Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Chili for Christmas

Or sort of. Since Dave and I are off to Hawaii for Christmas this year, we're having a family get-together before we leave, and I'm making a pot of chili. I don't use ground meat in my chili. Instead I'm using a mix of meats for different textures -- chuck that will break down and shred, so I cut that in 1/2" pieces, and round for a little chew, cut into 1/4" dice. I do put beans in my chili, and cook them right in the stew without soaking. Since I want to cook it for several hours, there's plenty of time for the beans to get done, even with the salt and acid in the pot. And in fact they hold together better this way. I also use tomato, in the form of sauce and crushed tomatoes. This is a big batch, with 7 pounds of meat, six cups of onion, and a pound of dried beans. But I'm serving 12-14 with it. The good thing is that I get to ask everyone else to provide all the side dishes and garnishes, so I'm done with chopping after I get done with the chili. I'm making it today so we can reheat it tomorrow, always better the day after of course! Which reminds me, I'm taking a break from my computer for the entire time we're in Hawaii, so you won't see another entry here for about three weeks. But when I come back I'll have lots to say about what ingredients I found and how I used them, since we'll be in a condo and I get to keep cooking. Happy holidays to whoever out there reads this!

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