A Bit Of Chili

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I decided it was time for some chili and grilled cheese to ward of the crummy, rainy weather. I love dishes like these that you can top anyway you’d like and it’s fun for everyone to make it their own. This is one of the best meals to eat leftovers of because the flavor just gets better with time. This is great to make on the weekend if you will using the dried beans, but it is also an easy go to during the week as a crockpot dish. To all of my friends and colleagues warding off the sniffles and coughs, a little spice is sure to clear that right up! See below for the recipe and feel free to share your thoughts!

Note: This is certainly a dish that can be slow cooked in the crock pot. Just substitute a 15 ounce canned beans in water with no salt added for the Camilla beans. In the morning, cook the meat with the onion, garlic and celery, then add it and all of the ingredients to the crock pot and put the heat on low for 4 hours.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 3 tbsp. fresh minced garlic
  • 1 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes (no salt added)
  • 1 14.5 ounce can of diced tomato (no salt added)
  • 1 12 ounce can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • ½ lb. cooked Camilla red beans
  • 1 lb. of lean ground beef (93% fat free)
  • 1 lb. of ground chuck (85/15)
  • 2 tbsp. onion powder
  • 2 tbsp. garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp. sea salt
  • 1 tbsp. coarse black pepper
  • 1 tbsp. cayenne pepper ( or less for less spice)
  • 4 cups of water

Directions:

  1. Cook dried Camilla beans in the chili pot in 2 to 3 cups of water for an hour over medium heat. Stir and slightly mash beans against the pot every 20-25 minutes.
  2. Remove beans from pot and place in a bowl. Chop celery, garlic and onion and add to pot with a ½ cup of water.
  3. Add ground beef to the pot and cook until browned.
  4. Open all cans and add the diced tomatoes and crushed tomatoes to the pot.
  5. Put on a disposable glove and chop all of the chipotle peppers on a plate into small pieces before adding to the pot. Fill the can with water to get all of the adobo sauce and add to the pot.
  6. Add all of seasoning, the beans and a cup of water to the pot. Reduce heat to medium low and stir after 15-20 minutes.
  7. Taste and adjust seasonings. Keep in mind that the longer the chili sits, the more flavorful it becomes. (Hooray for leftovers!)
  8. Serve with your favorite toppings. I like to add a little cheese, salsa, sour cream and green onion .

A Bit Of Curiosity

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I’ve always heard that curiosity killed the cat, but that certainly doesn’t ring true when cooking. I went to the Red Stick Farmers Market this past Saturday and was inspired to create something warm to fight off the cold day. I picked up some beef marrow bones and oxtail from the Gonsoulin farmers to make a rich broth for a beef and veggie soup. I’ve never cooked with either but was curious to find out what difference it could make in a dish. The flavor was beyond incredible paired with garlic, onion and herbs. I’m certain a pot of this will be a winner and should make 10-12 servings for easy meals during the week as the Christmas preparations are underway. Please see the recipe and instructions below and be sure to share your thoughts if you try it.

This will be my last post until after the holidays. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Ingredients:

1 lb oxtail
1 lb marrow bones
8 quarts of water
2 heads of garlic
2 medium yellow onions
2 medium-sized red potatoes
1/2 lb lentils
2 cups chopped carrots
8oz pack of whole baby Portobello mushrooms
1 bundle of mustard greens
1 tbsp rosemary
1 tbsp italian seasoning
3 tbsp sea salt
2 tbsp coarse black pepper
2 tbsp cayenne pepper

Directions:

  1. Add marrow bones and oxtail to a large pot and cover in 8 quarts of water.
  2. Peel and chop onions and add to pot.
  3. Remove garlic cloves from each head, peel off the skin, cut off the hard end and mince into mid-sized pieces. Add to pot.
  4. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Once it begins to boil reduce to low-medium heat (3 out of 10). Let boil for an hour.
  5. Peel and chop carrots into 1 to 2 inch thick pieces. Add to simmering pot. Let cook for 30 minutes.
  6. Rinse and slice potatoes into 1 inch thick slices before cutting in half. You want the potatoes to serve as a thickening agent. Let cook for 15 minutes.
  7. Slice mushrooms into 1/2 inch thick pieces, including stems unless tough. Do not rinse mushroom caps before slicing. If you see dirt, remove it with a damp paper towel.
  8. Add mushrooms and all of the seasoning to pot. Let cook for 30-45 minutes.
  9. Stir pot and use a large metal spoon to remove some meat from the bones if tender enough to break with the spoon.
  10. Wash mustard greens by submerging them in a bowl or sink of water for 10 minutes. Chop the greens in groups of 4-5 leaves, into thin strips. Cut long strips in halves or thirds.
  11. Add greens to pot and let cook for 10-15 minutes before cutting off heat. The residual heat will continue to cook the soup.
  12. Taste and add additional salt and pepper to taste.
  13. Serve in a bowl and enjoy.

Note: I made a ham and cheese sandwich with microgreens to go with my soup. It can be served alone or with the sandwich addition of your choice.