do and tastes 100X’s better then store bought.

Here’s how:

In your supermarket on the ethnic food isle or section look for the dried whole chili peppers. Down here its by the Goya Spanish/Latin canned stuff. Usually there are plastic bags of dried Chipotle, Serrano or Banana Peppers. Grab one of each. Heat your oven to 300 degrees and spread all the peppers out on a baking sheet and toast the peppers in the oven for 15-25 minutes. They will toast up and get a little smokey. Check often, you’ll smell them get toasty. Take them out then let cool to room temp. They will be really dry and brittle.

When they are room temp, grind them all up into a powder. You can use a blender, spice grinder, food processor or a mortar and pestle. In the end you wind up with about a half a cup of homemade chili powder. Put in an air tight container and it will last in fridge forever. Make chili, BBQ sauce, BBQ rub whatever. Try it though. Its easy and beats the tits off regular old store bought chili powder.

The chili and spices are added to the chili in two separate times or as the chili competition people refer to as “Dumps”. You “dump” in half the spices in the beginning of the cook and then “dump” in the other half of the spices at the end of the cook.

This chili is rather thin while cooking. Its almost more soup life then chili like. Don’t be alarmed. The last half hour the chili is cooked with the lid off the pot and the chili will thicken. If its still too loose, you can thicken it up with a tablespoon of cornstarch and cup of water mixed and and added into the chili. But you probably wont need to thicken it when its done cooking.

You can top the chili with damn near anything you like when you are ready to eat. These days instead of making corn bread, I just buy a bag of plain old Frito Corn chips and throw a handful on top with some grated Cheddar Cheese.

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Chili
 
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A little cold outside, then its chili time.
Author:
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: American
Serves: 6-8
Ingredients
  • 2½ pound Chuck Roast, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 2 Tablespoons of Bacon Grease
  • I medium Yellow Onion chopped
  • 2 Teaspoons Beef Base
  • 12 ounce can Whole Tomatoes
  • 7 ounce can Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce
  • 2 Cups of Water
  • 2 Cups of Chicken Stock
  • 4 Tablespoons of Chili Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon of Onion Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon of Garlic Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon of ground Cumin
Instructions
  1. Heat the 1 Tablespoon of Bacon Grease in a heavy dutch oven or similar pot on the stove over medium high heat
  2. Brown cubed Chuck Roast in batches until no longer pink. Set aside.
  3. Heat remaining Tablespoon of bacon grease in pot and add chopped Onion until translucent.
  4. Add browned cubed Chuck Roast back to pot with Chopped Onion
  5. Add 2 Teaspoons of Beef Base
  6. Add 12 Ounce can Whole Tomatoes
  7. Add 7 Ounce can Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce
  8. Add 2 Cups of Water
  9. Add 2 Cups of Chicken Stock
  10. Stir and bring to an easy boil
  11. FIRST DUMP
  12. Add 2 Tablespoons of Chili Powder
  13. Add ½ Tablespoon Onion Powder
  14. Add ½ Tablespoon of Garlic Powder
  15. Add ½ Tablespoon of Ground Cumin
  16. Reduce heat to simmer, cover pot and cook about 2½ hours over medium low heat
  17. SECOND DUMP
  18. Add 2 Tablespoons of Chili Powder
  19. Add ½ Tablespoon Onion Powder
  20. Add ½ Tablespoon of Garlic Powder
  21. Add ½ Tablespoon of Ground Cumin
  22. Increase heat to medium and simmer last half hour uncovered to thicken.
  23. Serve with grated Cheddar Cheese and Fritos Corn Chips

 

 

 

 

Pecan Pie

Pecan Pie is easy to make and is as American and holiday as a bunch of sugar high kids screaming about Santa Clause and tearing ass into presents while parents get drunk on Egg Nog.

In the past I have given a dough recipe for savory pies, but this is the standard dough recipe I use for sweet pies. Its a little different in the fact that I use only butter, and add some sugar. The premiss is still the same and its easy to make. Pie dough can also be made ahead of time or frozen for later use. No reason to not keep some on hand.

Pie Dough
 
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A standard and easy to make pie dough for sweet pies such as pumpkin, pecan, sweet potato pies.
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Ingredients
  • 1-1/4 cup of All Purpose Flower
  • ⅓ cup of Granulated Sugar
  • 1 pinch of Table Salt
  • 8 tablespoons of cold Unsalted Butter (cubed)
  • 2-4 tablespoons ice cold Water
Instructions
  1. Place Flour, Sugar and Salt into a bowl and whisk to combine
  2. Cut cold butter into Flour mixture with hands or pastry cutter until resembles course meal
  3. Slowly add cold water tablespoon at a time and mix to combine
  4. Form into round disk
  5. Wrap in plastic saran type wrap.
  6. Place in refrigerator for 30 minutes
Notes
After a 30 minuted rest in refrigerator roll dough out on floured surface. Makes one 9inch bottom pie crust. Double recipe for a top pie crust.

Once you have made your pie dough and allowed it to rest in the fridge for 30 minutes, you can take it out and roll the dough out on a floured surface to about the size of your pie pan. This pie dough recipe makes enough dough for a single bottom crust for a 9 inch pie. If you’re going to use this dough for say an apple, cherry, or peach pie you will need to double the recipe for the additional top crust.
Pecan Pie
 
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A great pecan pie for the holidays or any time of year. Who said pie isn't good all year? No one! Ever!
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 4 room temperature Eggs
  • 1 cup of Granulated Sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of All Purpose Flour
  • ¼ cup of melted regular Butter
  • 1 teaspoon of Vanilla Extract
  • 1-1/4 cup of white corn syrup (Karo)
  • 2 cups of Pecan halves
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Prepare one basic sweet Pie Dough recipe
  3. In a bowl whisk together Eggs, Sugar, Flour, Butter, Vanilla, and Corn Syrup until well combined
  4. Add Pecan halves to Egg and Sugar mixture and stir gently to combine
  5. Pour Pecan mixture into prepared unbaked pie dough
  6. Cook for an 1 hour and 20 minuted until center is set
  7. Completely cool to room temp and refrigerate

If you like pie, and you like pecans, then you should try making this pie. If you don’t like pie, well then throw yourself in front of a moving bus. The world has no use for you.