Chili adventures

Okay, so its not a picture of Goldie, but I couldn't help putting it up here. It is on a T-shirt that I was given for Mother's Day some time in the 80's. I could never part with it and my daughter unearthed from a shelf in my closet. Those were the days when I would not hesitate to make quenelles (that French delicacy of ground pike and egg whites), souffles and anything en croute. Waxing enthusiastically about quenelles my mother shrugged and said, "Oh, gefilte fish". Ground fish and eggs are the basis for both. Now I avoid anything that is seriously challenging which doesn't mean that I do not find challenges in fairly straightforward fare.

My son-in-law Brad requested that I make some chili, which I was very happy to do. I don't think I had made chili in the last five years and thought I could get this done without any difficulty.That day, I forgot to soak the beans or get meat out of the freezer, so it all got put off a day. The next day I remembered to take some chopped meat out of the freezer to defrost in the fridge and to soak the kidney beans that I had in the pantry. When it was time to cook, I began browning a chopped onion in some olive oil. I salted them, put the heat on low, and covered the pot. Of course, the phone rang and I forgot about the onions until they became very fragrant. They had indeed started to burn. I really did not want to start over but heard that nothing can hide the taste of burnt onions. I removed the onions, which were not too bad, and boiled some water in the pot, scraping up the burnt residue. After emptying the pot and wiping it out I proceeded to brown the meat. Those who don't eat meat can just use all beans.

Now was the time to add all the ingredients to the pot. I returned the onions along with a large can of peeled whole tomatoes, the drained beans, a minced jalapeño pepper, spices (cumin, oregano, smoked paprika, salt and pepper) and some Mexican chocolate that I had on hand. As soon as I mixed it up it dawned on me that I usually used canned beans, not dried ones. There was no way that this would be ready for dinner. So chili had to wait another day. But it really was great the following night. I think you need to taste it as you go along until it suits you. Fortunately, we have a very large container of sriracha so that Brad can make it as hot as he likes. And the take-out pizza we had was also pretty good.

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