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Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Sharing My Recipes, My Life, And The Food Tale Of Two Cities

Homemade Chili

2016-01-15 13.58.08

There are times when I crave a bowl of my homemade chili. Chili that’s smokey, spicy, and with real depth of flavor. In this recipe I bring out all the stops. To add texture and sweetness, I like adding shoe peg corn. Shoe peg corn are small sweet white corn kernels, and I believe, is an ingredient that’s underutilized. I’m also a believer in adding black beans to chili. Everyone who loves chili knows, the longer it simmers the thicker and better it gets. The making of chili takes a lot of love. If you can dedicate 30 minutes of prep time and a little over an hour of cooking time, I promise you will really love this chili.

Ancho chilies are just a smoked Poblano peppers that’s been dried. A mild pepper with a smokey flavor that’s perfect for chili. Let me start out by showing you how to add these peppers to your chili.

Directions For Reconstituting Chiles:
I start by placing 6 dried ancho chilies to a pot along with 2-1/2 cups of water. On medium heat, I bring the chilies up to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. I let the chilies simmer for about 20 minutes. I turn the heat off allowing the chiles steep in their liquid (chili stock) for another 10 minutes before going into the food processor.  While this process is taking place, use this time to prep all the veggies, measure out the spices for the chili, thawing the shoe peg corn, and finally rinsing and draining the beans for the chili.

After the peppers have been reconstituted, stems removed and seeded, I place them into a food processor along with their liquid ( start with 1/2 a cup, add more cooking liquid if needed) to be processed and then set aside. You want the processed chiles to be a thick puree. Yields, 1/2 cup of ancho chili puree

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The next day I like to do something a little different. You know how chili always better the second day well… I grab a warm corn tortilla and make a taco. A little homemade chili, Pico de gallo, and Queso Fresco. YUMMY!

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Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Equipment: 6 quart Dutch oven pot
Yields: 6 servings

Ingredients:
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 pounds of lean ground sirloin
6 processed ancho chiles, yields, 1/2 cup of ancho puree
3 tablespoons of Mexican chocolate (optional)
1 small jar of processed Piquillo peppers
3 tablespoons of chili powder
3 packed tablespoons of light brown sugar
2 tablespoons of ground cumin
2 tablespoons of sweet paprika
2 tablespoons of smokey paprika
2 tablespoons of dried oregano
1 tablespoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons Kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoons of tomato paste
2 minced and seeded chipotle peppers
1 minced and seeded jalapeno pepper
2 cloves of minced garlic
2 diced red bell peppers
1 diced green bell pepper
1/4 cup of sliced green onions ( reserving the green tops for garnish)
1 large diced onion
2-28 ounce cans of whole San Marzano tomatoes
1- 10-1/2 ounce can of beef consomme
2 cups of low sodium beef broth
1-15 ounce can of drained and rinsed kidney beans
1-15 ounce can of drained and rinsed black beans
1 package of thawed frozen shoepeg corn

Toppings:
cilantro
shredded cheddar cheese
lime wedges
guacamole
diced red onion
sliced tops of green onions
tortilla chips

Directions:
As shown above, while the dried ancho chilies are being reconstituted on the stove, you want to move on to the prep work for the chili. Start with dicing and mincing of the vegetables.

Diced green onions (reserving the green tops for garnish), a Spanish onion, red and green bell peppers, minced garlic and seeded and minced a jalapeno pepper. Alongside those ingredients, I’ve seeded and chopped a couple of Chipotle peppers packed in Adobo sauce. Another ingredient is, I’ve taken a jar of Piquillo peppers and pureed those in a food processor. I have my black and kidney beans drained and rinsed. My shoepeg white corn has been thawed.

By the time all the veggies have been diced and minced, it’s time to seed, clean, and process the ancho chilies.  After the ancho chilies have been processed, then you want to get all your liquids together for the chili. The low sodium beef broth, beef consomme, and the canned San Marzano whole tomatoes.

Next, is to get together all the spices that will be going into the chili. First, and this is totally optional, is the chocolate. I’m using what’s known as Mexican chocolate. It’s used as a spice and gives a depth of flavor to the chili. Then there are the standard chili spices, chili powder, ground cumin, sweet and smokey paprika, garlic powder, dried oregano, light brown sugar, Kosher salt,  and black pepper.

