More good news

August 31, 2010 by · 5 Comments
Filed under: Me 

Jobs…I haz one.

I officially return to the ranks of the employed next week.

Chili update

August 27, 2010 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Food 

Mule Breath reminded me that I didn’t finish my update.

The chili was quite simply the best I have ever had.  It was…velvety, I guess would be the word.  It was rich and really tasty.

Mrs. Newbie loved it.  Her quote was “Normally, I don’t go for chili, but this is delicious!  It’s better than the Manhattan Chili Company.”  Even Newbie Daughter, who won’t eat much of anything without a lot of prodding gulped hers down.

I think next time I’ll cut the beef into bigger chunks…I like a little more tooth.  And Mule Breath was right about the spicing…it had just enough bite to enjoy if you were the wife or the kid.  Me, I brought out the big guns and added habeneras.

I’ve got some time this weekend, and a big hunk of chuck waiting for me.  It might be time for more chili…

Liveblogging Mule Breath’s chili

August 18, 2010 by · 5 Comments
Filed under: Food 

Via Ambulance Driver, I found a link to Mule Breath’s “Hell on the Bravo” chili recipe.

I am always up for a challenge, and I love good chili.  My usual chili fix is Alton Brown’s pressure cooker chili, which has the advantage of being quick, quick, quick.  Since NewbieMom started teaching today, leaving me home with NewbieDaughter, it seemed like a good time to give it a try.

ND loves cooking with me.  She is a beast in the kitchen.  She even can wield the chef’s knife, under supervision, of course.

So far, so good.  The meats are seared, and we are on dump one.  We had to make a few modifications:

1) No Texas 1015’s in North Carolina.  We substituted Vidalias.

2) Browning the meat was a bit of a challenge.  Normally I would brown in batches to prevent overloading the pan.  Beef gives up a lot of water when it cooks, and with all that water it is hard to get a good sear.  “Simmer” seemed to imply that that was the point.  So I compromised.  I simmered until the meat was browned all over, then poured off the excess and did a quick sear.  The browned beef went into the reserve bowl with its juice.

3) We went with a nice piece of chuck that I got at Costco.  We trimmed most of the fat.

My onions and garlic are simmering in the stock.  Sadly, an error in reading the recipe has left me with one flat beer, and four warm ones, a situation I am rectifying as quick as I can!

Update #1:

Dump 2.  Man, that’s a lot of cumin.  Normally I’m not a fan.  I hope you know what you are doing, Mule Breath!

Update #2:

Dump 3.  In go the chilis.  We went with dried Ancho.  The stock has reduced quite a lot.  I’m going to add a bit more (say 1/4 cup) and back off the heat a bit.  It smells amazing.

Update #3:

Dump 4.  Back in the pool, everyone!  It was a bit of a trick to get back to a simmer, but now things are bubbling nicely.  I was concerned about the liquid level, and added another splash of stock.  Mule Breath says water, but that doesn’t bring much flavor.

I decided to split the difference and go with 2 jalapenos and 2 Serranos.  If it was just me, it would be habaneras, but I have the kid to think about.

Smells wonderful.  I added some seasoning: sea salt, just a pinch, and some pepper.  I might add a splash of lime at the end, just to brighten the flavor a bit.

Update #4:

Things are progressing nicely.  I decided to lid up for this part of the simmer.  I want to make sure the meats connective tissue dissolves properly.

Update #5:

Lid is back off.  I’m going to let it reduce a bit more.

Update #6:

OK, we are off the heat.  I can’t wait for tomorrow!