Sunday, December 13, 2009

Off to a Holiday Party!!!

What a busy Saturday! Got up early at 7:30am coz I have to deliver my goods to the bakery, yeah, the only bakery (so far) who gave me the opportunity to supply them my cheesecakes, samosa and some pastries...Had to go home asap coz I have to start cooking for my husband's office holiday party tonight...Yes, we're bringing Chili with sides, Grilled Buttery Wings and Nachos with Pico de Gallo...I used 2 kinds of Chili mixes (Ortega and ShotGun Willie's) on 6 lbs of ground Chuck, 80/20...Thanks to Mariano, my colleague, for marinating my wings the other night which I had pre-grilled yesterday at work and pop it in the oven later...There's nothing like freshly fried corn tortillas, quite addictive and tastes far better than any bagged chips...I've already made the fresh salsa...I wonder how they will like the food, to think that none of these food I grew up eating and cooking...I never used to like Chili when I first had it in Hong Kong, thought it tasted weird...But later on, I began to love it esp. when we go skiing, Chili keeps me warm and satisfied after a long day out in the snow...So far, the Chili is coming along well...It needed to be doctored up, that's where I step in...Not all prepackaged mixes are perfectly seasoned, I always have to add some personal touches of this and that...And Voila! My Chili is ready to go...I'm pretty sure they'll love this...We'll see how it goes...

Here's my own version or my own recipe for Chili. It's not that complicated to make but it needs to cook ahead of time in order to develop the flavors. To me, the longer it's simmering, the better. I guess, that applies to anything that's been braised or stewed. You have to cook it atleast 3 hours for a better taste or the day before. I finished this Chili with a dark chocolate coz it needed that deep flavor. I like my Chili a little bit watery, unless, i'm serving it on a bread bowl. Then I like to garnish it with sour cream, shredded cheddar, chopped cilantro and dices of Avocado. The result was slightly rich and creamy which was perfect on a snowy day. It's actually a winter dish. I don't really have the exact measurement for the spices, I just trust my judgment like I always do. That's the beauty of cooking, unlike baking, you can estimate or eyeball the ingredients to your liking. I only use recipes as my guide, otherwise, I would doctor it up, if needed. Some recipes are quite accurate, oftentimes, they're not. But not all palates are the same. I always stay in between and I don't mind if people add salt to my dish, it's better than being salty and there's nothing you can do about it. I haven't gone to that point yet, I must admit. Hopefully, someday I can cook just like the French.


1 lb Ground Beef chuck
1 med. Onion, small dices
2 cloves of Garlic, minced
2 Red Bell peppers, small dices
3 Tbsp Dark chili powder
1 Tbsp Paprika
1 Tbsp Ground Cumin
1 Tbsp Dried Oregano
1 can (14oz) Tomatoes, dices
Some Been stock
Some Brown sugar
Some Masa harina for thickener
Some Dark chocolate at the end
1 can Dark red Kidney beans, drained


Sour cream
Shredded Cheese
Chopped Cilantro or Scallions/Onion dices

Some Saltine crackers or Tortilla chips

Heat pan until smoking hot. Brown the meat and drain the excess fat in a strainer. Wipe off the fat from the pan, add a little oil and saute onion, garlic and peppers just until the onion turns translucent. Put the ground meat back to the pan and stir. Season with salt and pepper. Add all the spices, dried oregano and sugar, stir together. Add the tomatoes and some stock. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer on low heat. Adjust seasoning by adding more spices and salt. Adjust consistency depending on your preference. Add beans 10 mins. before serving.

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