Cobe and I made a big decision 2 weeks ago--we got Stella (see above). Since then we have been plunged into a whole new world. A world of chew toys and wee wee pads. We've also lost all hope of real sleep as she needs to pee every 3 hours.
Needless to say, cooking went by the wayside. We had a few rotisserie chickens, some takeout vietnamese. Finally I marshaled my resources and started digging through recipes.
I came up with chili. But not just any chili, real mexican chili. Ground anchos and chilpotle, some fresh cilantro. Post modern chili.
It came out even better than I expected. Earthy and spicy, but somehow still light and fresh. Definitely serve it with some cornbread (I cheated and made a mix, throwing in some canned corn for texture). The corn and beans go perfectly together. You can top it with a little sour cream, but really it doesn't even need it. And it makes fabulous leftovers.
Post Modern Chili
(adapted from Last Night's Dinner)
1 red onion
2 Tbs olive oil
3 cloves garlic (whole)
1# ground beef
2 ancho chiles (dried, also called morita)
2 chipotle chiles (dried)
2 tsp oregano
2 tsp ground cumin
2 cans black beans
1 small can roasted green chiles
1 tsp muscovado sugar (or brown sugar)
28 oz can tomatoes
1 Tbs tomato paste
12 oz beer (I used deschutes buzzsaw brown)
salt and pepper to taste
Toppings: minced cilantro, sliced green onions, sliced black olives, sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, squeeze of lime (mix and match to taste)
Chop red onion and saute with olive oil and a little salt over medium high until soft (a few minutes). Smash garlic cloves with flat side of knife, saute a few seconds until fragrant. Add ground beef and cook until brown. Pour off excess oil. Deseed and stem ancho and chipotle peppers, then grind in coffee grinder until fine. You can use store bought chili powder, but it's really not the same. It's worth searching out the peppers. If using whole cumin, grind that too. Put the ground peppers, oregano and cumin in with the onion/garlic/beef mixture and saute a few minutes. Then add tomatoes (drained and chopped), tomato paste, whole beer and green chiles. Add pinch of salt and pepper. Cook x 30 minutes covered. Drain black beans, add to pot. Cook another 30 minutes. Taste and correct flavorings, likely will need a tsp of sugar (I used muscovado which is like amazing brown sugar). Add salt and pepper. Serve with toppings as above. Really great with corn bread.