In my world, there is a definite difference between chile and chili.
This is chili.
But THIS is chile.
We use chile to make chili, but chili can never be chile. Got it?
The weather has been colder here and that means the start of soup season. My kids don’t really enjoy chile, yet, so I’m constantly adapting recipes so they can eat dinner and I can have my chile fix without having to cook two meals. The diced green chile in this recipe is completely optional. You can have a wonderfully tasty bowl of chili without it. But, if you want a superb bowl of chili, go ahead and get some diced New Mexico Green Chile and add it in. Fresh is best. Frozen is a close second. Canned will work in a pinch.
Dry beans are a great start to any budget savvy, protein rich meal. I keep at least dry pinto and dry white beans on hand at all times. This recipe starts with 1 cup of dry, white beans. You can used canned beans to save time. Do not use pinto beans in this recipe. It just won’t taste the same. Just sort through your dry beans to make sure there are no foreign objects (read: rocks and small dirt clods). Then add them to the bottom of your crock pot.
Then, add the chicken spices and water or stock on top. Set your crock pot on low and walk away for the whole day. Your house will smell amazing. Just before serving, pull out the chicken, shred it up, and return it to the pot.
Mmmmmmm. Can you see those flecks of roasted chile goodness. This is my bowl. And it was so good I ate two.
1 cup dry Navy beans
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken
4 cups water or chicken stock
1 teaspoon chile powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon salt (or more to taste)
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup diced green chile
Sort beans and remove any foreign objects. Add beans, chicken, water (or stock), spices and chile to crock pot. Set on low and cook for 6-8 hours or until beans are tender. Remove chicken, shred and return to pot. Serve hot with your favorite toppings and sides (I recommend cheese and cilantro with a hot flour tortilla).
I remember so many New Year’s Eve nights spent at home with my parents. We watched Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve, drank sparkling grape juice and ate finger foods. Usually there were veggies and ranch dip, crackers with summer sausage and cheese and maybe even little smokies in bbq sauce. It was more about fun than fancy, but it is one of the only times I remember my mom making appetizers. My appetizer repertoire is similarly limited. So, when I organized a mom’s night out this month that included a best dish competition, I’m not really sure why I decided the food categories should be appetizers and desserts. I agonized for days over what I would bring. Then, I remembered on of my husband’s favorite things. In fact, we usually serve this up with a salad and eat it as a meal, but it makes a fantastic appetizer.
Start by roasting the chiles in your broiler. You can certainly use a grill for all of this, but I was too lazy to stoke up the charcoal in the cold. Alas, these are not New Mexico green chiles, they are Aneheims. New Mexicos are out of season and I find frozen chiles just don’t work as well for this as fresh. You could also use Poblanos.
When the chile skins are nice and browned, take the chiles out of the broiler and toss them in a tightly sealed plastic bag. This allows the heat to steam the chiles while they are cooling and makes the skins even easier to remove. Peel the chiles. Make an opening down one side to remove the seeds and ribs. Then, slice cheese into long sticks about 1/4″x1/4″x4-6″ (I use half a block and cut 4 equal sized sticks the length of the block). Divide the sausage into 4 equal parts and wrap one part of sausage around each stick of cheese. Try to make sure you cover the cheese completely.
Stuff each piece of sausage covered cheese into a chile and wrap with bacon. Stretch the slice of bacon as you wrap to keep it tight and to make sure you only use 1 slice of bacon per chile.
Bake (or grill) until sausage is cooked through and bacon crisps. I find the bacon gets much crispier on the grill than it does in the oven. And yes, I did wash that cutting board with hot soapy water while the chiles were cooking.
Let these cool for a few minutes so the cheese will set. Then use a sharp knife to slice them into 1/4″-1/2″ rounds. Serve warm.
4 large Aneheim chiles
1/2 pound ground sausage (breakfast or Italian)
1/2 pound sharp chedder cheese
4 slices bacon
Roast chiles under the broiler until skins are bubbly and brown. Remove chiles from broiler. Place in a tightly sealed plastic bag to cool. When chiles are completely cooled, remove the peels and the seeds leaving as much of the chile intact as possible.
Heat oven to 350*.
Slice cheese into 4 equal sized sticks about as long as the chiles. Divide sausage into 4 equal parts. Wrap each stick of cheese with one part of the sausage. Stuff sausage wrapped cheese into the peeled, seeded chile. Wrap each chile with a slice of bacon, slightly stretching each bacon slice as you wrap.
Bake at 350* for 25-30 minutes or until sausage is cooked through and bacon starts to crisp.
I like to cook with butter. I also like to butter breads and vegetables. Real butter just has so much good flavor. That’s no excuse to just use it plain though. Oh no. Compound butters are way too simple to make. I whipped this, but, if you don’t have a stand mixer, just stir it all together. The flavor will still be fantastic.
Start with a stick of room temperature butter. I used unsalted and added salt just because unsalted is what I keep on hand. If you have salted butter, skip the salt and go from there. Put the butter and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the whisk attachment, whip for 5 minutes. Scrape down the sides halfway through. Your butter will be lighter in color and have slightly more volume.
Add good quality honey and red chile powder. Whip another 5 minutes. Again scraping down once. I know it seems like a long time, but it makes this butter so light and fluffy!
Serve on rolls, cornbread or a variety of vegetables. I particularly love it on baked sweet potatoes.
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon chile powder
Place butter and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Using whisk attachment, whip butter for 5 minutes. Scrape down sides once about halfway through.
Add honey and chile powder to the bowl. Whip another 5 minutes. Scrape down sides once about halfway through.
Use anywhere you would use plain butter to add a little sweetness and a little spice.