Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Recipe: Bite the Bullet Chili

The Dutch Bullet Beans  from Lonesome Whistle have such a great smokey flavor that they are perfect for chili... I was sure. And then I thought of the name and knew a recipe had to be born.

Usually we make chili with darker red or black beans and lots if steak, sausage, and other meat. But I didn't want such a heavy chili, feeling like too much would overwhelm the beans. So without further rambling...

Bite The Bullet Chili

1 lb. ground beef
2 cups dry Dutch Bullet Beans
1 onion
2 cloves of garlic
*Spices to taste
2-3 cups water or broth
3-4 leaves of kale or chard (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste

Prepare your beans - soaking, rinsing, par-cooking, to suit your preference. If you put them in the chili dry, add some cooking time!

Chop the onion and mince the garlic, sauté till they are transparent. Add the beef and brown slightly. Add spices.

*I used some mild New Mexico green chilis from a friend and a touch of red chili. With the name, I really wanted to make something spicer, with a nice kick, but I was cooking for kid palate and Brother-Bug hates all things with any spice at all. I contented myself with adding personal kick later when serving. Beyond the chilies, I put in some cumin, oregano, and just a dash of nutmeg.

Add the bean with the water or broth. Use just enough liquid to barely cover the beans if you want a thick chili, more water for a thinner product. Cover and bring to a boil. Turn to low and simmer till the beans are done - check the water level every 20-40 minutes, adding more water if needed.

Just before it was done I chopped up some chard that needed to be used and threw it in. It was a nice addition but made it feel less like true chili. That's your call. I like getting greens into anything and everything the kids eat. 

Adjust flavors with salt, pepper, more chili...

Serve with cornbread or corn chips and sour cream.

It all was consumed before I could take a picture - so make it yourself and find out what it looks like!!


A side note on bean substitution:  Dutch Bullet Beans are a very specific heirloom bean. With Rio Zape beans you can use a dark bean to substitue, with Calypso beans a white... your final product will taste a little different because the flavors of heirloom products are so pronounced, but it will be similar enough. The Dutch Bullets have such a special flavor that I don't know what could possibly substitute. If you find something that you think would be a good match, let me know!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Buckwheat Pancakes for Breakfast

Swimming in Maple Syrup...
We've been enjoying Lonesome Whistle's Buckwheat flour in our pancakes and waffles recently.

For either pancakes or waffles I use a basic recipe (usually from Mark Bittman's 'How to Cook Everything"). When I add the flour I measure half buckwheat and half white. Sometimes I'll mix in some whole wheat, add a little bran or oat flour or whatever I've got, but that's dependent on the day and what's in the pantry.

In the waffle maker, the buckwheat waffles seem to be more crisp than a regular waffle - I wonder if this has to do more with the buckwheat or with the freshness of the flour?

I usually make my pancakes with thinned yogurt (buttermilk being rarely on hand) or milk soured with a little vinegar. Today I had some sour milk that needed to be used and I added that instead of yogurt.

My pancakes with yogurt are very good and cook up really nicely, but the sour milk really made a world of difference. The milk based pancakes were so much fluffier and cooked more evenly on the griddle. The yogurt pancakes are denser, more "stick-to-your-ribs" kind if a cake, pairing well with apple sauce and light molasses. The sour milk cakes absorbed the butter and maple syrup perfectly, and didn't need anything else to compliment their flavors.

It's funny to me that something as hideous as soured milk can make something as fabulous as a pancake so much better!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

And...We're Back!

I didn't really mean to take that break during the past month. But that's the way it went and I'm here to tell you that there will probably be other random breaks coming up in the next year.

We are expecting a Baby-Bug will join our family sometime around Thanksgiving.

For the past month I have been nauseated during all waking hours, as well as completely drained of all my energy. As I know from my other two pregnancies, the first trimester is really hard on me. It's been enough to keep up with my Little-Bugs and do a dish or two...let alone find any mental reserves for writing,

However, there are a number of pregnancy related posts floating around in my head, and hopefully a few of them will make it onto this blog.

And of course, eventually, baby pictures!