Saturday, October 2, 2010

Chili Con Carne

I spent almost the entire day in the kitchen yesterday.  This isn’t abnormal for me though.  I seem to be obsessed with food lately.  The food I made yesterday though wasn’t a new recipe to me.  Yesterday, I hunkered down in the kitchen to make Cook’s Illustrated’s Slow Cooker Chili Con Carne.  I clocked myself and set a new record clocking in at 1.5 hours of prep time!  Woohoo!  I improved by a 1/2 hour!  Yes, that’s right – this is VERY labor intensive stuff.  But also VERY worth it in the end.  I was able to shave that half hour off of my time by using my Chop Wizard to chop up the onions and by buying stew meat already cut up.  I’m not big on handling raw meat, so this is definitely worth doing in my opinion.  The folks at Cooks Illustrated probably frown upon that, but oh well!  The bad news is that I can’t link you to the recipe.  Cooks Illustrated doesn’t post their recipes online.  I guess they want you to subscribe to their website/magazine in order to get the goods.  This is bad news for me as well because it happens to be the LONGEST recipe in the world.  So if needed, I can type it out.  But you must comment and let me know if you are interested in that.  If no one asks, then I won’t do it.  Because like I said, its long and I don’t want to type it out if no one is even interested in making it.  Please note that not all ingredients and prep are listed below.  This is only an abbreviated version, if you will.

First we assembled the necessary ingredients and helpers.   DSC_1139

Chopped onions and garlic.   DSC_1140

First step is to blister corn torillas in a pan. DSC_1141

Here’s a pic of the recipe.  You can see my mom’s note at the top there - “1 hour, 45 minutes prep time!”  That’s no lie! DSC_1144 More ingredients – tomatoes, beans and chipotle peppers.

Looking pretty blistery!   DSC_1147

6 tortillas were blistered in all.   DSC_1148

Here’s the meat.  This is 2 pounds of meat here.  You have to dry them thoroughly with paper towels before you begin browning them so that there is not excess moisture in the pan.   DSC_1149Nex

t, you rip up the blistered tortillas and put them into a microwave safe dish with 2 cups of chicken broth and microwave it for 2 minutes. DSC_1150

In the crockpot already was the 28 ounce can of diced tomatoes, 5 of the chipotle chiles and 1 cup of chicken broth.  What you are supposed to do here is process the tomatoes, chiles, and saturated tortillas in a food processor or blender.  I put them all in the crockpot and used my immersion blender to process it all smooth.  In the future, I will go back to the food processor method because the immersion blender sprayed sauce all over the place.  Not cool, immersion blender – not cool!  DSC_1151

Next, was browning the meat.  First – pour some olive oil in and heat up the pan.  Then put the meat in leaving space between the pieces. DSC_1153Brown all the sides.  I browned the meat in 4 separate batches.  When the meat is done, throw it in the crockpot.DSC_1156

Next up – cooking the onions.  There are 3 small onions here and also some olive oil.  I cooked them until they were soft. DSC_1157

Next, the spices go in the onions.  You use 5 tablespoons of chili powder and 2 tablespoons of cumin.  Cook until the spices are very fragrant.  Then you throw in the garlic (8 cloves, minced) and cook for 30 seconds more or so. DSC_1159

Throw it all in the crockpot and let it simmer all day.  The house smelled AWESOME all day long.  Finished product pictures below. DSC_1162My next task in the kitchen was to make a chocolate cake for my mom’s birthday celebration we were going to have after we ate chili.  I will have to post pics of that later on.  It was dark by the time we got around to eating it and things do not photograph well in artificial light.  So, we’ll see if I get around to it today.  I paused to try and get a picture of Avery in her cute sweater.   DSC_1170 DSC_1171I was also trying to do something about that mop of hers.   DSC_1177

  And trying to get a picture of her with the hood up.  Not sure how she’s going to do with winter hats if I can’t even get her to wear a hood.DSC_1181

They are laughing because Avery plopped her butt down on my stomach and knocked the wind out of me.  Its hilarious seeing Mommy get hurt! DSC_1182

And finally, the chili.  You add in 2 cans of beans (I did one kidney and 1 pinto) 15 minutes before you want to eat.  And then top it with whatever you want.  Its SUPER spicy from the chipotle chiles, so sour cream is a MUST to kind of take the edge off.  We also like to do crumbled chips.  Last night though, we did Bob’s Red Mill Cornbread.  It was tasty.  But no pictures of it.  Was getting too dark and my belly was getting too hungry!  Pictures had to stop! DSC_1188 DSC_1190 That’s all for now!  We’re all ready for showings….but no one has requested one.  Send showing thoughts our way!!!

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