Posts Tagged 'chili'

Dried Cherry Chili

Sometimes I think that winter dishes should be called “things in bowls”.  That is because we have been having weather that makes the outdoors look like this


And this:


Now I admit (somewhat grudgingly) that it is all quite beautiful, especially when the sun shines on the snow. But when it is combined with temperatures well below 0 degrees Fahrenheit, it quickly loses its charm.  Time to take out the soup pot and make things in bowls and keep the kitchen and my tummy warm.

 

This recipe, which came from the Cherry Marketing Institute, originally was made with ground turkey. But I am not fond of chili with ground turkey – the regular ground turkey is not that low in fat, and I think that ground turkey breast does not have a good texture in dishes like chili. But this chili is great with ground buffalo. I don’t use store bought packages of ground buffalo. It is somewhat higher in fat than buffalo meat from a roast or some such, because I expect they use fattier cuts of meat. If you made this recipe with packaged ground buffalo, it would probably be closer to 12 grams of fat/serving, which isn’t that bad, but not as low as I like. I grind my own meat from buffalo roasts. I usually grind large amounts using the electric grinder attached to my mixer, but this time I wanted to grind only the pound I needed for the chili. So I used my food processor. Trim the buffalo of all fat and cut into about 2 inch pieces. Place in food processor and pulse several times until meat is ground to the texture that you want. Don’t overprocess – you’re looking for ground meat, not pate.

When I saw cherries and chili, I wondered how it would work out. I’m not sure I want sweet chili. But this chili is actually a nice, rich, somewhat spicy chili. The cherries are just a burst of tart-sweet flavor every now and then. It has beans, but not too many – and they’re black beans, which are a little different.

Dried Cherry Chili

2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth, divided

4 ounces dried tart cherries, chopped (¾ cup)

1 Tablespoon olive oil

1 cup chopped onion

1 Tablespoon fresh chopped garlic

2 teaspoons finely chopped jalapeno

1 pound ground buffalo

1 roasted red bell pepper, cut into ¼-inch cubes

1 Tablespoon, plus 1 teaspoon, chili powder

1½ teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon dried mustard

½ teaspoon dried oregano

4 cups chopped fire-roasted tomatoes  (2 15 ounce cans will work)

1 (16-ounce) can black beans, drained

¼ cup chopped cilantro

 

Heat 1 cup of broth. Place cherries in small bowl. Add hot broth and set aside.

Heat olive oil in a 4-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add onion; sauté until onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and jalapeno; cook 1 minute. Do not brown. Add buffalo; cook until it is no longer pink.
Add bell pepper, chili powder, cumin, coriander, mustard and oregano. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, about 2 minutes. Add tomatoes and remaining broth; bring to boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, about 5 minutes. NOTE: I used bottled roasted red peppers to save time.

Stir in beans, cilantro and cherry mixture. Continue cooking until thoroughly heated. Makes 8 servings at 5 grams of fat/serving.

I added 1 ounce of reduced fat cheese and homemade corn chips, adding 7 grams of fat to the overall meal.

Big Red Buffalo Chili

Chili is a dish that has regional variations, and aficionados that advocate for the right way to make this satisfying dish.  Traditionally, chili is a spicy stew made from chili peppers, meat, garlic, onions, and cumin.  In some places they add macaroni, beans, or other stuff. Sacrilege. This is a Texas chili, with a deep red color created by the ancho chilies.

ancho-chilis

Texas-style chili contains no beans, tomatoes, or other vegetables besides chili peppers. By the way, chili con carne is the official dish of the state of Texas.

Big Red Buffalo Chili

2 dried red ancho chilies
2 pounds of buffalo roast, cut into quarter inch pieces
1 Tablespoon canola oil
2 teaspoons ground cumin, or more to taste
1 teaspoon oregano
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Salt to tase
2 tablespoons brown sugar (optional)

Preparing the ancho chilies: Remove the stems and seeds from the pods.  I did this by cutting them in half with a scissors (see hint) and shaking the seeds out. Simmer the pods over low hear in water until they are tender. Allow to cool.  Press the simmered peppers through a sieve or strainer to separate the pulp from the skins.  I found this hard to do, but I may have used a strainer with too small of a mesh.  Discard the skins, which tend to be bitter.

Heat the  canola oil in a large pot.  Saute the meat in the oil until it turns grey (you don’t have to really brown it.). Add the ancho chili puree to the meat, and cover with 2 inches of water. Don’t put in too much water, like I did, or you will have to cook it down forever. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer 30 minutes. Add the cumin, oregano, garlic, salt, and brown sugar if you’re using it.  Cover and cook for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.  Add a little water if the meat starts to stick.  This is one of those dishes that tastes better the next day when the flavors blend. It makes 6 servings at 6 grams of fat/serving. Top with onions and/or 1/2 ounce  shredded reduced fat cheese/serving (adding 3 grams of fat/serving).

buffalo-chili

Variation: add beans if you must.

Hint: When you handle chili peppers, wear protective gloves. Otherwise, the volatile chemical capsaicin will get on your skin.  It is very difficult to wash off. The capsaicin will burn whatever it touches – your eyes (this is the voice of experience), lips, other sensitive areas, and even your baby or dog.

Hint and warning: Cayenne pepper is potent stuff. Add it gradually until you have the right heat for your taste.  I got carried away and made it too spicy


ABOUT KAREN

I have lost 200 pounds. I did not do it through surgery – I don’t like knives and needles – or by joining a club, vigorous exercise, or rigorous dieting. I did it by gourmet cooking. To be precise, by cooking low fat, really delicious food. I love to cook as much as I love to eat. Food magazines are some of my favorite reading. I would feel deprived if I couldn’t have the sensuous experience of good food crossing my lips. This blog is about my perpetual feast, my passionate love of food, with recipes, photos, and occasional advice and principles that I have learned along the way.

More about me.

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