Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Spicy Beef and Red Bean Chili (Page 450)

  • Date: Tuesday, August 21, 2007 -- 8pm
  • Location: Cutler, Maine
  • Kitchen: Somerled House
  • Fellow Chefs: Matty and Brad
  • Dining Companions: Wes, Karen H, Dave, Deniz, Serrana, Nicholas, and Enzo
  • Recipe Rating: A-

We were serving a crowd up in Maine last week, so Matt and I chose chili because it is easy to make a ton. This chili was quite good. The chunks of beef were very tender from the slow cooking, and the broth had impressive depth of flavor. Layers of flavor were built into this dish, starting from cooking the beef in bacon fat, and building over additional ingredients and hours of cooking. We were a little bit skeptical about the additions of both coffee and chocolate in this chili, but they worked. It was the wide selection of delicious toppings that really made this dish though. Alongside the chili there were dishes of avocado, bacon, cilantro, red onion, sour cream, etc... They cut some of the spice from the chili and provided a lovely counterpoint to the richness of the dish. Plus, it was fun to have so many toppings to choose from, especially with a big group of people around the dinner table.

This recipe is very similar, except the one in The Book is made with beef and has chocolate added.

My exploration of Bloomington continues. I found out yesterday that there is a whole side of town that I didn't know about. So yesterday evening Matty and I took a brief break from our work to drive out there and look around. This evening we did the same, checking out some places we didn't get to last night. I have now found both a big grocery store and a local co-op grocery store that I like -- the former for its wide selection of everything and the latter for its extensive spices, grains, etc... A little internet research also led me to a butcher, which I haven't investigated yet but am looking forward to checking out.

Today was day two of teaching. Back to back lectures are a bit tiring I have discovered. It's going well though and a bunch of students came to my office hours this afternoon, which I view as a good thing. I am getting into the swing of things finally. I have more or less figured out all the beginning-of-the-term organizational things for my class, which frees up a lot of time to do things like my own research! Theoretically it should also free up some time to unpack my apartment, but I have completely lost all motivation to do that. It's a goal for this weekend!

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