Monday, February 27, 2012

Maybe it isn't Cappuccino Chili

The weather was demanding some kind of soup or stew so I decided on Irish Beef Stew. So I asked Bill to get me a bottle of Guinness stout at the liquor store. He came home with a Lagunitas Cappuccino stout from California. What was he thinking??? "But it had a really neat label",he says defensively. I looked it up on the internet and as far as drinking it the reviews were pretty bad but there were several recommendations for chili. So, change in plans...chili it is..

1 lb stew meat
1 lb sausage
1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
2 poblano peppers, chopped (from my garden)
4 cajun peppers, chopped (from my garden)
2 cans fire roasted tex mex style diced tomatoes
1 large can crushed tomatoes
2 cans pinto beans rinsed and drained (I used made-from-scratch beans)
12 oz stout

Cook and drain sausage and set aside. Salt and pepper the stew meat and toss in flour to coat. Swirl olive oil in pan. Brown the meat and then set it aside also. In the same pan cook onion, garlic and peppers until softened. Put everything but stout in the crock pot and stir to combine. Pour in the stout. Cover and cook for 8 hours on low.
At this point in writing down the recipe I double check the ingredients. Wait a minute...there was no chili powder and no cumin! Thinking back, there was none added. So what did I make? Is it chili if there's no chili powder? But he said it was the best chili ever. Whatever this is,it tastes great even if it isn't technically chili!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Beans 'n Greens

I love kale and surprisingly so does Bill. He's not a big fan of turnip greens, etc. but I make him eat some for New Years every year. There was really nice kale for only 99 cents a bunch at the store the other day so I bought some. I intended to make Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana (copycat recipe) but realized when I got home that I forgot the half and half. So I made my other standby which is chicken with canneloni beans and kale. Looking through some similar recipes, I made a few adjustments and came up with this.

1/4 c. flour
salt and pepper
2 chicken breasts (sliced in half lengthwise and pounded flat)
1/4 bunch of kale (rinsed and not dried and torn in pieces)
1 can cannelini beans (rinsed and drained)
1/4 c. flour
3 cloves of garlic, smashed and chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
1 teaspoon rosemary crushed
2 teaspoons flour
1/2-3/4 c. chicken broth
1 teaspoon chili garlic sauce (rooster sauce)

Salt and pepper the chicken. Shake it in a bag to coat. Swirl olive oil in a frying pan and cook chicken till golden brown on both sides. Take chicken out and cover with foil to keep warm.
Using the same pan, add a little more olive oil. Cook onion and garlic until translucent. Add 2 teaspoons of flour and stir to make a paste. Add rosemary. Add 1/2 c. broth and stir until thickened. Add kale in a little bigger than bite size pieces and beans. Continue to cook until kale softens. It should still be bright green. You may want to add some more broth at this time. Stir in a teaspoon of chili garlic sauce.
Ladle beans and kale onto a plate and top with chicken. Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Bill's Best BBQ Ribs

When it comes to ribs around here it's a man's world. Every year at the Super Bowl party Rocky brings his ribs. People walk in the door and ask where Rocky's ribs are. It's a source of annoyance to my husband who has been trying to duplicate those ribs forever. Well, last night we had the most incredible ribs ever!

I do the prep work and Weber does the rest but who am I to argue with the king of ribs...

First prep the ribs..

Baby back ribs, 2 slabs to a pkg
Dry rub

Turn the ribs over (so it looks like a boat). Slide a kitchen knife under the silver skin. Grab hold of it and pull it off in one piece. This takes a bit of work but once you get the hang of it you wonder why you were fumbling around with it at first. Generously cover with rib rub and put in a large baggie. Refrigerate at least overnite.

For each slab of ribs take a large sheet of heavy duty foil, lay an ice cube in the center, lay a slab on top with the curve side over the ice cube. Wrap foil tightly around ribs. Cook in your gas grill @ 225 for 3.5 hours on indirect heat.

Take ribs off grill and unwrap. Brush with your favorite bbq sauce and grill just long enough to carmelize sauce. Enjoy!

Recipe for dry rub:

1/4 c. chili powder, 1/4 c. paprika, 2 T. onion powder, 2 T. garlic powder, 1 t. cumin, 1 T. cayenne, 2 T. thyme, 2 T. basil, 2 T. oregano, 2 T. coriander, 1/2 t. white pepper, 1 T. black pepper. The original recipe calls for 1/2 c. kosher salt but I do not add salt to mine. Put this in a large shaker jar and keep in the refrigerator. It can be used as a rub for beef, pork or chicken and also for seasoning cajun recipes.