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November 29, 2006

EC's (Spicy!) Green Chili

"Green" chili is common here in the USA Western areas, but not very well known elsewhere. Two things differentiate it from "regular" or "red" chili: the considerably increased heat level (spice heat, that is!), and the fact that it is made with pork - not beef. Oh. And for those who simply must have beans in their chili you could, I suppose, add 2 16-oz cans of any kind of white bean to this recipe -- but if I were you, I wouldn't tell anyone here in the West! This makes a lot, is started in a large stockpot and can be finished off (if desired) in a crock pot or slow cooker - just be sure your slow cooker is a big one!

3-4 pound boneless pork roast, fat trimmed, cut into large (1" sized) cubes
roughly 1 cup (or a bit less) vegetable shortening
roughly 3-4 tablespoons olive oil
2 large onions, chopped fine
1 27-oz can green chilies, or about 1-1/2 pounds roasted chilies
1 27-oz can whole, crushed or diced tomatoes
2-4 fresh jalapenos, minced very fine*
1 large fresh pablano pepper
4-5 cloves garlic, pressed or mashed
1 tablespoon crushed cumin seeds
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 heaping teaspoons oregano (Mexican oregano is best)
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro (optional)
5-6 heaping tablespoons chili powder
1 large can enchilada or green chili sauce
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
salt and pepper
2 double-strength beef bouilion cubes, OR...
2 rounded Tablespoons beef base, OR...
1 quart beef stock
6-8 cups water (if using the stock, reduce this to 2-4 cups)
1-1/2 to 2 cups flour

*Remember, when using fresh jalapenos the heat is in the seeds, so you can control (to some degree) the heat of this dish by deciding how many peppers you'll leave the seeds in when mincing!

In the stockpot, sweat the onions and garlic in the olive oil for just a few minutes (just to render the flavors and oils and to soften a bit). Add chilies, tomatoes, jalapenos, crushed cumin seeds, ground cumin, oregano, thyme, cilantro, chili powder, enchilada or green chili sauce, Worcestershire sauce, red wine vinegar, salt & pepper (to taste) - your choice of either the bouilion cubes, beef base or beef stock - plus the water. Bring to a slow simmer and keep it simmering slowly while you prepare the meat...

Brown the cubed pork roast in the vegetable shortening almost (but not quite all the way) to a fried state. This tastes best if done in an iron skillet, but any skillet can be used. It may have to be done in batches due to the amount of pork. When nearly to the fried state, coat all the pieces with the flour and allow the flour to "cook" or "brown" slightly (this cooks out the flour taste). Transfer to a large platter for cooling. Once cooled, using two forks pulling in opposite directions, pull or "shred" all of the pork (best and easiest done on a large cutting board).

If your slow cooker has a temp setting capable of a gentle boil (and if it can handle all of the pork plus all of the stockpot contents), then this is the time when you can put everything into the slow cooker on the boil setting. Otherwise just continue in the stockpot. In either case, boil rapidly just a few minutes, and then simmer slowly for at least another hour. If more liquid is needed, simply add either water or stock.

Enjoy! Oh - how to eat! Green chili can, of course, be eaten just as regular chili (in a bowl), but it is also fantastic over eggs, as a potato topper, as a chip dip, or just about any other way you'd use a spicy "sauce".

November 24, 2006

French Onion Soup, By Frenchie! ;)

Jewel's Blog
Her Jewelry website

Okay, I've received a request for my supah-dupah French Onion Soup recipe, so I thought I'd share it with ya'll, thinking that someone else might be in the mood to attempt it. It's quite easy, but stinky! ;)

I make my soup slowly and carefully, and bring my onions almost to a caramelization point, where they get to a deep brown color. The cold weather is coming, and I can assure you, this is one hearty soup that will please many!

Ingredients (This will serve up to 6 people)
4 large onions (I like Spanish onions, or Vidalia)
2 tbsp. Olive Oil
3 tbsp. Butter
~ 2 Litres of beef stock (can be substituted for vegetable stock)
Sliced French bread
2-3 oz grated Cheddar or Gruyère cheese
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Rosemary sprigs (either fresh or dry)

1. Peel and quarter the onions and slice or chop them into 'smallish' pieces. Heat the oil and butter in a large saucepan. Use one with a wide base, so you'll get better coverage with the onions.

