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Let's Dish With Linda Lou

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

Homemade Chili

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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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Chicken And Poblano Pepper Empanadas

Chicken And Poblano Pepper Empanadas

Chicken And Poblano Pepper Empanadas (2)

Who doesn’t love a hand-held meat pie? They can be made in advance, you can freeze them then bake them off when you’re ready. My Chicken And Poblano Empanadas are so delicious, tender and flaky pie crust filled with bold flavorful ingredients, YUM!

In this post, I’m taking some help from my local grocery store. I’m using a rotisserie chicken and store-bought pie dough. Rotisserie chicken is one of the best items available at the grocery store. The possibilities are endless.

Now when it comes to pie crust, making your own is always the way to go but if you’re short on time there are great store-bought pie doughs available in the refrigerated section of your grocery store. I’ve posted a link at the bottom for my Homemade Pie Crust which can be made in advance and a link for my Pico de Gallo.

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Prep Time: 45 minutes (includes cooking vegetables and making the empanadas)
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 47minutes
Yields: 16 Empanadas
Equipment: food processor, 3 rimmed baking sheet pans, pastry brush

Ingredients:
1 whole rotisserie chicken, deboned
2 boxes of store-bought pie dough, cut into 6-inch round circles
4 tomatillos
2 Poblano peppers after cooked tops removed and seeded
1 large white Spanish onion, peeled
3 cloves garlic, peeled
2 Fresno chilies, after cooked tops removed and seeded
1-quart unsalted chicken broth
water
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
2 tablespoons Kosher salt
1 lime, juiced
1 small ladle of reserved cooking liquid
3 beaten eggs plus 3 tablespoons water, *egg wash

Directions:
In a large stockpot, place tomatillos, seeded Poblanos, a peeled large white Spanish onion, whole peeled garlic cloves,  and seeded Fresno chilies. Cover the vegetables using 1-quart of unsalted chicken broth and the rest water.  Turn the heat to medium-high, bring the vegetables up to a boil, (lower the heat) reduce to a simmer, cook for 20 minutes.

While the vegetables are simmering on the stove remove debone the rotisserie chicken. Next, using your hands, shred all the chicken then transfer into a large mixing bowl.

The tomatillos will have turned olive in color and the peppers, fork tender. With a slotted spoon, fish out the peppers and chilies removing their tops and seeds before placing them into the food processor. Take the slotted spoon to move the rest the veggies from the pot adding them to a food processor. Add 1 Kosher salt, cilantro, lime juice, and a small ladle of the cooking liquid (add more if needed). Process until smooth. Pour the Poblano pepper mixture into the bowl with the shredded chicken.

Note: The leftover cooking liquid (vegetable stock) allow to cool completely then place into labeled sealed containers. Store in the freezer.

Preheat the oven to 450-degrees F.
Here I’m using a lid that measures 6-inches in diameter. Cut out 6-inch circles out of the pie dough. Each circle of dough yields 4 circles. Next, take the scraps of dough that are left and roll that out to 1/4-inch in thickness. The leftover dough will yield another 4 circles. When it comes to Empanadas, you want to make as many as you can because they will get eaten.

Place a good tablespoon in the center each circle, brush around the outsides of the circle with the *egg wash. fold the pastry over to form half-moons. Press the edges firmly (overfilling will cause dought to tear and not seal.) Crimp the edges with a fork. Lay the empanada onto a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Repeat this process until all the filling or the dough circles are used up. Brush the outsides of the Empanadas with more *egg wash. This will allow the pies to become nice and golden brown during baking.

Bake for about 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving. I like to serve them with a side of Pico de Gallo. The Pico works well to cut through the richness of the Empanada.

Tip: Unbaked empanadas may be frozen. Freeze on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper until hard. Store in freezer containers. Bake frozen; add an additional 5 minutes for baking time.

*egg wash: 1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon of water or milk.

Pico De Gallo Two Ways

Homemade Pie Crust

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