Sunday, February 13, 2011

Valentines Pt.2

On Sunday Brad and I wanted to partake in cooking chili which we can have to eat during the week. Brad has made chili often, and I've attempted it once. It did not turn out so well then. But this time I was prepared, I found a cool recipe from The Kitchn blog, and had the awesome La Chamba cookware my mom got me for Christmas. When you cook tomato in the La Chamba, it's supposed to sweeten the sauce because of the reaction between the acidity of the tomato and alkaline of the clay pot. It is interesting how these pots are made. They are handmade in Columbia. They turn black after they are rubbed with a type of stone which smooths the clay out.

Saute the vegetables (1 medium yellow onion, 1 green pepper, 1 red pepper, 2 carrots, 2 celery stalks, gloves of garlic)

I first had to season my La Chamba by filling it with 3/4 water, and cooking it at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. This seals the pores in the clay. I let it set out and cool while I cooked the vegetables. I then added my roasted canned tomatoes, tomato sauce, 1 tbs chili powder, 1 tbs cumin, and 1 bay leaf. Then I added the cooked vegetables.

I let the chili cook for 1:30 minutes. I then added 1 cup corn and a can of kidney beans and let it cook for 20 more minutes. This lets them get warm without turning mushy. It smelled great!

The chili turned out awesome and it will be made again! I only omitted the meat and some spices (only 1 tbs of cumin and chili, and no coriander or cayenne). I liked this chili because it is thick and not thin like I made it before. I hadn't thought of putting tomato sauce in it. But I'm partial to Cincinnati chili, so I made spaghetti noodles to go with it. I am super excited to have it throughout the week.

I enjoyed cooking the chili with Brad and am interested to see how his turned out! I can't wait to enjoy the wine my mom got us for Valentine's Day this coming spring break! Thank you mama! This Californian winery has some nice red wine, Menage a Trois Wines. If you see it, I'd definitely try it out!

My chili was a version found in Cooking Light's Way to Cook Vegetarian (pg. 404 for those who own it). It was an incredible mix of roasted bell peppers, tomatoes, butternut squash, and beans. It was a time consuming process, but after I had all the ingredients ready it went quite fast and all I had to do was let it simmer for about an hour and it was golden.

First you roast, peel and dice the peppers. Cook the onion in olive oil in a large pot over medium-low heat until it starts to brown. Add spices of your choosing, I used cumin, paprika, chili powder, and a blend of my very own dried chilies and habenaro peppers with about 6 cloves of pressed garlic. After this cooks for a bit then you add the peppers, some vegetable broth, a lot of squash and crushed tomatoes. Simmer for about 20 minutes. Add beans of your choice (i.e. pintos, kidney, great northern, cannellini, etc.) Cook for about 30 - 40 minutes until it thickens and then sprinkle with some green onions for additional flavor. You can garnish this with some sour cream or cheese. I even used some leftover dill sauce from the day before.

Another cool thing I did this evening was can the chili. Katrina bought a very cool book for me over the holidays, and I have been itching to try it out! It is called PreserveIt and teaches the fundamentals of canning and preserving foods. I also got a hold of Ball's Home Canning Guide and my grandmother's pressure cooker. After I did a test run on the cooker, I put it to work. I was able to can about 7 pints of the chili goodness and with any luck it will keep so I can share it with the world. I'll let it sit around for a few weeks and then give it a test. I would also use a word of caution for those starting out the canning process - it can be extremely DANGEROUS and should be done under a very watchful eye!

Earlier in the day, I also prepared some of Katrina's famous cinnamon rolls. Unfortunately, I cannot mention an ingredient of the recipe without some harsh consequences (I almost had to leave cinnamon out of the title, but Katrina's famous rolls just didn't have that ring to it!). With that being said, they sure are a treat. Despite the hard labor and patience it takes to knead dough and wait for these scrumptious delights, it is well worth it. Maybe some day, I can reveal this top secret extravaganza to the world and you can divulge in such splendor!

1 comment:

  1. I got to taste the veggie chili that Katrina made and it was great!! So, try the recipe, I know you'll like it also.