2. Fry the onions on Med-High heat for a few minutes, stirring constantly.

3. Reduce the heat to Medium, and cook until the onions become a light shade of brown (~25 - 30 minutes)

NOTE: The onions will gradually turn golden, then very quickly to brown. You only need to stir the onions on occasion at first, but as the onions brown, you'll have to stir more frequently. You need to stir them constantly when they brown, so they won't stick or burn at the bottom of the pan.

4. When the onions are a deep brown, this is where I add the salt and pepper, and the rosemary. I stir it all for a few minutes, to let the flavours mix together, then I add the stock. Then you just let the pot simmer for about 30 or 45 more minutes.

5. While the soup is simmering, slice your baguette, and grill or toast the slices. Spoon the soup into ovenproof (or microwave safe) bowls, place a piece of bread in each bowl, and then sprinkle a generous amount of grated cheeze over each bowl. Grill in the oven (250) for a few minutes until golden. Season with a fresh sprig of rosemary, and some freshly ground pepper, and VoilÃ! French Onion Soup à la Jewels! Bon Appétit!

I hope you will like it as much as I do. It's delicious, very easy to prepare, and worth the wait. Perfect after a nice brisk fall walk.

November 23, 2006

Fuff's Heavenly Mashed Potato


Potatoes (red or floury)
Garlic (5-6 cloves for half a kilo of potatoes)
Sea salt

Boil the potatoes until soft, drain and dry out on the heat taking care not
to burn them
Put them through a ricer or mash until they are completely smooth.
Add butter, cream and garlic that has been roasted with skin on in foil
until soft and browned.
Return to the heat and stir until smooth and all of the ingredients have
Add a little sea salt.

November 20, 2006

Anzac Biscuits

This is an authentic, traditional New Zealand biscuit (or cookie) recipe, donated to us by "Tui" living in New Zealand. When questioned about the "teacup" measurement, this is what Tui had to say for guidance: "We colonials know that a teacup is smaller than a breakfast cup. However, when I look at my measuring container I notice that an American 'cup' is smaller than an 'Imperial' cup. So a standard US cup would probably be fine." And on the subject of golden syrup Tui offers, "Don't know how to describe 'golden syrup' - it's sort of like a light and sweeter treacle."

Anzac Biscuits

2 oz flour
3 oz white sugar
1 teacup coconut
1 teacup rolled oats (porrige oats)
2 oz butter
1 tablespoon golden syrup
half teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons boiling water

Mix together flour, sugar, coconut and rolled oats. Melt butter and golden syrup together. Dissolve the soda in the boiling water and add to butter and golden syrup. Make a well in the centre of the flour mix and stir in the liquid until fully distributed through mix. Place in dessert spoonfuls on cold greased tray and bake for 15 to 20 minutes at 350F.

Should be light brown, and chewy in the middle.

November 18, 2006

EC's Apple Cobbler ...

Contributed by: Eternally Curious

This is my recipe for apple cobbler. Warning: My recipies tend to be "sans mesasurements", requiring an ability to "play it by ear (or eyesight, as the case may be)"...

6-8 apples (depends entirely on your tastes)

bunch of sugar

bunch of cinnamon

2 cups Bisquick, or similar (all purpose baking mix)

1 cup milk

1 egg if large, otherwise 2

yet more sugar (grin)

yet more cinnamon too (bigger grin)

Peel, core and chunk the apples into a square baking pan that has been either buttered (my preference, but my doctor doesn't agree!) or treated with cooking spray. Sprinkle the apples liberally with cinnamon, and then with sugar. How much? Entirely up to you and your taste buds! Mix all up, and then sprinkle again (maybe just a bit more lightly this time!).

In a small bowl combine Bisquick, milk, egg(s), and about 2-3 tablespoons of sugar - just until mixed thoroughly and no dry mix remains. Spread evenly over top of apples. You can add a last sprinkling of sugar and cinnamon on top, if you like, for color.

Bake in 350 degree F. oven (sorry - not sure what the Centigrade translation is), for about 30-45 minutes, or until top is deep golden brown. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving (if you can!)