Monday, November 4, 2013

Chilly Weather Le Creuset Chili!

Yesterday, while reading/snoozing/bird-watching from the comfort of
my hammock, I heard a voice coming from over by the firepit that said...
Hey! Now that it's chilly out, I think you need to put one of those heavy
pots you love so much to good use and make some of your yummy chili!
So on the way home from the dream-job this
evening I stopped at the market to do as I was told!
It all starts with garlic, white and yellow onion and celery. Oh! And a
good shot of coarse sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper! Every time I
use my Atlas pepper grinder I'm reminded of my most favorite chef in the
whole, wide world, Monterey's own, John Pisto. John had a cooking show
on television before anyone knew what the FoodNetwork was! When our
family relocated from Kansas to Monterey in 1985, my brother worked at
one of John's first restaurants, The Captain's Gig located on Monterey's
famed Fisherman's Warf 1. Our Ranger was a newborn when John's cooking
show debuted with his trusty side-kick John Livengood. I never missed an
episode and didn't mind watching the same episode over and over again until
a new episode aired. John taught me how to make pasta properly and he
taught me how to prepare the perfect steak. Speaking of perfect steaks... It
gets no better than John's Whaling Station on Cannery Row either!
After seeing John use this brass peppermill on television I immediately had
to own one too. At the time, the only place that sold them was Star Market in
Salinas and they cost $88, which was a lot in 1980-something. Nevertheless, I
bought one and a second for my mom. Because if I loved it, I knew she would too!
To anyone else it's just a brass pepper mill next to my stove. However,
to me, it's memories of late-night feedings and laughing over the noises
John and his co-host made as they slurped up pasta covered in crushed
tomatoes and drizzled with olive oil. And, it's remembering how much my
mom loved that I bought her a pepper mill too. Lots of things comfort me in
my home but nowhere else does it happen as often as it does in my kitchen!
Where were we before I was transported back home? Oh, Chili... Yes, Chili!
So after your onions become translucent, remove them and the celery
to a plate. Add a little more olive oil and when it's poppin' hot, add chuck
roast cut into cubes. More salt and pepper and then brown the chuck!
By the way, I'm still loving this KitchenAid gas range I won at Mixed last
year! I'm so excited about attending this year's conference I can barely stand
it. Happening again on top of a mountain in Virginia at the newly renovated,
Mountain Lake Lodge, I know our hostesses Paula and Susan are already
busy going waaay out of their way to both wow and pamper us at the same time!
I understand there are a few tickets left, so if you're looking for
an amazing time, I highly recommend you pick Mixed. It's the
end-all, be-all of blogger conferences as far as I'm concerned!
After the chuck is browned on all sides, add back the onions, celery and garlic...
Then, add a couple of cans of tomato sauce and a can or two of diced
tomatoes too. I love these seasoned with basil, garlic and oregano!
If you prefer chili without beans you're welcome to stop here. Just
add a couple of cups of beef stock and simmer and hour or two!
But seriously... Chili just isn't chili without beans! I like to use kidney
and black beans but there are no rules here. Use whatever beans you like!
In terms of how much of this and how much of that, I always suggest you
cook to the size of your pot and to the taste of those you plan to feed!
You prefer no meat? Less meat? More spice, less spice? You decide. After all,
baking is science and requires precise measurements - But cooking is all
about taste. So experiment to make whatever you're cooking your own!
A few years ago, when I blogged my chili for the first time, I mentioned that hot
sauce didn't live in our house. Well, that was before I attended Jon Ashton's local
show last year and he introduced me to Texas Pete! By the way, Texas Pete
is a Winston-Salem based company but it took a celebrity chef all the way
from Liverpool England to bring it to my attention! How crazy is that?
The other crazy thing is how much I really love Texas Pete! It's fabulous 
in chili, sure... However, better than that, Texas Pete adds a deep, smokey
kiss no other hot sauce is capable of delivering! Okay, enough of the chit-chat...
After simmering for two hours... It's chili time! But not tonight. It's too late
for chili now. But you're invited to check back tomorrow for my husband's


  1. There's nothing like a big pot of chilli is there! I love the story of your pepper grinder and all the memories that it brings back for you. xx

  2. That's a delicious looking pot of chili!! Making me hungry.

  3. Yummy!!! It is getting cooler in Oklahoma and chili would be good to come home too!! The cornbread looks delicious too!!

    Love your site! I think I found your site when I was looking for suggestions on what to send my nephew while he was in Afghanistan.


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