Mmm… chili

DSC_7146 (1600x1060)We’ve had a few killing frosts so soups and stews are going to feature more so than usual.  Mmm… it’s a good day for chili!  This has chorizo and ground beef with the usual beans and tomato bits with green chilies.  I added some semi dried red chilies from a plant the frost killed.  I’ll be gathering all of them soon and will dry them for flakes and a few I’ll leave whole for those dishes where they are expected.

Chicken Noodle Soup

DSC_6136 [1600x1200]It’s cloudy and rainy today and that put Mrs J into a soup mood.  I started chicken simmering with onions and then ransacked the cupboards for egg noodles and came up short.  I suggested the mung bean noodles I have stashed away but she refused them in favor of a run to town for “proper” noodles.  While she was gone I went ahead and fixed a bowl using them.  These are often called cellophane noodles and are huge in Asian cuisines.  I have garnished this bowl with fresh chilies and red onions.  There are a few shiitake mushroom slices in there, a splash of soy sauce, and a few drops of hot sesame oil along with the carrots and celery.

Chorizo Recipe

A few weeks ago at (I think) the Thursday night cross posting of the Recipe Exchange one of the commenters (h/t Schlemizel) put up a recipe for chorizo sausage.  It’s been in the back of my head to use his/her recipe the next batch I made.  I got around to it yesterday:

7 dried arbol chili peppers – stemed & seeded
4 dried New Mexico chili peppers -stemed & seeded
2 med onions, peeled and chopped fine
5 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 cups cider vinegar
2 Tbl ground cumin
2 Tbl Mexican oregano
2 tsp smoked hot paprika
2 Tbl kosher salt
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground clove
1 Tbl freshly ground black pepper
3 Lb ground pork

Wipe down the dried peppers then open & deseed them. Toast the chili peppers in a hot pan about 1 minute on each side. Transfer them to a large stainless steel or glass bowl, layer the chopped onion and garlic on top. Heat the vinegar until very warm to the touch. Pour over the chili peppers, onions, and garlic and lay a plate on top to weigh them down. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let set at room temperature for an hour.

Transfer all of the peppers, onions, garlic and vinegar to a blender and process until you have a smooth, thick paste. Blend in the spices, If necessary, add another splash of vinegar to help things move along. Let cool completely.

When the chili paste is completely cool, add it to the ground pork and mix thoroughly, using your hands, until everything is a uniform color.

I took my usual liberties with the letter of the recipe – I’m not sure of the names of the dried chilies I have on hand.  I do have three or four varieties, and am fairly sure the New Mexico chilies are represented.  I used some poblanos (called anchos when dried) as well.DSC_4816 [1600x1200]

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Mmm… breakfast burrito

It’s so hard to pick a favorite breakfast but these burritos are right up at the top.  I use a couple of pans to do these, one large skillet to brown the tortilla and to hold the assembled burrito as it warms the cheeses to melting, and one to cook the scrambled eggs.  I lay the tortilla in the oiled skillet and turn the heat on under it while scrambling the eggs in a smaller pan.  Spread cheese onto the tortilla as it heats up, spoon the eggs onto the cheese, and lay strips of warmed pre-cooked meat on the eggs, today I used some deli sliced pork roast.  When the bottom of the tortilla has browned a bit, roll the burrito right in the pan.  You can tuck the ends in if you want to but that isn’t really necessary.  Turn the heat down and cover if the cheeses need more time to melt.  Remove the burrito to a cutting board and slice it in two, arrange on a plate and ladle on some salsa and slice fresh peppers for garnish.  The cilantro on the plate today came from my own patio garden this morning.  I hope to have fresh jalapenos from another container planting before too long.

Beef Posole

I saw this dried posole (hominy) the other day and bought some, just because.  Mrs J says she is a fan of hominy and wanted lots of it in her next posole dish.  I’ve never tried any from dried, always buying the canned product, and figured it couldn’t be too different from dried beans in the cooking.  These did need quite a bit of boiling – the recipe on the label said to soak overnight, then boil for two hours before adding any other ingredient, then simmer for another hour “or until the posole is tender”.   I started them this morning at eight and finally dished it up at about one thirty, adding additional water as needed to keep it covered.  Not saying it needed all of that time, but it wasn’t overcooked.

I have made this with pork a lot, but tried it with stew beef this time.  A very simple recipe, there’s the posole, the beef, some minced garlic, a teaspoon of oregano, an onion, some dried pepper pods (New Mexico chilies and some anchos), salt and pepper.  I let the chilies cook for a while, then decided to take them out and run them through the blender.  I was trying to be true to the recipe on the label but I should have just softened the chilies in a bit of boiling water and pureed them right from the start.  Just add everything to the posole after the two hour boil, turn the heat to simmer, and cover.

The beef posole was good, not nearly as good as with pork but still good.  I may try some with chicken next time: posole blanco.