Lazy Sunday Morning

21Mar08

Chipotle Chili with Rice

Here in New York, we’ve been hit with a triple threat:  the cold, the rain, and those hideous boots that look like your dragging pomeranian puppies on the ends of your legs.  

Forced to stay indoors and with no hang-over to ruin my Sunday morning, it was the perfect day to make one of those slow cooking dishes I’ve always wanted to have time for.  I’ve been having a big craving for a bowl of chili recently. Well actually more for the melting cheese and the accompanying scoops of sour cream that goes with every bite of chili. 

With my Trader Joe’s bags in tote, I trekked over to the Union Square farmer’s market to get my ingredients. As I stood in the middle of Union Square, I had my camera ready raised to eye level, ready to take a picture of the most glorious of all markets, offering an abundance of locally grown produce and homemade delicacies handed out by milk maids and butchers. Unfortunately, the closest thing to farmed produce was the smell of weed hovering over the arts and crafts section. While there were plenty of local bakers and florists, the only farmer seemed to be the man of 1,000 potatoes.  I’ll have to get used to this “seasons” business…

 

Union Square Farmer’s Market

So the Food Emporium it was. While I would normally purchase enough food to last me through a winter of Siberian proportions, here in NY I have to be strategic. The lack of a third arm made me think otherwise. That 5 lb. pineapple better be damn worth misaligning your shoulders for life. And you better put that milk back unless you want 3 lbs. of cottage cheese at the end of your journey.  

After about 3 subway transfers and bumpin and grindin with the rest of the city, I made it home with 2 bags of chili concocting ingredients.

The secret to this chili were the variety of peppers. I used this recipe  as my foundation, but substituted the beef with ground turkey and added more vegetables. Green peppers, jalapenos, chipotle chilis, and ancho chilies were all used in the making of this chili. While the recipe says to used 3-4 green peppers, I thought even one jalapeno was too spicy.

cooking chili version 2

 This wasn’t the typical chili and I was surprised at how easy it is to make. The great thing about chili is all you need is a can of peeled tomatoes, chili powder, and then whatever is in your fridge. I added some butternut squash, corn, and green peppers to the dish but you can add/omit practically anything. You can also choose to let it simmer from anywhere from 20 minutes to 3 hours. Of course you’ll have a more concentrated flavor the longer you let it simmer. And chili is definitely one of the dishes that taste better the longer you let it sit. 3 day leftovers? Ah-mazing.

Chipotle chili with rice 2

In all of this excitement, my roommate got the urge to use one of her untouched wedding gifts: a food processor. I’ve officially listed the day I create my wedding gift registry as one of the top five moments of my life. It might force me to bump the big day to a few short years from now. I can’t possibly wait another 10 years to be gifted my dream kitchen.

So we agreed on BREAD of all the things to make. With no real bread making experience between us and already knowing the complexities of the process, I hesitated to agree as the lead baker. But with kitchen skills to defend, I took charge. Baking bread is a complexity that involves proper temperatures, measurements, and timing.  I was nervous to jump in this process without reading the proper instructions, but I figured I might as well get my fingers wet before the real deal.

kneading dough

After massaging the dough with some TLC, it went through 2 series of rising periods before it got slathered with butter.

dough balls rising

The final product was…ok. We ended up with something that looked like bread, but tasted more like yeast. But that just gave us another excuse to eat butter and sugar.

Milk bread

Here’s our attempt at making last minute “cinnamon rolls.” Not a pretty sight.

“Cinnamon Rolls”

That just escalated to us just dipping them in a bowl of cinnamon sugar. Followed by another bowl of chili. Washed down by a spoonful of sour cream. Like I said, it was a lazy Sunday…day.

 

 

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