Saturday, October 31, 2009

. . . and sometimes, cooks

When I first started this blog, I promised that topics would not be limited to sewing; and, yet, thus far, they have. Today, that changes.
The truth is: I haven't done much sewing lately. As the result of the snowball effect of wedding preparations on my sewing room; now that the wedding is over (it was lovely, by the way), I cannot get any sewing done, until I diminish the HUGE pile of ironing that is all over the ironing board, sewing table, sewing chair, etc.
But not today.
Today, although Saturday -- a typical day to catch up on all neglected things domestic -- I am felled by a hideous virus. [I dare not name it "flu" lest it knows the power it has over me.] Symptoms include, but are not limited to: fever, irritability (I know it's not really the sickness making me bitchy -- I just like having an excuse), body aches and congestion! It is for the latter that I offer the following recipe for a real, honest-to-goodness, down home Texas Chili, loaded with vegetables (for the anti-oxidants), and aromatics (for the congestion). I give you:

Sarahbelle's Snot-Bustin' Chili

Please note: all amounts given are approximate -- I don't actually measure much, here -- and should be considered a jumping-off point for your own tastes.

1 medium onion
1 poblano pepper, roasted
3-6 cloves garlic
1-2 Tbsp olive oil
1 lb. coarsely ground buffalo
1 lb. fresh venison sausage
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 Tbsp cumin powder
1 heaping tsp Lawry's salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 10oz can Ro-Tel tomatoes, drained
1 15oz can stewed tomatoes, drained
1 8oz can tomato sauce
1 15 oz can Jalapinto beans, drained
1 15oz can pinto beans, drained
1 15oz can dark red kidney beans, UNdrained

If you have an electric coil stovetop, the poblano can easily be roasted by turning an element on 'high' and placing the pepper straight on. Turn as soon as one side starts to smoke. If you have any other kind of stovetop: a cast iron skillet should be placed on the element, and the pepper roasted in it.
Place the peeled onion, peeled garlic, and roasted pepper in the bowl of your food processor with chopping blade. Pulse a few times until desired size.
In a large, deep cast iron skillet heat oil until it begins to smoke. Saute chopped veggies in hot oil until onion is translucent, and pepper is limp. Add meat, cook until browned. Drain meat. Season meat mixture with salt, pepper, chili powder and cumin. Transfer to slow cooker. (Note: In the absence of a slow cooker, cook it all in a 14in blackpot. [cast iron Dutch oven] In fact, the chili is excellant cooked outdoors in a Dutch oven, over coals.)
To meat mixture, add beans, tomatoes and tomato sauce.
Cook on 'high' for 20 minutes.
Stir. Taste. Add more seasonings, as desired. Reduce heat to simmer. Simmer as long as you like, it's basically done now, but time will only improve the flavor.
Serve with grated sharp cheddar, chopped scallions, or sour cream.
Wonderful with cornbread, and iced Dr. Pepper.
If you see someone eating this with crackers, and red wine -- know that that person is a Yankee. Serve him/her an extra bowl of chili with your pretty smile. One deserves credit for trying.

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