Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Minor Fall, The Major Lift

This weekend Trey and I went to the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens. The cherry blossoms have not yet bloomed, but the magnolias! Holy moly, they are beautiful! And we saw grackles and a yellow warbler, who was so golden and hoppity and nice! In our own back yard all the birds have been making a royal mess of our feeder, and there are two new birds we've seen, a kind of Junco and a Brown Headed Cowbird.
Last night I made a fantastic chili! Really, insanely good. Here is how you make it!

5 cloves of garlic (or more), minced
One roughly diced onion
2 diced poblano peppers
A few dried hot peppers, sliced
1 modest carrot, peeled and diced
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 head parsley, chopped fine-ish
2 tbsp Olive oil
1 8 oz package of tempeh, cubed into 3/4" cubes
1/4 cup-ish molasses
White wine
1 can (the bigger one) crushed tomatoes
1 can black beans (the soup can size)

1 tbsp cumin (or to taste)
1 tbsp thyme (")
2tbsp chili powder
2 tbsp mole chili powder (or whatever, you can mess around)
1 tsp fennel seeds

Put the tempeh cubes in a small saucepan. Cover with 1/2 cup wine, 1/2 cup tamari, and 1/2 cup water over medium heat. When it starts to simmer, reduce heat to low and cover, stirring occasionally. Let this simmer while you make the other stuff.

In BIG saucepan or skillet, saute the hot peppers, garlic, onion, and carrots until they start to soften - 5 minutes Add the poblano peppers and saute some more -- another 5-8 minutes. When these soften too, add the tomato paste and combine. Add the dried spices (except the fennel! -- that's for the tempeh!) and the parsley -- saute for another 5 minutes or so. Now add the crushed tomatoes and drained black beans. Cover and let simmer/bubble. Check on the tempeh. The tempeh should be getting tender and the liquid level reduced. Add another 1/4 cup wine, 1/4 cup tamari, and the molasses and the fennel seed. Stir so the molasses is mixed in all the way, and then cover and let simmer a bit more, say 10 minutes. Be sure to turn the tempeh pieces.

Now add the tempeh/ broth mixture to your main skillet of chili. Add some paprika or whatever other flavors you like, and simmer for as long as you can -- at least 30 minutes. Stir occasionally. I swear to you, this chili will drive you crazy.

In happy news, I do not have breast cancer. I had a lump in my right one for 3 days and luckily it went away. I didn't tell anyone but Trey and only when I knew it was going away. The internet is cruel to encouraging one to think a zit is a ductal carcinoma.


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