Saturday, January 08, 2011

My Favorite Chili?

For the first decade I lived in USA, I never had Chili con carne, aka chili, I believe no one around me really introduced me to the dish. I tried one in a cafeteria a couple of years ago, and another from Wendy's $1 menu, and kinda like it. Since I am trying to save money by cooking regularly and realize that chili stores well in freezer, I have made chili quite a number of times now. We really like the chili and biscuit recipe found in, but this time I went with Cook's Illustrated.


Instead of using chuck-eye roast, I used the chili meat I got on sale at local supermarket. The chili tastes good, but I prefer the one from smittenkitchen. It takes considerably less work, and hunting for different types of dried chili, and has more vegetables. I paired the chili with cornbread using Bob's red mill stone ground cornmeal, I love the flavor but wished that I have put the cornmeal in the food processor before I used it.

Chili from CI, Serves 6 to 8.


table salt
1/2 pound (about 1 cup) dried pinto beans, rinsed and picked over
6 dried (about 1 3/4 ounces), stems and seeds removed, and flesh torn into 1 inch pieces
2-4 dried arbol chiles, stems removed, pods split, and seeds removed
3 tablespoons cornmeal
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 medium onions (about 2 cups), cut into 3/4-inch pieces
3 small jalapeno chiles, stems and seeds removed and discarded, and flesh cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 medium garlic cloves (about 4 teaspoons), minced or pressed through garlic press
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
2 teaspoons light molasses
3 1/2 pounds blade steak, 3/4 inch thick, trimmed of gristle and fat and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
1 (12-ounce) bottle mild-flavored lager, such as Budweiser

  1. Combine 3 tablespoons salt, 4 quarts water, and beans in large Dutch oven and bring to boil over high heat. Remove pot from heat, cover, and let stand 1 hour. Drain and rinse well.

  2. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 300 degrees. Place ancho chiles in 12-inch skillet set over medium-high heat; toast, stirring frequently, until flesh is fragrant, 4 to 6 minutes, reducing heat if chiles begin to smoke. Transfer to bowl of food processor and cool. Do not wash out skillet.

  3. Add ├írbol chiles, cornmeal, oregano, cumin, cocoa, and ½ teaspoon salt to food processor with toasted ancho chiles; process until finely ground, about 2 minutes. With processor running, very slowly add ½ cup broth until smooth paste forms, about 45 seconds, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary. Transfer paste to small bowl. Place onions in now-empty processor bowl and pulse until roughly chopped, about four 1-second pulses. Add jalape├▒os and pulse until consistency of chunky salsa, about four 1-second pulses, scraping down bowl as necessary.

  4. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion mixture and cook, stirring occasionally, until moisture has evaporated and vegetables are softened, 7 to 9 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add chili paste, tomatoes, and molasses; stir until chili paste is thoroughly combined. Add remaining 2 cups broth and drained beans; bring to boil, then reduce heat to simmer.

  5. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon oil in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Pat beef dry with paper towels and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt. Add half of beef and cook until browned on all sides, about 10 minutes. Transfer meat to Dutch oven. Add ½ bottle lager to skillet, scraping bottom of pan to loosen any browned bits, and bring to simmer. Transfer lager to Dutch oven. Repeat with remaining tablespoon oil, steak, and lager. Once last addition of lager has been added to Dutch oven, stir to combine and return mixture to simmer.

  6. Cover pot and transfer to oven. Cook until meat and beans are fully tender, 1½ to 2 hours. Let chili stand, uncovered, 10 minutes. Stir well and season to taste with salt before serving.

All Purpose Cornbread from CI

Makes One 8-inch Square.


1 1/2 cups (7.5 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup (5.5 ounces) yellow cornmeal
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon bake soda
3/4 teaspoon table salt
1/4 cup (1 3/4 ounces) packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup (3.5 ounces) frozen corn, thawed
1 cup buttermilk
2 large eggs
8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick), melted and cooled slightly

  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 400 degrees. Spray 8-inch-square baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Whisk flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in medium bowl until combined; set aside.

  2. In food processor or blender, process brown sugar, thawed corn kernels, and buttermilk until combined, about 5 seconds. Add eggs and process until well combined (corn lumps will remain), about 5 seconds longer.

  3. Using rubber spatula, make well in center of dry ingredients; pour wet ingredients into well. Begin folding dry ingredients into wet, giving mixture only a few turns to barely combine; add melted butter and continue folding until dry ingredients are just moistened. Pour batter into prepared baking dish; smooth surface with rubber spatula. Bake until deep golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 25 to 35 minutes. Cool on wire rack 10 minutes; invert cornbread onto wire rack, then turn right side up and continue to cool until warm, about 10 minutes longer. Cut into pieces and serve.

1 comment:

quizzine said...

This seems tons of work to get the chilli fix! Didn't know you love chilli this much ;-))