Friday, April 8, 2011

Silly for Chili

    Cooking for one can become a bit of an annoyance. As much as I love to cook, I love sharing what I have created. When their isn't anyone around to share what I have made, it becomes a chore.
    When I get to the point where I can't be bothered anymore to cook a new meal everyday, I start making big batches of freezable meals. Meals that require me to cook once, and yield a ton of freezable leftovers. Then I can thaw and heat, without effort. This keeps me from making bad, last minute food choices.
    Since I had the ingredients for Texas Chili, a recipe I adapted from Tyler Florence's Ultimate Cookbook, I decided to make that. It takes some time to make, but most of that time is just simmering on the stovetop. This was right up my alley since I had a bunch of other things to take care of today.
Texas Chili:
Texas Chili with Jalapeno Cornbread Muffins
3 lbs. beef chuck, cut into 1" cubes
2 onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper for seasonin the beef
2 Tbsp. Recipe Ancho Chili Powder
2 (28oz) cans crushed tomatoes
1 can corn niblets
1 can mixed bean medley, rinsed
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp. sugar
1/4 cup masa harina (you can subsitute with cornmeal)

*Garnish with tortilla chips, grated cheese, avocado and/or sour cream

(1) Boil a kettle full of water.
(2) Heat a heavy bottomed casserole pot over medium high heat. Add the olive oil, onions, and garlic. Sautee until the onions begin to caramelize. About 5 minutes.
(3) Dry the beef cubes with a paper towel. Add to the casserole pan. Cook until browned.

(4) Add Ancho Chili Powder, tomatoes, cinnamon stick and sugar. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil.

(5) Add hot water from the kettle until meat is covered. Return to a boil and reduce to simmer. Cover and cook for 1 1/2 hours.
(6) Stir in beans and corn niblets. Stir in masa harina (cornmeal) to thicken.
(7) Cook for an additional 10 minutes, uncovered to heat through and for the cornmeal to take effect.
(8) Taste and adjust seasonnings. Garnish and serve.

Garnished with Corn Tortillas

Stored in plastic, air tight containers,
ready for the freezer.

* This recipe makes 10, one cup servings.*Pair's well with Jalapeno Cornbread Muffins 
    I have made this recipe using a slow cooker as well and it turned out great. Just pre-cook the beef, load all of the ingredients into the insert (except the masa harina/ corn meal), and cook on low for 8 hours. Once the 8 hours have passed, add the cornmeal. Put the lid back on and turn the slow cooker to the high setting for one more hour. Garnish and serve.)

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