Thursday, February 01, 2007

Chili on a cool night-UPDATED

So this past week...we actually had some cold weather. Well cold weather means warm, comforting, filling food. My directive on Wednesday night was-chili.

Not a problem. I went and printed out the recipe, shopped and got to work.

I've made the America's Test Kitchen recipe of Cincinnatti Chili a few times and it's pretty damn good! We really like it, so that's what was up that night. The Cincinnatti chili is full of warm cinnamon, cocoa and all-spice. After a moment the heat from the chile spice comes in. And there's just a tiny bite from a little bit of vinegar.

There's one strange step in this recipe, but I think it's worth it. Boiling your ground beef. By boiling the meat, you get the texture that Cincinnatti chili is known for, and it also gives you a chance to render out some of the excess fat.

From that point, the chili moves along and takes just an hour to simmer and bubble away-bringing all the flavors together.

Here we have the boiled beef. It's unpleasant to look at, but it allows the pieces to cook and seperate into this particular texture which is special to Cincinnatti Chili.

Once your onions and garlic are softened in some oil, you add all your spices and allow them to 'bloom' in the oil. Most spices are oil soluable, so the extra time in the oil maximizes your flavor profiles.

Toasting/blooming spices. This is a great time to walk into your house-the aromas are amazing.

The next step involves adding the broth. This gives you a chance to deglaze the pan and let the spices dissolve.

I've now added everything to the pot. Stir every few minutes, while simmering on medium-low, for about an hour.

After about an hour, the chili has thickened a bit and concentrated the flavors.

Chili and corn bread go together like Gin & Tonic, Peanut Butter & Jelly, Bacon & Eggs. Throw together a quick box of Jiffy cornbread, drizzle with honey before baking.

Corn bread. Chili. Cheese. Sour Cream. It could be 20 below zero outside, but inside you'll be all comfy cozy.


Before I leave you today I have to complain for a minute. WHAT is with that stupid frozen diet meal commercial with the two 'chefs' preparing recipes and the one says: "I've added flavor to taste."

WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?! I hate that commercial.

Carry on.


Dancer in DC said... chili on a cold night. And cornbread! And cheese! And sour cream!

Don't EVEN mention that commercial around me. Grrr...

The Kara said...

Yes - remember they're 'fire grilled' to taste! Hate that commercial too.

But yum.... CHILLI!!!

TC said...

I LOOOOOVE the skillet cornbread. I will so have to do that in my cast iron. In deference to the cold weather I want to make a nice beef and sout stew.

ScottE. said...

Skillet cornbread is the best. I could eat just that some nights. It's funny to me that I used to not like cornbread!