Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Something savory...

OK.  When it comes to making magic in the kitchen, I tend to reach for the butter, flour, and sugar.  This is no secret.  Personally, I would rather center my calorie-counting around a large slice of cake than a thick, juicy burger or bowl of spaghetti.

Truth.  Or is it?

Well, here in my house, my dear, beloved husband is allergic to the texture of all fruit and vegetables.

Wait, what?  Well, that is what we are telling our son in the future.  P would stop me here to say that the above statement is not true.

P loves:

1.  Corn
2.  Potatoes
3.  Fresh carrots
4.  Lima Beans
5.  Green Peas

I will stop with that insight into my hubby's tastes.  I am not picking, as we all have our weirdnesses.

I enjoy cake because it is...cake, but dinner can get awful boring with only a few palatable ingredients.  One thing that I was surprised to hear that P does like is chili (I mean, it is chock full of tomatoes and onions, among other forbidden things), so the search was on to make a tasty chili with no lumps or bumps that would make my hubs gag.  Over the years, I have come up with the following, feeding just about the two of us.

P's Chili

1/2 lb ground meat of choice
1/2 bulb garlic, roasted
1/2 red onion
1 large can of tomatoes
1/2 can Bush's mild chili beans
1/4 c low to no sodium beef broth
1 1/2 t chili powder
1 1/2 t cumin
1 1/2 t oregano, dried
1/2 t onion powder
1/2 t garlic powder
1/4 t cayenne powder
Texas Pete Hot Sauce, to taste

Roast garlic.  Turn the bulb on its side, and with a chef's knife, carefully slice across the fattest part of the bulb, splitting it in two.  Sprinkle some oil on the exposed cloves, coat with kosher salt and pepper, and place (seasoned side down) onto a piece of aluminum foil.  Cover completely with foil, and place in your oven at 375, for 25 minutes or so.

Yes.  Your house will smell for days.  Not recommended for pregnant people.

Pull out and set aside.

Season ground beef with kosher salt and pepper (you can cook this while garlic is roasting), and brown in a medium size skillet.  Drain any excess fat and set beef to the side.

Slice the onion roughly and place in the pan you used for the meat.  Cook until tender, brown, and sweet.  Place onions in a blender or food processor, along with 1/2 the garlic bulb (squeeze at the base, and the mushy cloves will pop out), and the whole can of tomatoes (any cut- pureed, diced, whole, whatever).  Puree until smooth.  Really smooth.

Pour just over half of that mixture into a medium sauce pan, and add the browned meat (save the puree for another recipe- I do an Indian dish with it that is great.  Add the garlic to some mashed potatoes or cauliflower puree for a special treat).

To this mixture, add all of the spices and the Texas Pete, to taste.  Chili really is up for preference.  My husband does not like spicy food, so this recipe is fairly mild.  I love the lemony brightness the oregano adds.  P loves the smokiness of the cumin.  It is all up for interpretation.  Play!

Let simmer for as long as you can stand.  This time I went for a couple of hours.  Sometimes I do 10 minutes.  Put enough cheese on it, and it really won't matter either way.  Stir in the beans at the end, as they will break down too much if you let them simmer too long.  Serve with corn muffins, elbow macaroni (my childhood fave), Fritos, over tortilla chips with cheese, or in a bowl with some Saltines.

Or, you could do this:

Chili Cobbler

What is this?  Sorry, the pics were a little rough- no fancy set up, as we were hungry (and there was football to watch).  This is Chili Cobbler.

Yes, It's Chili Cobbler.

Chili Cobbler is Chili with good ol' cheesy cornbread baked right on top.  I suppose you could make your own cornbread (which I have tried), but my hubs prefers this:

What?  You can't use organic milk with Jiffy?

It's America's favorite, after all.  And it costs 50 cents.

Soo, make your cornbread batter per box directions; but in the end, fold in around a half cup cheddar cheese, freshly grated (just do it).

Then, take your chili...


And pour it in a square(ish) pan.

Rectangle.  Square was dirty

Now, take your batter and plop it right on top of your chili.

Plop.  Plop.  Plop. 

Once you have done that, sprinkle some more cheese on top.  Hey!  Why not?


Place on a baking sheet, and bake for 25 minutes, or until done.

Don't knock it 'til you've tried it. 

You all cannot imagine how good this is until you try it.  And it is easy.  And it takes everything that is healthful about chili and throws it in the garbage.

And when you are watching the Superbowl, la garbage is where healthful food belongs.

Alright.  Sweets tomorrow.

Have a booty-full day (aw, yeah!)

Just kidding.  Or not.

Rachel Bee

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