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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Perfecting Standard Recipes

Tried and true recipes are always nice and I do have my fair share of them, however it never hurts to be open and flexible to new perspectives while cookin' in the kitchen by taking a standard old recipe and attempting to make it a wee bit better. For instance, perfecting my standard chili recipe with the addition of beer, chili paste, and chocolate has ultimately delivered a far superior collaboration!

Mix it up, add alternate ingredients, make it your own, and throw it out there for family and friends to condemn or consider. After all, recipes are meant to be improved upon, shared, and passed on to future generations...so they can then mix it up, add alternative ingredients, make it their own, and toss it out to the world in an attempt to make things a wee bit better. Change...you gotta love it!

Di's Perfected Chili 
Serves: 8-10
3 lbs ground chuck
Freshly ground pepper
1 T salt
1 1/2 ts ground cinnamon
3 ts ground cumin
4 T fresh chili paste
2 T cornmeal
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup shortening
2 onions, minced
6 cloves garlic, minced
4 jalapeño peppers, sliced thinly with seeds and stems removed
1 6oz can tomato paste
2 ts dried oregano
2 cans beer
1T sugar
1 can Rotel tomatoes with chilies
1 quart chicken stock
2 can Navy beans, rinsed and drained
2 squares semi sweet chocolate

1. In a large bowl, season the ground chuck with pepper, salt, 1/2 ts cinnamon, 1 ts cumin, and 2 T chili paste. Mix well.
2. Sprinkle the corn meal on the meat and mix well again.
3. Preheat a large Dutch oven over medium heat with the olive oil and then add the coated meat. Brown for about 10-12 minutes. Add the shortening. and cook a couple of minutes more. Remove from pan and set aside.
4. In the drippings, add the onions and garlic and Saute for 5 minutes over medium heat .
5. Add the jalapeño peppers and allow to cook for 2 minutes more.
6. Add the tomato paste, 1 ts cinnamon, 2 ts cumin, 2 ts oregano, and 2 T of chili paste. Stir well.
7. Add the beer, 1 T sugar, Rotel tomatoes, meat, and chicken stock.
8. Simmer on low for about 1 hour. Then add the beans and chocolate. Stir well to melt the chocolate. Serve when beans are heated.
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