Friday, July 17, 2009

Rosie Answers A "Just Ask Rosie" Request, Makes The Requested Chili, And Makes More Stuffed Peppers.

Today, we have a Just Ask Rosie post.
I love it when my readers Just Ask Rosie.
Not long ago I received an email from my reader/friend,
 Angela, in Wisconsin, with another Just Ask Rosie request.
 Seems Ange is jonesin' for some chili.
Well, my friend, jones no more.
 Even though it's in the 90's today, I am making chili.
 Oh, the sacrifices I make for my readers.
 Angela has contacted me before requesting stuffed pepper recipes,
which I was able to provide, and I hope she and you enjoyed them.
 Today, I'm happy to oblige her with red bean chili stuffed peppers,
 along with another stuffed pepper with a Southwestern/Tex Mex flair.
 I really don't like using those words - "Southwestern" and "Tex Mex."
 What exactly do they mean?
Just because I used some beans or cumin or cilantro in a dish,
 does that make it Southwestern or Tex Mex?
Color me confuzzled.
 And Angela, this chili is a hamburger chili with red beans
 And you certainly don't have to stuff a pepper with this chili.
 (I just happen to have an abundance of peppers
 in my garden that I need to use
and you had made a previous request for stuffed peppers.
 Hence, my chili stuffed peppers pour vous.)
 What would be really good is to just fix a bowl of this chili
 and serve it with some grated cheddar cheese,
a sprinkling of cilantro, some Tostitos chips,
and some sour cream, or even better, some creme fraiche.
 (Which I happen to be making right now.
 Or rather, letting it make itself right now.)
 Angela, I also look forward to doing a pork chili with cilantro
 as you mentioned in the not too distant future.
Here's our meal.
 The pepper on the left is stuffed with chili and topped with cheddar cheese. 
The pepper on the right has a filling of black beans,
 corn, onion, jalapeno, and Mozzarella cubes,
and is topped with Mozzarella slices. 
I have garden peppers out the wazoo right now
 so I picked 4 medium sized peppers for dinner tonight. 
I'll be making 2 chili stuffed peppers
 and 2 black bean stuffed peppers. 
 While at Food Lion this morning, 
I found some meat marked down. 
(Still more than I like to pay for hamburger.) 
1.32 pounds of 80% lean.
And 1.16 pounds of 73% lean.
I mixed both ground meats together and added:
2 tsp salt
2 tsp Montreal Steak Seasoning
 2 TB Lea & Perrins
 2 TB Soy Sauce
Dig in with both hands.
 It's the only way to mix meat.
 As for the chili recipe,
 I actually wrote down all the measurements this time.
I figure that's the least I can do for a Just Ask Rosie post.
 I'm not using all the meat for the chili.
Only 1 pound for the chili.
The rest of the meat will be saved for other yum-yums,
to be featured in future posts.
 Nothing goes to waste in the Hawthorne Household.
 And I don't refer to the remnants as leftovers.
Immediately after writing the word "leftovers,"
I knew I needed another word that was more real, more definitive, and positive.
 First I thought of the word re-do's.
But that implies it wasn't done right
 the first time around when it certainly was.
 Then I considered do-overs.
But, of course, that, too, has a negative connotation.
 I've put a lot of thought into this
 trying to come up with just the right word
 which describes the process of what I do in the life chain
of the produce and viande I prepare and serve and consume.
 And my word is moreovers.
 Think about it:
You've already produced and served
 a wonderful, satisfying, convivial repast.
 So, what's next?
 MORE is next.
 When you say "Moreover,"
you're likely going to top what you previously said,
 put an exclamation point there,
 and/or put it in bold or italics.
So, I have no leftovers. I have MOREOVERS!
Chili ingredients:
1 pound ground beef
 2 garlic cloves, minced
 1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 green pepper, chopped
1/2 jalapeno, minced
 2 8-oz cans tomato sauce
1 4 1/2-oz. can chopped green chiles, drained
 10 oz. cooked kidney beans
1 tsp hot Mexican style chili powder
2 tsp chili powder
 You have my permission to adjust anything in this recipe.
 Taste as you go along.
 And add more of whatever you think you might need.
That means your taste.
And that's what "layering the flavors" means.
 FN always likes to throw that phrase out.
 For my tastes, I would have used a whole jalapeno
 and probably a tablespoon each
 of the hot Mexican chili powder and the regular chili powder.
 And some other hot peppers added to the mix
 just for a variation of heat, taste, and flavor.
 But I'm cooking for others who don't like the heat I do.
 So this chili will be tame.
First I browned the meat,
breaking it up with my spatula, draining out the joos several times.
My minced garlic and jalapenos and chopped green pepper and onions.
After the meat was browned,
I added in the chopped green pepper, onion, and the garlic.
I added in the two cans of tomato sauce
and simmered over very low heat for 30 minutes.
After about 15 minutes,
 I added in the minced jalapenos and the drained chopped green chiles.

