Tag Archives: American

American Black Bean Chili with IPA Beer

Black_Bean_Chili (1 of 1)Chili is a popular go-to comfort food in this household, especially when the snow is as deep as f#$^%$! and the temperature is constantly below f*^%k!. I have many recipes for chili, and this is a combination of the things I like the best about each. Additionally, I’ve added IPA (India Pale Ale Beer) and allspice, which I think help to create a fantastic depth of flavor for this version. I hope you’ll try it next time you are wanting comfort food!
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, very finely grated or minced
1 1/2 lbs lean ground beef
1 large green bell pepper, diced
2 Tbsp chili powder
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp ground allspice
2 Tbsp tomato paste
2 Tbsp brown sugar
3 – 5 dried Thai (or similar hot) chilies, cut with scissors into 1/8 pieces, seeds and all
3 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 28-oz whole peeled tomatoes, squeezed to a pulp in a bowl by hand
3 15-oz cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 12-oz bottle beer (preferably IPA)
Sour cream for garnish
Grated white cheddar for garnish
Diced fresh tomato for garnish
2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
Tabasco sauce (optional) for garnish

Heat oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, beef and bell pepper. Cook for 8 minutes.

Stir in the next 8 ingredients (chili powder through ground black pepper) and cook 1 minute.

Stir in the beans, squeezed tomatoes and beer. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 1 hour. Remove lid and simmer an additional 30 minutes, or until chili has thickened. Remove from heat and let stand 15 minutes. Adjust seasoning (I added an additional 2 1/2 tsp salt, which seemed good). Ladle into serving bowls, garnishing each with a dollop of sour cream, cheddar cheese, diced tomato, parsley and a few drops of Tabasco sauce. I like to serve with fresh, crusty bread.

Serves 6.

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Indiana “Ham and Beans”

Ham_and_Beans1 (1 of 1) Fall begins tomorrow in this hemisphere, so it’s time to switch to hearty, comforting dishes. This dish is from the state of Indiana. It is so common there that everybody and their grandmother knows about it, loves it and makes it without following a recipe. My readers know that I’m always up for “comfort food,” and this  ranks as one of my favorites. So simple and delicious — I hope you’ll try this in the coming months or so! Also, if you’re not intending to cook it for a crowd, a half recipe turns out just as tasty.

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 celery stalks, diced
8 cups chicken stock
6 15.5-oz cans great northern beans
1 lb diced, smoked ham
2 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
2 tsp chopped fresh thyme (or 1 tsp dried)
1/4 tsp grated nutmeg (optional RB)

Rinse and drain beans. Set aside.

Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrots and celery. Sauté 8 minutes. Increase heat to high. Add chicken stock, beans, ham, salt, pepper, thyme and nutmeg. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook uncovered for 1 hour, stirring occasionally, until creamy and thick. Serve with cornbread and coleslaw.

Serves 8.

New England Fish Chowder with Rosemary and Thyme-Scented Crackers

Fish_Chowder1 (1 of 1)One of the nice things about New England is the availability of really good fish chowder (and of course, clam chowder) in restaurants. However, I find it’s also nice to prepare my own at home — this mouth-watering, creamy (although not exactly slim!) version so easy to make, and the herbed crackers are really what make this dish. Delicious! Hope you’ll give this a try!

3 Tbsp butter
1/2 tsp dried thyme, chopped (or 1 tsp fresh)
1/2 tsp dried rosemary, chopped (or 1 tsp fresh)
3 cups oyster crackers
3 slices bacon, finely chopped
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 carrots, finely chopped
2 celery ribs, finely chopped
2 Tbsp butter
4 tsp flour
1 tsp ground paprika
2 8-oz bottles clam juice
2 cups water
1 cup heavy cream
2 baking potatoes (about 1 lb tot.), peeled and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1 1/2 lbs firm white fish (cod, halibut, etc.), cut into 1-inch pieces
1 1/2 tsp salt, plus a pinch
1/2 tsp ground black pepper, plus a pinch
3 Tbsp chopped parsley

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Melt 3 Tbsp butter with thyme and rosemary in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Add a pinch each of salt and ground black pepper. Add oyster crackers and stir well to combine. Spread cracker mixture out in a single layer on a baking sheet. Place in oven and bake 10 minutes, until golden brown.

Cook bacon over medium-high heat in a large sauce pan or Dutch oven. Stir until crisp, then transfer to paper towels using a slotted spoon. Drain off fat. Add onions, carrots, celery and 2 Tbsp butter to pan. Reduce heat to medium. Cook until vegetables have softened, about 10 minutes.

Sprinkle flour over onion mixture and stir 3 minutes. Add paprika and stir another 30 seconds. Add clam juice, water and cream. Increase heat to medium high, add potatoes and stir until mixture comes to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 12 minutes (stirring occasionally). Stir in fish and cook 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in parsley, 1 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp black pepper. Serve with the prepared crackers.

Serves 4.