There are hundreds, thousands, or maybe even hundreds of thousands of food blogs out there. What makes mine so special? Well first of all, there is no one like me in the whole wide world (as told to me by my father) and second, I am Ruthie’s daughter, and in our family there is only one Ruthie’s daughter, and your lookin at her 🙂 Well, not literally, but you know what I mean. So, that makes me an original, and besides, I think there is always room for one more food blogger, right??
So, as I spoke about in my first post, my dedication post, I mentioned that following in my mother’s footsteps, I tend to naturally cook for a crowd. It’s like it’s in my genes or something. I can’t stop. Good thing we need leftovers 🙂 Lots of left overs. I will elaborate more on this a little further down in this post.
When my mother would shop for food, she didn’t just run to the local market and gather everything she needed from that one store. Noooooo-sir-ree. When my mother shopped it meant an all day adventure to any number of stores depending on what she needed to replenish. She was very specific where she shopped, and what she would buy at each shop. Some stores were better for meat, some for produce, some for cheese, some for paper goods, etc. Then of course she had to go to specialty shops for all those hard to find ingredients. I wouldn’t necessarily say she was a food hoarder, but she was a food hoarder. For instance, even though she had a freezer full of meat, if she saw a certain cut, or if something was on sale, she came home with it. Now, to get some perspective on the hoardingness (it’s a word now) she had a kitchen refrigerator/freezer, then she had 2 more refrigerator/freezers downstairs, as well as a full size upright freezer right smack between them, and trust me, they were all full. Then she also had old cabinets down there that she used as a pantry, and had a walk in pantry upstairs as well.
So, I tend to parallel my mother in my shopping habits as well. I tend to buy a lot and also have several refrigerators and freezers all full up. Despite their fullness (Ha! that is a word) I continue to shop, often, and while I am shopping I see things that appeal to me and I always end up coming home with too much. Especially in the produce area. It’s all so fresh and colorful. I can’t resist. I mean look at this (see photo below, or should I say “exhibit A”). This is from a purchase I made two days ago (meaning some has already been used). This also does not include the lettuce, the broccoli, the cauliflower, cucumbers, peppers, potatoes, onions, well you get it….What? you don’t need two fruit bowls and half a counter top for yours?
Well, to continue. While out on one of my shopping adventures, I was doing a mental inventory in my head. I knew that I was down to about 1/4 stalk of celery. So, on one of my trips to the grocery store I grabbed a fresh stalk, and then apparently on a subsequent visit grabbed another. Well, realizing I now had a crap ton of celery, a few recipes came to mind. One being chicken salad. Turned out amazing, but that is a different post. Even after that, I still had a crap ton of celery to use up. Well, one recipe that calls for a lot of celery and that I LOVE celery in, is my chili, so my mind was made up, I was setting out to make chili, but not just any chili, a pantry clearing, all day, chili cooking session would ensue the following day. I even thought of what I might call it. Junk Yard Chili? Nah, the ingredients weren’t junk, maybe Everything But The Kitchen Sink Chili? well kind of.
Setting out to make my chili, I was determined to not make a trip to the store. I swear I must spend 3/4 of my life in stores. Sometimes I complain and give my husband the old “Woe is me routine” “I spend half my life in stores”. But then I picture him shopping. I’ll take one for the team 😉 Anyway, I figured that I could do this with what I had…pretty sure. After all, I’m a border line food hoarder remember? So, run to the basement. No ground meat! Dang! BUT I have a chuck roast and a pork sirloin roast. That will do. Thanks to the best heirloom ever…..my mom’s Kitchen Aid with a meat grinder attachment, in all of it’s avocado glory 🙂 So, I take those out of the freezer. Next. I check my pantry. I have enough tomato products, an assortment of beans, and some stock. It appears that I can do this! I even lucked out and had limes, a little tequila reposado, and cilantro in the house, and it was still good! Bonus! Ha! I was not going to waste not one stalk of celery! I Couldn’t wait to start the next day, and that is how I came to make this chili and write this post, enjoy! One package of celery transforms into 5 gallons of chili 🙂 Yup definitely have a problem. Did I mention that only three of us live here? Although, when my kids and family hear that there is chili, it goes fast and in this case, by the next day more than half was gone 🙂 Good job people. Here are the photos of my chili journey……
So here we have the well marbled chuck and the pork loin. I kept the thin fat cap on for flavor. I usually de-fat my meat anyway after browning. Also pictured is “My Avocado Life Saving Machine,” Followed by the ground chuck and the ground pork. I used a large grind on the meat for texture since I planned on simmering all day. I browned the meat and deglazed the pan with several cups of red wine. then threw it in the big pot.
A mish mash of my canned products. Perfect timing, The Cannellini beans expire in a few months. These also remind me (some of them) of why they remained in the pantry so long., They are remnants of past grocery trips that I sent my husband on….I can tell because he usually does not buy organic, unless I do this on the list “BUY ORGANIC!” It’s all good. I use it anyway. All of it (rinsed the beans first) in the big pot, with a large carton of chicken stock.
Now for the spices. I buy all of my “daily” herbs and spices in bulk, and then I also buy specialty spices as I need, or if they attract me as I shop. A good dose of all of them go into the pot. Not pictured is the Mexican oregano that I added.
My #flavorbombs today. Fresh limes that I really needed to use up. Some apple cider vinegar (which is a MUST HAVE IN CHILI). Then I found the Jalapeno hot sauce in the fridge. It also needed a touch of sweetness, and I added the tequila reposado (at some point…not sure when) 🙂 This was a throw lots of stuff in, not a precise recipe. I could have deglazed after the veggies or simply added it along the way, either way, the flavor got in there.
This pot is getting full. But guess what? I asked my husband if he preferred to have some form of noodle and some corn thrown in. And, “Well, Yes” was the answer. So, I had some Fusilli in the cabinet (made that al dente), and a bag of organic frozen corn. Threw both of those in towards the end, after the chili was simmering most of the day. Gave it about another 30 – 60 minutes and served. I had some homemade bread I warmed in the oven, garnished with some organic white cheddar and some organic sour cream, a glass of wine, and that’s all I needed. I love chili. Thanks for reading! Gotta Go EAT!
And, the final product. OK. I’m sure you are wondering what it tastes like. It is so rich and deep in flavor. slow simmering all afternoon really brought all the ingredients and flavors together. It has good texture and just the right amount of heat. The acid really shines through and brings all of the flavor forward. Really, I wanted nothing more than the bread and the wine. To me that means balanced. (Patting my own back) 🙂
The End 🙂
Oh Wait! I forgot to mention that while I was cleaning out the pantry to make the chili I made this gruesome discovery……Here we go again.