October 28, 2004

Dave's Stout Chili: Warming Comfort Food

In late fall and through the winter, we always have homemade chili in the freezer. Whether served over cornbread, rice, pasta, or by itself, this dish makes a cold day warmer with the help of chili powder and hot peppers.

Click "more" for the recipe for David's Stout Chili

2T olive oil
4 large carrots (chopped to 1/4" lengths)
4 celery stalks ((chopped to 1/4" lengths))
2 large onions (chopped)
1 pound ground chuck
1 pound ground pork (ground chuck may be substituted)
1 pound ground lamb (ground chuck may be substituted)
4 large carrots
4 celery stalks
2 large onions
1T cumin
1/2 cup chili powder
1t salt
1/2t cracked black pepper
1 can or bottle of beer (stout preferably, the darker the better)
1 can crushed tomatoes
2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (chopped, with the liquid)
2 jalapeño peppers (chopped)
4 serrano peppers (chopped)
2 cans black beans (well-rinsed)
1/4 cup Mojo

Heat olive oil in a big dutch oven over medium high heat. Add onions, carrots, and celery. Cook until the onions start to become translucent and the carrots soften a bit, about five minutes.

Add the meats, and cook until brown.

Drain fat off the mixture, season with cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper.

Mix in tomatoes, beer and peppers, return to medium high heat until simmering, then drop to a low simmer for at least 30 minutes (I like to simmer this for a couple of hours).

Add mojo and black beans before serving, mixing in well.

The seasonings may be adjusted as you see fit, as may the peppers. Serve over cornbread, rice, pasta, or by itself.

Posted by david at 03:57 PM | Comments (0)

October 27, 2004

Favorite Comfort Foods For Winter

It's hard to think about warming comfort foods when our daytime highs are in the 80's, but fall and winter are the perfect time for these entrées. Here are my five favorite winter comfort foods:

Chili: When I was growing up, my siblings and I would often come home from school to the aroma of a meaty chili. In our houses, chili was always served over rice, and served with a salad. Now, I often make up a huge batch of my chili with Guinness, and we have enough for several meals to add to the freezer.

Stew: Another childhood favorite that I haven't outgrown. The difference now is that I use less meat (chicken, pork, or beef) and more fresh vegetables.

Soup: We love soup, and hot soups warm the body and soul when the days are short.

Casseroles: We love casseroles, they give us the chance to experiment and empty our cupboards. When we are both working long hours, it's wonderful to have real food waiting to be warmed up in the freezer.

In the next few days, we'll be sharing our recipes for the comfort foods we love.

Posted by david at 05:17 PM | Comments (3)

October 24, 2004

Good Foods Fight Illness

In my quest for ways to combine my love of food, science and good health, I sometimes turn up surprising information. This new study reports that onions and shallots can help fight cancer. Apparently, the stinkier the onion, the greater the health benefit.

As for cooked onions, the researchers didn't test whether cooking affects their cancer-fighting ability.

The onion's cancer fighting abilities showed up best for colon cancer. Combined with apples, which are also know to be highly beneficial against colon cancer, something like an apple-onion salad can deliver a healthy one-two punch.

So tie on your apron, tuck in your napkin and don't forget your breath mints!

Posted by linda at 06:23 PM | Comments (1)

October 22, 2004

Chocolate Library and Bread Coffee Chocolate Yoga

One of the foods that we love most is chocolate, especially rich, dark chocolates. Scharffen Berger is one of our (and Martha Stewart's) favorite chocolatiers, and they have produced a "chocolate library" on their website. All types of chocolate topics are covered, from socioeconomic concerns to health benefits.

The Scharffen Berger site is informative and interesting, but my favorite chocolate (and food) site on the web is bread coffee chocolate yoga (bccy for short). Fortune has a true passion for three of my favorite things (I'm not much of a coffee drinker). Every day brings news, insights and recipes on the four major topics, and bccy starts my morning on a great note (not unlike a strong cup of quality joe).

Posted by david at 10:29 AM | Comments (1)

October 19, 2004

Holiday Family Cookbook

This year, we decided that as a holiday present to our family and friends, we would produce a family cookbook. Given our backgrounds in the graphic arts, this should be a fun and relatively easy task.

First, we solicited recipes from family and friends via e-mail and word of mouth. As these trickle in, we are adding them to the book. Hopefully, we'll be having the book bound some time after Thanksgiving to be ready for Christmas.

The best thing about gathering these family recipes is the nostalgia they invoke. We all have our favorite foods, and these dishes remind us of the people we love.

Posted by david at 09:52 PM | Comments (2)

October 18, 2004

Birthday Smörgåpasto Buffet

Linda's Party Buffet

Linda's birthday was last week, and Friday night we had a surprise party for her. When the party committee (two of Linda's sisters, her mother and myself) convened via e-mail, we decided to keep things simple. The resulting combination of antipasto and smörgåsbord was a huge hit. Our casual buffet pleased both children and adults with a variety of meats, cheeses, breads and vegetables. The best thing? With a light dinner, everyone had room for birthday cake and cheesecake!

Posted by david at 05:53 PM | Comments (1)

October 13, 2004

Linda's Birthday Meal

Linda's Birthday Dinner

Today is Linda's birthday. Since she worked later than me, I made her one of her favorite meals, lamb chops.

The wonderful thing about tonight's meal was its simplicity. I salted and peppered the lamb chops, seared them, then placed them under the broiler for a couple of minutes. While the chops were broiling, I steamed some broccoli and boiled some sliced new potatoes. Once the lamb chops were out and resting, I deglazed the pan with beer (Sam Adams cream stout) added sliced cremini mushrooms to the pan drippings, then a touch of butter. To the potatoes I added some butter and chopped rosemary from the garden. The broccoli got a small touch of butter, everything was seasoned with salt and pepper, and the meal was set.

Posted by david at 10:40 PM | Comments (1)

October 11, 2004

Corn Dogs

My wife and I are extremely food-compatible. With adventurous palates, there is little that we cannot share and enjoy together. Unfortunately, though, she cannot fathom the joys I find in that great American treat, the corn dog.

When I read this article profiling the inventors of the corn dog, I had to chuckle. In my adult, pre-marriage life, I always kept a stash of corn dogs in the freezer. These snacks (and sometimes meals) were perfect when I was in-between grocery shopping visits and just wanted something to tide me over.

When it comes to corn dogs, I am a purist. Put dab of yellow mustard on my plate, add corn dog and it's mealtime. I never saw people put ketchup on hot dogs before I moved south, but to each his own. My favorite corn dog is at the fall county or state fair. Nothing tastes better (though the deep-fried Twinkies come close, I may have to run a couple of taste tests).

Posted by david at 10:02 PM | Comments (1)