Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Chili con Carne for Red Dead Redemption 2

So Red Dead Redemption 2 came out recently, and it looks amazing. I am one of the unhappy few that does not own a device that it is available so I hope that, this time, Rockstar feels like bringing the game over to PC. Sorry, PC gamer problems, you all are here for the food.

I was inspired by the games Southern setting to make this amazing Chili con Carne. My wife says it is the best chili she has ever had, but she is obligated to compliment my food. It is a really great chili and would serve equally well as an entrée or topping for chili dogs, eggs, or chili cheese fries.

I also need to add an obligatory apology to my friend Jay. He hates cinnamon in chili. I think it gives it a quick dash of sweet heat, he sees it as an abomination. Oh well, I will make him eat it anyway!

¼ lb. of bacon, diced*
3 lb. of ground beef
1 large white onion, diced
1 tbsp salt
2 jalapeños, seeded and minced
2 red fresno chilies, seeded and minced
1 serrano chile, sliced
40.5oz can of kidney beans, drained
28oz can of crushed tomatoes
½ tsp ground red pepper
1 ½ tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
½ tsp of cinnamon (sorry again, Jay)
1 tsp cocoa powder

Heat a dutch oven or stock pot over medium heat and brown the bacon until all the fat is rendered out and the bacon bits are crispy. Remove, drain, and set aside for later. Next, brown the ground beef in the bacon grease in 1 pound portions, removing each portion after it is well browned. You are going to be simmering the beef later so it does not matter if it is not cooked all the way at this point.

Once you have evacuated all of your beef, add the onions and salt and sweat the onions over medium to medium low heat until they are translucent and soft. Next, stir in all the chiles and sweat down until soft.

Dump in all the spices and cocoa powder and fry them until they are looking toasted and are stinking up your house something good.

Finally, pour in the can of tomatoes and the can of drained beans, and add your reserved meat back in. Bring to a simmer and simmer, stirring regularly, for 20 minutes or until a nice thick gravy is covering your chili.

Optionally, serve with plenty of cheese, sour cream, and corn chips.

A really fun party idea is to keep your chili warm in a slow cooker and let your guests serve themselves in individual corn chip bags and load up on toppings. Some people call this a "walking taco" I just think its amazing.
*Pro tip: it is way easier to chop bacon up into a fine dice if you stick it in the freezer for an hour to get hard, not enough to freeze through, but enough to be stiff. That makes it way easier to dice up.

Saturday, November 3, 2018

For Rebecca

One of my sisters is undertaking the "No Meat November" challenge and I am here to support her. She asked me to put together some great recipes that are either vegetarian or pescaterian. Here are some of my favorites:


Quinoa Salad with Candied Walnuts:
A great dish that I love to throw together. It features quinoa, which is a high protein grain that works
great in cold salads.

Mushroom Risotto:
This was really intimidating to make, but it is actually really simple. A lot of recipes have really confusing descriptions and instructions and I tried to make sure mine were very clear and user friendly. I served this with some seared tofu to make a good full meal.

Black Bean and Corn Salsa:
This dip is really good, but I slightly over complicated the recipe. It is pretty easy to make this recipe in a skillet as I described or can just be stirred together cold.

Guacamole is actually one of my favorite things to make in the winter because I love to make it with pomegranate and you can only really get a good price on those around this time of year.

Not Beef Stroganoff:
This one takes advantage of the fact that mushrooms are really meaty. It is pretty simple to take a traditional and replace the meat with mushrooms. While this is a great recipe, I do need to take a new picture for it.

Here is a link to the rest of my vegetarian recipes, which, given how much I like meat, I have a surprising amount of.


Shrimp Bisque:
Dear God this stuff is good. As the weather gets cold, this is a perfect thing to warm you up with a little spice and a little alcohol.

Another fantastic soup for this time of year. This one is made that traditional way, only white ingredients, but it is easy to make it Maryland style, just add Old Bay!

I have nothing else to say about this one, just make it. It's amazing.

While I provided a traditional set of ingredients for this one, it really is fridge velcro. You can put pretty much anything into it that you want.

This is a easy and simple application of my new favorite way to make salmon. This recipe includes detailed instructions on how to make this amazing dish. 

Ok, the title is a bit of a mouthful, but this is really good stuff. If you have not made crispy skin salmon before, I would recommend taking a look at the previous recipe to get a really good idea of how to do it.

Pretty much the best mussels I have ever had. It is spicy, but amazing. It is not strictly speaking pescatarian, since it includes sausage, but it is easy to leave that out and still have a great dish.

Video: Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire Food Review

Here is a little video of me and some friends reviewing some of the eats your can get from the PA Renaissance Faire