At the end, I added in the chili powders.
And the kidney beans.
Just heat through.
 And I do not use canned beans.
 Earlier, I'd cooked the rinsed beans, in simmering salted water,
changing the water and rinsing the beans halfway through cooking.
And I never soak my beans over night like the instructions say to do.
The beans took about 40 minutes.
Taste test.
You want al dente.
And here's my beefy, beany chili
with a slight bite of jalapeno and the spiciness of the cumin.
 Ahh ... Cumin.
That elusive je ne sais quoi ...
That taste that makes you go,
"What is that?"
 That "smokiness ..."
That "Joy of the Mountain ..."
Oh, wait.
Joy of the Mountain is oregano.
I was channeling my Inner Rache.
 Back to the rest of our dinner:
I started on another stuffing for my peppers.
Southwest? Tex Mex?
Are they the same?
 Are they different?
 Here are my ingredients:
2 cups black beans
2 ears corn kernels
 2 scallions, chopped
 4 Roma tomatoes, chopped
 1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 jalapeno, minced cubed
I scraped the kernels off of 2 ears.
While I was cooking the kidney beans
 I also cooked the black beans.
 In a separate pot.
The black beans need a bit more time than the kidney beans.
 And I always refresh the water when cooking beans
. After simmering any bean for 20-30 minutes,
 I drain them, put fresh cold water back in the pot and add salt,
 bring to a boil, add the beans, cut the heat to low, and simmer, uncovered.
 Until the bean is toothy.
Al dente.
I added the fresh corn to the beans.
Added in the tomatoes, green bell pepper and jalapeno.
The scallions ...
And the cubed Mozzarella.
Isn't this pretty?
If I had cilantro growing in the garden
I would have added some of that.
 I have parsley year round and planted cilantro last fall.
 It made it through the winter and just went to seed a few weeks ago.
 I scattered the seeds around and my cilantro is just coming up.
 I'll have a nice crop in a few more weeks.
And hopefully with interval plantings,
I'll have cilantro year round too.
At least, that's my plan.
I filled two peppers with the red bean chili and two with the black bean mixture.
I topped the chili peppers with cheddar cheese
 and the black bean peppers with Mozzarella cheese.
Poured water half-way up the baking dish
 and placed in a preheated 375 degree oven for 40 minutes.
 Or so.
Right out of the oven.
Sun light is always so kind to food photography.
Pretty peppers.
My stuffed peppers and my ficus.
Mr. Hawthorne and I shared a plate.
Bottom line:
 Both were very good.
 But ... this was a mild chili.
I like my chili spicier.
 I would have used a whole jalapeno and other hot peppers
 in addition and more of the chili powders.
 But the wimps in my family heartily enjoyed this.
As in it was all gone within an hour.
And I'm a sucker for anything with black beans in it.
Good stuff.
And a nice plus:
 I have moreover black bean mixture
which I'll be incorporating into my dishes in the next few days.
 I'll be making these dishes again and again.
 With variations and accoutrements.
Both are quite adaptable.
 The family loved it.
Hope you likee, Angela.
And everyone else, too.
 Remember, if you have any culinary questions
or want me to make a special dish for you,
please, don't hesitate to Just Ask Rosie.
 I'll do my best to answer.
 Thanks, Ange.
And please keep your requests coming.
 I love a challenge.


Garlicpbo said...

made some stuffed poblanos the other day.. .chorizo,celery,onion,garlic, black beans,tomatoes,corn, jalapenos, and pepper jack chesse. Made "mexican" gazpacho....tomatoes corn cucumber cilantro cumin chile' powder green onions and topped with bacon to go with it. Made a cream cheese jalapeno sauce to go on top....was really good and I liked the texture of the pepper better than green peppers that I made a little while on fb

Rosie Hawthorne said...

Oooooh. That sounds delicious.