Using a large heavy Dutch oven pot to make chili.  The stove on medium heat, I start with some vegetable oil in the bottom of the pot. To bloom all the spices, I add them right in with the vegetable oil. Stirring and mixing all the spices, including the brown sugar. Once the spices release their aroma, add the lean ground sirloin to the pot. Once the meat is stirred and mixed with the spices, add in the minced Chipotle peppers, stirring that through. Continue cooking the meat for another 10 minutes allowing the meat to brown completely.

Next, add in all the diced veggies along with the minced garlic and jalapeno. To that, some tomato paste. I stir all of these ingredients together, making sure the meat and veggies are well combined.

Now for the liquids. Start with the canned whole tomatoes. Once they’re in the pot, using a wooden spoon,  start breaking them up. To the pot, add in the beef consomme and beef broth, again, giving everything a big stir to combine. Still, on medium heat, let everything come up to a bubble. Turn the heat down to med-low, stirring occasionally, let simmer for 50 minutes. Once the chili has been simmering for 50 minutes, add the black beans, kidney beans, and shoepeg corn and let simmer for another 10 minutes.

Finally, the usual suspects, some shredded cheddar, diced red onions, cilantro, lime wedges, and of course some guacamole!

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Chipotle And Cola Crock-Pot Pulled Pork

2015-01-04 16.55.08

The slow cooker is one of the greatest inventions EVER!. Set it and forget it. Every busy person has to just love a Crock-Pot. My Chipotle And Cola Crock-Pot Pulled Pork has to be my absolute favorite recipe for pulled pork. It’s so easy and delicious. If you’d like to see my Slow Cooked Pulled Pork or my Fennel Slaw recipes, click on the links at the bottom of the page

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I chose bone-in pork shoulder (or pork butt) because anything with a bone will give you more flavor, the boneless will work fine too. Take a knife and score the top (as seen in the pictures), then season really well with Kosher salt and dark brown sugar all over the top.

Set the pork butt (fat side up) on top of the onions. To the top of the pork, add 1 whole can of Chipotle pepper along with the Adobo sauce. Leave the Chipotle peppers whole and just spread them out with the sauce all over the top of the pork.

Next, add the cola (coke) and unsalted chicken broth, allowing the liquids to just drizzle down from all over the top of the pork until they settle at the bottom. I set the slow cooker for 10 hours on high, place the lid on and let it do its thing.

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Eight hours into the cooking process, flip the pork over and continue cooking. Be careful here because the bottom part of the pork is really tender from sitting in the juices. When you go to turn the meat, use two sets of tongs for extra support.

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After the timer goes off and the pork is fully cooked and falling apart, carefully transfer the pork onto a plastic cutting board and shred away. I use to forks for this task. Place all the pork back into the pot with all its cooking liquid, cooked onions, and garlic.

This is when I add my favorite barbecue sauce in. If you have homemade sauce, great, if not, your favorite store-bought is just fine.

Toss the barbecue sauce through really well so that it coats all the pork and you’re done. Serve it on your whatever type of bun you like, maybe with some pickles or slaw. This is when SWEET meets HEAT! This Chipotle And Cola Crock-Pot Pulled Pork is going to be a roller coaster for your taste buds for sure.

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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 hours in the Crock-Pot, on high
Yields: 8-10 sandwiches or servings
Equipment: Large Crock-Pot

Ingredients:
3-pound bone-in pork butt, fat cap scored (pork shoulder)
3 large onions, peeled and quartered
3 garlic cloves, peeled and whole
1 can of Chipotle peppers in Adobo
1/4 cup of coke
1/4 cup chicken broth, unsalted
1/4 cup of dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons of Kosher salt
1/2 cup of barbecue sauce (favorite brand)

Directions:
Place the onions and garlic in the bottom of the Crock-Pot. Set the scored pork butt on top of the onions. Season the top with Kosher salt, dark brown sugar. Add the Chipotle Peppers along with the Adobo sauce all over the top.

Next, add the cola (coke) and unsalted chicken broth, allowing the liquids to just drizzle down from all over the top of the pork until they settle at the bottom.

Set the Crock-Pot to cook for 10 hours on high. Two hours (8 hours into cooking time) before the timer goes off, flip the pork butt and continue cooking.

Carefully remove the pork onto a cutting board and shred the meat. Then add the shredded pork back into the cooking liquid. Finish by adding the barbecue sauce. Toss the sauce through so that all the meat gets nicely coated. Pulled pork is ready to serve.

Serve hot alongside your favorite side dishes or make sandwiches.

Slow Cooked Pulled Pork

Fennel Slaw

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