Monday, October 24, 2011

Cookbook challenge #3

It's been a bit hectic around these parts lately so I haven't been doing much "new" cooking lately. With limited cooking time, I've been reverting back to the tried and true meals.  With that said, however, last weekend I invited dear friends of mine over for supper and tried out a recipe from the cookbook collection on them - Chili con Carne. It was a safe choice, admittedly.

Recipe #3:
Chili con Carne
from Trader Vic's Book of Mexican Cooking, p. 186-187.

2 tbsp oil or bacon fat
1 cup thinly sliced onions
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tbsp of diced green pepper **
1.5 lbs lean ground beef (I used lean ground turkey)
1/2 c boiling water
1 (1 lb) can of tomatoes (I used a 28 oz can, because I didn't want to leave 1/2 a can unused).
1 6oz can of tomato paste
1 8oz can of tomato sauce
1 1/2 tbsp chili powder mixed to a paste with 1 tsp of flour and 2 tbsp of water
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp crushed cumin seed
2 cans (No.300) kidney beans, undrained
2 cups grated cheddar cheese (I think I forgot this last, but very important step when I served up my chili)

Heat the oil in a large heavy kettle and saute onions, garlic and green pepper until tender. Add ground beef and cook, breaking up with fork, until meat is browned. Add remaining ingredients except kidney beans and cheese. Cover and simmer for 1 hour. Add beans and simmer, uncovered, for another 30 mins. If mixture is too thick, add small amount of beef stock or hot water. Just before serving, top with grated cheese. Makes 8 servings.

** 2 tbsp of green peppers? I chopped up 2 whole green peppers and threw in. I was wondering if maybe Trader Vic might mean jalapeno peppers, not the sweet variety.

Verdict: good, but needed a bit more salt. I don't usually complain if a recipe isn't salty enough - it's easy to add, afterall! Also, doubling the tomatoes and green peppers might have accounted for the need for extra salt.

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