Thursday, November 14, 2019

Chili for all seasons

Clearly, I'm on a chili kick.

First off, my work just had it's annual chili cook off...sort of. It was cancelled this year due to inclement weather, so chili was made anyway and we just ate it in the lab break room. Now, while that's all good and well - I don't eat beef. So I only had some corn bread, but given that I had made my chili (previous post) and had been eating it all week, I didn't feel like I was missing out.

Secondly, don't know if I mentioned this, but I'm pregnant. Really pregnant. 3 weeks to Momdom. At my most recent ultrasound, I was diagnosed with a mild case of polyhydraminos, speculatively due to my diet creating a high sugar environment for the baby resulting in increased urine, therefore increased amniotic fluid. I was told to watch my carb intake by the specialist while my OB told me I'm fine and just approach carbs with moderation. After a few days of moping and feeling like a failure, I realized that chili is an excellent vessel for low carb meals with some alterations. So, I remade my chili with some modifications:

Ingredients:

1 lb Turkey
1 lb Pork

chicken stock

2 dried Ancho chilis
2 dried Guajillo chili
2 dried Pasilla chili

3.5 tsp Ancho chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp cheyenne

1.5 onions diced
1 large zucchini (~1 cup diced)
2 carrots (~1 cup diced)
4 cloves garlic

1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes

salt

Procedure:
Soak dried chilis in water for about 20 minutes. Remove the stems and seeds and pulse blend the chilis

Brown meat in a little bit of oil, then remove from the pot.

Saute onion & garlic until the onion is clear. Add carrots and zucchini and mix well.

Add the meat back to the pot. Add the spices, blended chili paste and enough stock to cover everything by 1/4 inch. Simmer until the carrots are tender (15-20 minutes)

When carrots are tender, add the can of crushed tomatoes. Simmer for 15-20 minutes, then adjust seasoning to taste

Salt to taste. Simmer a little longer, than store in fridge over night for the flavors to meld.

Removing the beans and corn allows me to have more control over the carb content and frees me up to eat the chili with cornbread or Fritos. I can also add beans if I want to and just let the chili simmer for 15-20 minutes. 

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Chili 2019

I started making chili the year before last when I developed mad cravings for Frito pie (the tuna noodle casserole of the American Southwest).

The bigger inspiration aside from needing to use up Thanksgiving leftovers is my diet. I don't eat beef and I tend to keep my diet low sodium. This makes most chili in Texas off limits for me. This recipe came about from reverse engineering someone's vegan chili that I had at a charity benefit. I added meat.

Ingredients:

1 lb Turkey

chicken stock

2 dried Ancho chilis
1 dried Guajillo chili
1 dried Pasilla chili

3.5 tsp Ancho chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp cheyenne

1 onion
1 large zucchini (~1 cup diced)
2 carrots (~1 cup diced)
2 cloves garlic

2 Tbsp tomato paste

1 can Rotel tomatoes, liquid reserved
1 can black beans
1 can red kidney beans
1 can corn

salt

Procedure:
Simmer dried chilis in water for about 10 minutes. Remove the stems and seeds and pulse blend the chilis

Brown meat in a little bit of oil, then remove from the pot.

Saute onion & garlic until the onion is clear. Add carrots and zucchini and mix well.

Add the meat back to the pot. Add the spices, blended chili paste and enough stock to cover everything by 1/4 inch. Simmer until the carrots are tender (15-20 minutes)

When carrots are tender, add tomato paste and Rotel tomatoes. Simmer for 15-20 minutes, then adjust seasoning to taste
---At this point, the chili is pretty good without the beans and corn. This is a good stopping point.

Drain and wash beans and corn, then add to chili. Simmer for another 20 minutes.

Salt to taste.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

My current fried chicken recipe

As noted previously, I've been on a fried chicken binge that was spurred on by my need/strong desire to use a package of Tazah coating for broasted chicken.

Then things spiraled out of control from there, I started contemplating my own desires out of fried chicken in terms of flavor and texture. Should I try egg? Should I try buttermilk? Can you marinate too long? I spun off from the original goal of just trying broasted chicken to making my own original - monster effort in it's own right.

