Sunday, March 27, 2011

What I Made for Dinner: March 27, 2011

Chili con carne with guacamole.

A dinner to eat while bummed out.

Bummed because it got seriously cold yesterday, like the lovely early spring we've been enjoying was just a cruel tease.  Bummed because the hyacinths were fooled, too, and now will surely die, and maybe the redbuds along with them.  Bummed because it freaking well snowed this afternoon, canceling the first soccer game of the spring season.  Bummed most particularly because, dammit, Virginia Commonwealth?  Really?

(I couldn't even watch.  I folded laundry, made the chili, made banana bread, and finally just went upstairs to watch Hoarding: Buried Alive because I couldn't stand to watch this fabulous season end.)

Sad Day Chili (serves 4)

1 lb. ground beef chuck
1 lb. ground pork
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 large sweet onion, diced
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
16-oz can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
28-oz can diced tomatoes
12-oz bottle Boulevard wheat beer
2 Tbsp. chili powder
1 tsp. cumin
2 dried chipotle chilis, whole
kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
2 Tbsp. bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate, chopped

In a large dutch oven or soup pot, brown the beef and pork, breaking up with a wooden spoon.  Remove the meat with a slotted spoon and set aside.  Pour off all but one tablespoon of fat from the pot.

Add the bell peppers, onion, and garlic to the pot and saute over medium-high heat until softened.  Add the remaining ingredients except the chocolate, return the meat to the pot, and simmer, covered, for at least one hour, preferably three, or as long as necessary while you wait for something unpleasant to end.  Thirty minutes before serving, check the chili's consistency.  If it is too soupy, remove the cover and allow it to reduce to the desired thickness.  Remove from the heat, remove the chipotles, and add the chocolate right before serving, stirring until the chocolate is melted and distributed evenly. 

Serve with guacamole and shredded cheese.

Friday, March 25, 2011

What I Made for Dinner: March 25, 2011

Mini lamb burgers with tzatziki, chickpea salad.

Can't write much.  Watching basketball.  Recipe is here.

Rock Chalk.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

What I Made for Dinner: March 17, 2011

Chicken with potatoes and peas.

It's a little bit Irish, just like our family.  (The recipe is in the March issue of Everyday Food.)

St. Patrick's Day always makes me think about our family's ethnicity.  We are crazy-mixed up.   On Chuck's side, we're Irish, English, and (allegedly) Native.  On mine, we're Italian, German, Russian, and Polish.  (There might be French in there, one of the great-great-grandmothers, but she was from Alsace way back when so I think it counts as German.)  For the boys, their smorgasbord-style ancestry means they can claim whatever they want.  St. Patrick's Day and Purim, all in one week.

Unrelated:  My spring break starts tomorrow, kicked off with a load of basketball and this nice dinner.  I will be spending the break grading papers.  How glamorous.  Will anyone be around this week and free for lunch?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

What I Made for Dinner: March 16, 2011

White bean and artichoke risotto.

Two-thirds of our children are away.  The big boys are with their grandparents for a couple of days.  We're 66% lighter in the child department.

It's like having the weights removed from your bat.  Eli doesn't eat anyway, so Chuck and I have been enjoying some grownup food at a nice, civilized dinner hour.  There's wine.  There's even a little Christopher Elbow ice cream for dessert.

(We shared some of that with the littlest monkey.)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

What I Made for Dinner: March 1, 2011

Hamburgers, sauteed peppers, pickles.

I made pickles this afternoon!

It only took an hour from start to eating them.  They were fantastic.