Saturday, April 29, 2006

Happy Thoughts and a Chili Recipe
I think I’ve fallen into a trap of writing too much about stuff that pisses me off. I am not an angry person. I wish nothing more than for the enemy, the Islamofascists, to find peace, God’s love. It would be a miracle, but then so was Easter. I pray for them to find true grace, and understanding that the one God is a loving and kind god, compassionate and merciful. Not angry. Not a God of war and conquest.

So Lord, give me the strength and vision to see the good in this world.

Good things. I think I’ll start with a chili recipe. Not just any recipe, but a good one. An award winning one. One my loving wife made for me this afternoon.

First some philosophy. Everyone has a favorite “chili” recipe. Unfortunately, some are not worthy of the name. Why? People forget that chili is a pepper dish. Chili is a pepper dish, not tomato, not something else. If the chili tastes more of tomato than chili pepper, it’s not chili. Chili pepper must be the core of the sauce. Always. Keep this foremost in mind.

Second, the only valid debate about ingredients is “beans” or “no beans.” The debate is unwinnable. Both arguments have good basis in authenticity, taste and nutrition. I can go either way. My personal preference is to use beans with ground beef, and no beans when the beef is sliced. Canned or home cooked is personal preference. With time, I like to use home cooked black beans. For speed, I’ve taken a liking to Bush’s chili beans. Where I won’t go is noodles. Gross. Chicken? Turkey? No thanks.

Third, the chili pepper is key – but is a matter of taste. You can use whole pods to make a sauce, powdered chili pepper, or even a good chili powder (chili “powder” usually has additional spices added in like oregano and cumin). I prefer to blend powdered New Mexico, California, Anaheim, del Arbol, and or Spainish smoked hot paprika, depending on mood. Fresh pods are essential to the mix, but more often than not they take the form of plain old bell peppers, but others can find their way into the mix too. There’s something about the roasted pepper taste that’s key to my sense of what a good chili is.

Here’s a basic quick recipe. Guaranteed good or your money back.

1 large Fresh Onion
1 large Fresh Green or Red bell pepper
5 cloves Garlic
1 lb ground beef
3 tbls powdered chili
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
2 tsp cocoa
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 small (8oz) can of tomatosauce.
1 can of Bush’s chili beans
1 can red kidney beans
1 can pinto beans

Dice the onion, green pepper, and garlic. Brown in a pan with olive oil. When well browned, add the ground beef and brown that too. Then add the spices and mix well. Add the tomato sauce, mix, then add the beans. Simmer an hour or more and serve. I like to serve with rice, cheddar cheese, and sour cream .

Bon Apetit!

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