Friday, March 24, 2006

Making a mean chili

cooking the Stacey way involves some guesswork with spices, so be brave and try what you think works best for you. I am not from Texas, so I know this is all unofficial. Please try to enjoy nonetheless.

Note on spices: I use a chili powder I got at an Indian grocery. It's a deep red-brown color and very potent. If you scan the Hispanic foods aisle you can find a chili powder that is also good. It's worth it to try rather than the dark brown stuff you get in the regular spice aisle.

On chiles: canned chopped green ones are okay for a milder chili. 1 small can, drained, should do it. You can also chop 1 or 2 fresh ones (with or without seeds) if you are so inclined. The seeds add heat.


Assemble:

1 large white or yellow onion, chopped
1-1 1/2 pounds of ground pork
1-2 tablespoons butter
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1 16 oz. can white beans, drained
1 16 oz. can dark red kidney beans, drained
hot chili powder, to taste (1 to 3 tablespoons)
ground cumin, about 2 teaspoons
sea salt to taste
1 lime, halved
1 20-oz can whole tomatoes, with liquid
chopped green chiles to taste

fresh cilantro, chopped (enough to garnish)

Heat the butter and oil in the bottom of a stew pot at medium heat until the butter melts and blend. Add chopped onion and saute until the onion is beginning to become translucent. Addpork and saute until the meat turns white. Add chili powder, cumin and salt and stir until meat and onions are coated. Juice the lime over the mixture using a reamer or by stabbing the halves with a fork and squeezing. Slice the canned tomatoes into chunks and add. Include the liquid from the can and stir. Add 1 can of water and stir. Add the white and red beans and stir. Simmer the whole mess for at least 45 minutes and taste. Sprinkle in chopped cilantro and allow to rest.

Serve with rice or corn bread and condiments as you like. Sour cream is nice, and so are additional chopped onions or shredded monterey jack cheese.

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