Monday, June 9, 2008

Riding out the heat wave

While the heat wave in NYC rages on, with temperatures approaching 100 degrees, crockpotting is a bit of a challenge. However, that does not mean I can't plan and look ahead to when things will start to cool off later this week. I've had chili on brain for quite some time now. I had some great chili when I was out to dinner a few weeks ago. I paid about 15 bucks for it, which is somewhat steep considering I can make a couple quarts of chili for not too much more. That said, I will be making some chili this week.

While it is tough to make pulled pork or brisket into a healthy meal (they are both loaded with fat and cholesterol unfortunately), chili has the potential to be a pretty healthy alternative. At some point I will probably do a "what the heck is that anyway?" with chili, but for now I will focus on the task at hand as explaining the origins and different types of chili is quite a task that will involve a little more research.

The chili that most of us know and love is generally made up of ground meat (beef, turkey, etc) ,beans (red beans, kidney beans, white northern beans etc.), chili peppers of some sort and that's where the similarities pretty much end. There are a lot of recipes out there that use tomatoes, onions and a wide variety of spices. Perhaps the greatest challenge when making chili is getting that nice thick consistency that chili is known for.

I have elected ground sirloin as my base meat as it is both lean and flavorful with the right amount of fat. I also will use fresh vegetables whenever possible as they are key to making fresh and great tasting chili. Finally, I will make my own seasonings. I have used pre-made spice rubs a fair amount primarily because they are pretty cheap and have been pretty good. It is time for me to step out there and control my own flavor destiny. More to come on this once this heat wave breaks.

6 comments:

Grace said...

for a normal person, the thought of having chili on days as hot as we've been having would be repulsive. apparently, i'm not normal, because i can eat chili anytime, anyplace. i love your blog! :)

MamaGeek said...

We're melting in the midwest too but Chili sounds good in ANY type of weather.

Jared said...

Grace,

Nothing wrong with eating chili on a hot day. I just can't make it in the kitchen when the weather is like this. If someone made chili for me I would be eating it for sure.

Thanks for reading.

Jared said...

mamageek,

I couldn't agree more. Chili is always in season in my book.

amandalouden said...

I LOVE crockpot cooking! What a fun site! Because I'm a complete freak about ingredients I am always leary of crockpot cook books---lot of canned soups, I fear.

My fav crockpot cookbook author is Judith Finlayson. I have several of her books.

Love Penzeys.

Jared said...

Amanda,

Couldn't agree with you more about the crockpot cookbooks. There is so much that can be made without using canned soups and other processed foods. Penzey's is great source for spices and rubs. Glad to hear you enjoy it as well.

Thanks for reading