I think my goal was to replicate fried chicken that my mom had made ONCE when I was young but it had a memorable enough flavor profile.

I cut a leg quarter into 3 pieces to make cooking (and eating all of my test runs) easier.

Let it soak in a marinade of:

2 chopped garlic cloves
1 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp water
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 Tsp Fish sauce
sprinkle pepper

It hung out in this marinade for 24 hours because the husband wouldn't let me deep dry when I got home late from work.

It got dredged in a flour mix of:

2 Tbsp potato starch
1 Tbsp rice flour
and 1/4 tsp of baking powder

Fry for 12 minutes total, turning at the 6 minute mark.

Then bake for 20 minutes @ 400 F

It was fortunate for this to cap off my fried chicken experimentation because this was awesome. Other than working on residual greasiness, the taste and texture are where I want them to be. I was afraid of it being salty because of all the marinating time, but no - this was awesome.

I would've taken a picture, but I ate it. My cast iron pans are pretty well seasoned now. I'm logging this for my reference, since for the sake of my health, I gotta take a fried chicken break.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

What happened to 2018?

The year went by too fast.

Updates in my cooking life:

- I'm really digging traditional cast iron. I got my husband into playing with it too and he makes a rather lovely Chicago style deep dish pizza. (Did I mention I got married?)

- Thankgiving 2018: Immigration Nation! Yes. We had an immigration themed Thanksgiving and it was awesome! My cousin deboned the turkey and stuffed it with kiampung (Chinese sticky rice). While I thought it was amazing and I hoarded almost all of the turkey leftovers and remaining kiampung, some of our guests actually preferred my stuffing. Compliment? Not so much as stuffing felt more contextually appropriate along with the flavors of Thanksgiving. I clearly didn't emphasize the theme enough. The tamales and pierogis were well received.

- I just broasted chicken for the first time today. It was fun and felt good, but there's a texture goal I'm going for so I'll be experimenting a little more.

Today's go:
- chopped chicken and washed it
- boiled it for 5 minutes in water with 2 tbsp vinegar and 1 tsp salt.
- rubbed in dry coating
- fried for 12 minutes, turning at 6 min mark

Conveniently, my small cast iron pan can fit the 3 pieces I divy the leg quarter into - so I'll get some good experimentation in the mix. I will use an egg wash before coating in flour and for my own tastes, I'll boil the chicken in a higher vinegar salt solution.




Thanksgiving 2017: I should've read my thoughts on Thanksgiving 2015

My first post of the year and it happens to be the weekend after Thanksgiving. Some people go crazy for Black Friday while I celebrate Thanksgiving leftovers. To each, their own.
Thankgiving 2017
It's 2017. So what happened to Thanksgiving 2016? I got hired full time in January of 2016 and I still hadn't gotten used to the idea of requesting PTO and such, so I worked all the holidays. It irritated me, but for Thanksgiving 2016 I tried to have at least a little celebration. We bought a small turkey and attempted to cook it, and that was our first real time using the oven to cook. It's not the best way to test drive the oven. Despite getting turkey pot pies and a years worth of turkey stock out of the carcass, I vowed to take off Thanksgiving always just because it irritated me too much to work it.
In the spirit of delegating out tasks for Thanksgiving and my cousin asking about it, I decided it would be an excellent idea to attempt to delegate out responsibilities again.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Late Night Kitchen Sink Ratatouille

Your guess would be as good as mine as to why I made ratatouille just now at 1 AM.

I generally tend to view anything that doesn't involve meat as fairly easy when it comes to the labor, even if it isn't.

I've had some eggplants sitting around and I've been meaning to do something with them. They gave me the inspiration to make ratatouille, but they're still sitting on my counter because I bought another eggplant for my ratatouille purposes when I was at the store earlier. I did not have my phone on me, so I could not look up a recipe for ratatouille to make sure I had all the ingredients. I decided I was gonna wing it (improvise).

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Potato Latkes



This was a recipe that was handed out around last December by a teacher whose class I helped out by tutoring. The teacher was Jewish, so that's how the class ended up eating potato pancakes for show and tell.