Posts Tagged ‘Chili Flakes’

I woke up this morning hoping for a bit of snow; alas, it did not happen. But it sure is a cold 38.3 degrees. So for dinner tonight I am getting out the crock pot again, and this time I will be preparing Chili!

I looked up the history of Chili and found conflicting information. Some say that the dish originated in San Antonio, Texas, while others say that the dish originated in Chihuahua or Ensenada, Mexico all in the 1800’s. Mexican history, however, makes claims that this dish did not originate in Mexico. The dish was inexpensive to make and primarily consisted of beans and peppers. Despite it origins this is a very popular meal in the U.S. today, with chili cook offs occurring all over the country.

I make several versions of chili and today’s version will be made with a coarse ground beef, the chili’s harvested from my garden, some tomatoes, onions and lots of spices. What I like about making this in the crock pot is that the kidney beans, that usually have a tough outer skin, really soften up when cooked in this way. Give yourself about a half hour for preparation and 10 hours in the crock pot.

3#’s coarsely ground beef
Medium onion, chopped
2 poblano chili peppers, seeded and chopped
5 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 30 oz. can of red kidney beans
1 28 oz. can of chopped tomatoes
1 15 oz. can of pinto beans
5 of the chili de arboles
bay leaf
healthy dose of cumin
2 shakes of cayenne pepper
1 tbs. oregano
1/2 spice jar of chili powder (adjust this to your taste)
1 cup of water
Lots of grated cheddar cheese

First take the beans and place in a colander and rinse well.

Rinse the beans

Add to your crock pot. Then add the beef to a fry pan, along with the onions, garlic and peppers.

Add meat, onion, garlic and chili's to pan

Brown the beef and drain.

The browned meat mixture

Add to the crock pot. Add the rest of the ingredients, except the cheddar cheese, and stir well to combine.

Mix it up in the crock pot, and turn it on!

Set the crock pot to low and cook for 10 hours. Here is the finished product!

When done in the crock pot

Chili just has to be served in bowls. When the chili is ready, remove the chili de arboles. Add some of the grated cheddar to the bottom of your bowl. Then add a couple of healthy scoops of the chili, followed by more cheese, chili and then top with cheese.

Serve up the chili!

I like serving this with a really good sour dough garlic bread for dipping into the chili.

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My husband, mother-in-law and I stopped by this restaurant in Prescott, AZ and we all ended up ordering Mahi-Mahi fish and chips. None of us had heard of using Mahi-Mahi for fish and chips. And, we were all glad we ordered it because it was fabulous!

What is Mahi-Mahi? “Coryphaena hippurus” is the scientific name. Its common name is dolphinfish. The Hawaiian named this fish Mahimahi which translated means very strong. In Mexico it is referred to as Dorado. While the common name includes the word dolphin, it is not related to Flipper.

Photo by Peter Mannarino

Pretty, isn’t it? This fish is firm and lean. It has a moist texture with mild sweet flavor. It is not a fishy tasting fish, and is really good fish for the fish and chips recipe below.

2 medium potatoes
Peanut oil
Chili flakes
Onion Powder
Salt and pepper
1# Mahi-Mahi
One egg
Dash of salt
2 Shakes of onion and garlic powder, each
1 Shake of cayenne pepper
1/2 bottle of stout beer
1 cup of flour,plus a bit to dip the fish into
Vegetable oil

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Then prepare your potatoes. Give them a good scrub and do not peel. Cut into french fry strips. Add to your mixing bowl. Add one glug of peanut oil. I use this as it can take the heat of the oven and does not smoke. Add a couple of shakes of chili flakes, onion powder, and salt and pepper. Using your hands mix together so that the potatoes have a good coating of oil and the spices. Lay these out on a foil lined cookie sheet that has been sprayed with a cooking spray. This will keep them from sticking. When the oven is hot, place the potatoes in the oven, second rack from the bottom, and set the timer for 25 minutes.

Potatoes ready for the oven

Next, take the fish, rinse it in cold water and then cut it into good size chunks. Set aside.

Fish is ready!

Now for the beer batter: Use really good stout beer in this recipe as the flavor really comes out in the final product. Take your egg and crack it into a mixing bowl. Using a whisk, whisk the egg extremely well. Next add the dash of salt, onion and garlic powder, cayenne pepper and beer and whisk again. Add the flour a bit at a time, and still use the whisk. This helps to incorporate the flour into the egg mixture without creating lumps. Once all the flour has been added it should look like this:

Beer batter is ready to use!

Add about two inches of oil to a deep frying pan and turn on the heat to medium high. Right about now your timer should be going off on the potatoes. Flip them over and set the timer again for another 25 minutes.

Test the oil with some of the beer batter by dropping a little into the heated oil. The batter should sink to the bottom and then float right up and the oil should start to bubble around the edges. Now take a piece of fish and dredge it in the flour, then drop it into your beer batter to coat. Add the fish carefully to the oil. Cook the fish in batches, keeping the cooked fish warm.

Frying fish

While your fish is cooking, prepare your lemon.

Can't you just smell this lemon?

The potatoes should be done just as you are removing the last of the fish from the oil then serve it up!

Dinner is served!

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What do you do when you find yourself with a bottle of Tequila, limes, chili peppers and a pile of shrimp? Start marinating! No, not you! The prawns! Here is an easy and tasty recipe!

Tequila Lime Prawns

20 large prawns, unpeeled
1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup of tequila (I used Heradura)
2 1/2 limes, juiced
1 large shallot finely chopped
4 large cloves of garlic finely chopped
1 medium poblano chili finely chopped
2 tsp cumin
2 shakes of salt and 2 shakes of white pepper

Dipping sauce
1/2 stick of butter
juice from 1/2 lime
red chili flakes

Prepare the marinade first. Take a gallon zip-lock bag and add everything but the prawns. Close the bag and shake the contents to blend it. Drop in the prawns and seal the bag. Leave the prawns in the marinade for 2 to 4 hours. Do not leave the prawns in the bag longer than that as the lime juice will “cook” the prawns.

For the dipping sauce, melt the butter and add the lime juice and chili flakes. Keep warm.

I have a small indoor grill that I used. You can use your BBQ as well. Get the heat up to a medium heat. Place the prawns on the grill and watch them carefully. When you see the color pink roll up to about halfway up the prawn, brush on a bit of the marinade and turn. Continue to watch the color as it travels up the side of the prawns. When the prawns are just fully pink, remove them from the grill and place on a serving platter. Serve immediately with the dipping sauce.

Enjoy this dish with a margarita, and a fresh garden salad!

I made 200 of these for friends who just got married. They were a hit! And, as I served this up cold, I did so with cocktail sauce, which worked really well too!

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