Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Chilli for Football Sunday & Wintery Weather

So if you know me, you pretty much know that I love football and I also like making soups and chillis and stews in snowy weather. So I think that Chilli and Sports and Snow are the perfect combination. So here is one that I made during the "icestorm of 2010" these past few days. The great thing about being snowbound for me was that I got to experiment in the kitchen!! Try it and let me know what you think.
2 lbs Ground Sirloin or Turkey or Chicken (your preference)
1 tablespoons ground cumin
2 tablespoon ground coriander
1 tablespoons chili powder
1 medium red onion chopped fine
1 red bell pepper chopped fine
1 green bell peppers chopped fine
2 large jalape├▒o chiles chopped with seeds
2 teaspoons minced canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce (available in mexican section) for smokey taste
1 large 28-ounce cans crushed tomatoes with added puree
1 15-ounce cans red kidney beans
1 bottle of dark beer (such as stout) - I used Abita
3 chopped green onions
Garnish: Cilantro or chopped green onion, sour cream and/or coarsely grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese

Sautee beef or turkey in a dutch oven or heavy pot. Break up and cook until done (8 mins).  In a different saucepan heat oil (2 tblsp), onions, cumin, coriander, and jalapenos, chilli powder. Add the 2 peppers. Combined or add this to the meat. Add chipotle chillis, crushed tomatoes, red kidney beans and beer,
Bring to boil. Reduce heat and cook for a good 30 minutes and upto an hour on low. Season with salt, brown sugar, juice of one fresh lemon or a little bit of vinegar.
Taste and adjust with sugar or salt/lemon or toasted spices (cumin or coriander powder) to achieve a balance of flavors. Garnish with cheese or sour cream or green onions. Enjoy!!

Stuffed Mini Spicy Eggplant (Bharli Vangi)

So the inspiration for this dish was definitely the city that I gew up in -- Mumbai. This is a very traditional dish made in this region of India and I actually learnt it from my cook during my last visit to India this past November. The key is to make sure that the baby eggplants are in season and fresh.  I also love the color and size of this of vegetable -- so pretty and so delicious!

Small Eggplants (Vangi) - 6-8

Stuffing (Grind the below in a food processor):
Grated coconut (I used the frozen kind found in asian grocery stores) - 3 tablespoon
Roasted peanuts - 1/2 cup
Red onion - 1/2 of a large
Chopped coriander - 1 tablespoon
Red chili powder - 2 teasppon
Cilantro (handful)
Cumin powder 1 tsp
Coriander powder 2 tsp

Spices For Oil:
Cumin seed 1/2 tsp
Mustard seed 1/2 tsp
Asafetida (optional)
Tamarind or Lemon juice (optional)
Sugar and Salt

1) Make 2 vertical slits in the eggplant and preserving the core and stem
2) Fill egplants with stuffing and place them back in the skillet
3) In a skillet add some oil
Add a few cumin seeds, mustard seeds
Add 1/2 teaspoon turmeric and Asafetida (optional)
Add a bit of coconut, cilantro chopped to give texture
Add egplants to skillet. Add a bit of water. Close and cook for 10 minutes.
4) Add tamarind paste or lemon juice and 1 teaspoon of sugar. Add salt to taste
5) Cover and cook on low for 15 minutes

This dish is easily one of my favorite ways to eat eggplant especially if you like that combination of earthy peanuts mixed with coconut, spices and tamarind -- how can you go wrong!