Thursday, November 11, 2010


I wanted to take a stab at chilli last night so did my normal "cram for the test" video surf to find out what the heck goes in a chilli!!!  As a recovering non red-meat-a-holic,  I had no idea where to start aside from that mound of ground beef in my fridge!

I watched a few videos and thought I'd try something own recipe incorporating what I liked from the videos I saw and...let's not lie...what I had in my kitchen!  The result,  a SOUTHWESTERN AMAZING CHILLI that will wow all who get to partake in the goodness.   I would love for my readers to give this a try one Sunday during the NFL games (or whatever games your watching) and let me know what you think.   I  think it is combo of meat, beans and seasonings work perfectly.   You taste and then the spice kicks's amazing in my opinion.  OKAY,  let's have a look!  Here is what you will need.

1 Jalapeno Pepper (Cut w/seeds removed)
1 Large Onion diced
2 Cloves of Garlic finely chopped
1 Green Bell Pepper Chopped
1.5 - 1.75 lbs of ground beef
(Get your spices out!)
1-1/2 Teaspoon of Chilli Powder
1-1/2 Teaspoon of Cayenne Pepper
2 Teaspoons of Cumin
1 Teaspoon Oregano
1 Teaspoon Red Pepper Chilli Flakes
a small bunch of fresh parsley
2 Tablespoons of Tomato Paste
14 Oz. of canned tomatoes
14 Oz. of canned beans.  I did mixed but do whatever your feeling
2 cups of beef broth (or throw a beef cube equivalent in 2 cups of water)
a cup of frozen corn
Salt and Pepper to taste
Cheddar Cheese and Sour Cream to throw on top ;)!'s a lot I know...but it's SO WORTH IT!  Follow me kids...

Heat a large dutch oven or equivalent over medium stove top heat and add a good lug of extra virgin olive oil...let it get nice and hot.
Add your onions, jalapeno pepper and garlic...let them work for a good 7 minutes.  Toss in your green peppers and let all cook for about 3 minutes (All of these times are approximate...just keep an eye on it)
I add a little salt and pepper to help the flavors get a workout.
Throw in your ground beef and break it up so all sides can start cooking.

Get those spices!  Add your chilli powder, cayenne, cumin, oregano and chilli flakes and give those a good stir.  Add your fresh parsley now also.

Go ahead...dip your nose down in there...take a whiff...yeeeeeeeah!  Smells good doesn't it ;)!?


After about 5ish minutes once the spices and ingredients have gotten through their introductions to each other...add the tomato paste and canned tomatoes.  Go ahead and add your beef broth and stir all ingredients.  I sampled at this point to see how my spice levels were.  This is usually where my "it's too bland" paranoia kicks add some salt and pepper if you think it needs it.  You should get a kick of spice after you taste..if it isn't hot enough,  add another Jalapeno OR Red Pepper flakes.

Turn your heat down so all can simmer.  Let your chilli work for about 15 minutes (No, I haven't forgotten about the corn.)  Go ahead and throw the corn in and leave for an additional 15 minutes stirring and tasting occasionally to monitor your flavors.  Add your canned beans and let all simmer for a last 5 minutes.  I turn the heat off and leave it for a few more minutes so all can thicken up but that is up to you...

While my chilli was cooking,  I made some quick rice using CK Broth instead of water and adding a ladle of the broth from the chilli to give it that south western feel.

Once your chilli is done,  grab a bowl and over your rice (if you made it) ladle some of that spicy goodness (that's the chilli) into the bowl...Next,  shred your cheddar cheese (or Pepper Jack if you can get it...not available over here in the UK) and add a dollop of sour cream.  Serve hot so the cheese melts into it ....take to your friends and loved ones and find a comfy seat so you can kick your legs up and take in all of the compliments.  It is GOOD!!!  (SEE DISCLAIMER BELOW)

Try it and let me know what you think!

DISCLAIMER:  Now, I have to be honest...some of your recipients will go rogue and throw in an extra cup of FIRE!  My boyfriend's weapon of choice is canned jalapenos and chilli flakes.  This ain't my style but that is what makes cooking so much can DO YOU ALL DAY LONG :)!  Enjoy the chilli kids!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Garlic be damned! These potatoes will be AMAZING!!!!

I have mentioned in prior blogs that I'm hosting my first Thanksgiving dinner for 10 people! (YIKES) test runs of my recipes are in order.  Last night I tackled a ghost from my past.......mashed potatoes.

Rewind to Thanksgiving circa 2005.  These were the dark days when the Southern Stump (that's me) could not even boil water...let alone prepare a dish.  I wanted, however, to prove to my family (and myself)...that I was growing up and capable of doing grown up responsible things.  I offered to make the mashed potatoes for our Thanksgiving feast.

All started well but .....after the potatoes were mashed and I was adding the spices and other ingredients...something went horribly wrong.  You see,  I was preparing garlic mashed potatoes and where the recipe likely (in hindsight) called for one bulb of garlic...I read "1 lb" of can see where this is going.

The smell of these potatoes could have wiped out the entire population of Transylvania.  The look of horror on my sister-in-laws parent's faces when they dug in (not to mention my immediate family who did the right thing and said 'They aren't THAT bad') was horrifying!  So you understand,  I have something to prove this year now that I'm a pretty decent cook!

I am re-tackling the GARLIC MASHED POTATOES!!!!

This year,  I am cutting back (WAY back) on the garlic...sticking to one or two cloves so you get a hint of flavor and not a bitch slap in the face and bad breath for a month!  I am also adding about a half cup (3/4 - 1 cup) of Parmesan Cheese which is not overpowering at all but adds an additional richness.

I was working on these last night in my test kitchen and when my man came in,  I warned him as I spooned yet another tablespoon of butter into my saucepan...that this is Thanksgiving Test Kitchen and it ain't light on the calories or fat content ;)!  Paula Dean would be so proud ;)!

Anyway,  here they are (along with some roasted veg and lemon grilled chicken).

Like a girl who blacked out on Friday so cuts WAY back on the alcohol for the next 3 weeks,  I think I'm still ooooober sensitive to the garlic taste and might even drop it to one clove only!   On Thanksgiving,  I will hope for the best and strategically put my head down as everyone samples.  Hopefully it will only be enough garlic to kill the demons of Thanksgivings past ;)!