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Old 12-02-2006, 10:50 AM   #21
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Kitchen Elf thank for the reminder. We frequently put our peppers, tomatoes, and onions in the smoker too. It adds wonderful depth of flavor.

Nick, I've been thinking about this - not sure about the sugar - get a box of the Mexican hot chocolate bars and add one or two of the little chunks. Use as many different peppers as you like - each one contributes to the whole and adds a different level of heat that will hit your mouth in different places.
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Old 12-02-2006, 04:19 PM   #22
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Harborwitch - I tried a bit of unsweetened colombian chocolate, but didn't go fo it. Cinnamon and Chocolate don't mix right with Cumin in my mouth for some reason.

Been reading a bunch more recipes today. I'm going to try using a smoked ham hock in my chili. Heading out to pick one up. Gonna' see how smoky pork makes the red taste along with bell peppers and a bit of brown sugar instead of honey.
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Old 12-03-2006, 11:09 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harborwitch
Nick, a few ideas: BBQ some pork butt chunks, cube them up and toss them in the chili. Home smoked pork also is really really good. We really like grilling our meat so that it chars on the outside and gives that smokey flavor to the chili. Smoked lamb makes incredible chili (especially with black beans)! --

-- Hominy is great in chili - but then it's not classic. Chili is such a FUN food. Relax and have great fun with it .
Harborwitch, that's the basis for my Posole, smoked pork butt, hominy, caramelized veggies, lots of cumin, etc. PeppA, my other half, can't get enough of the stuff! She's been after me for several months to smoke a pork butt and and make some Posole. Since Posole is traditionally a Christmas dish, I might have to do it.
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Old 12-03-2006, 11:26 AM   #24
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Smoked Pork Shoulder is pretty common in the grocery stores up here. Many people make boiled dinner with it similar to how you would make corned beef and cabbage. Growing up, it's actually what we ate rather than corned beef.

I loved leftovers. I would pull the pork into shreds, and make cakes out of it with leftover mashed potatoes and chopped carrots. Then I would pan-fry them and have'em with some cabbage.

Anyhoo, that Posole sounds great!
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I'm headed out to Barnes & Nobles to check out their books on chili. I'm on a darn mission now...

Might stop for some sushi for lunch.
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Old 12-03-2006, 12:37 PM   #25
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Oh my Posole is one of our favorites foods! Somewhere I have a hysterical photo of our first Granddaughter at 9 months stuffing herself with Posole! It was the first time she'd had it - and she fell in love with it.
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Old 12-03-2006, 05:48 PM   #26
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I checked out a few chili books and some chili recipes at Barnes & Noble. I was looking at the "America's Test Kitchen" books and found that their recipe is quite similar to what I last came up with, but they added bacon for extra smoke and flavor. I haven't ran the latest batch of chili yet, but I'm hoping the ham hock will make a good addition.

I also picked up "A Cowboy in the Kitchen" by Grady Spears and Robb Walsh. Has some interesting stuff. I really don't have any books on food from the south-west, so this will be a great addition to my collection. Hoping it helps me a bit with my chili quest too.
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Old 12-03-2006, 10:23 PM   #27
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Chipotle peppers are neat for heat and complexity.

Try adding some ground chorizo sausage along with the beef cubes. Brown it and break it down real fine.
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Old 12-06-2006, 10:12 AM   #28
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Bill - Chipotles are definetly in my mix, I love the flavor, smoke, and heat they bring! The chorizo sounds interesting...
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Here is what I used in my last batch...

Lard As Needed
2lbs Beef (Diced/Ground)
1 Smoked Ham Hock
4oz Finely Diced Yellow Onion
4oz Finely Diced Bell Pepper
1oz Minced Garlic
1oz All Purpose Flour
2oz Chipotle Chile's w/Adobo Sauce - Minced
2-T Toasted/Ground Ancho Chiles
1-T Mexican Oregano
2-t Toasted/Ground Cumin Seed
1/2-t Ground Coriander Seed
12fl.oz. Beer (A Medium Ale)
12fl.oz. Beef/Veal Stock
12fl.oz. Tomato Puree
2-T Cider Vinegar
1-T Brown Sugar
Kosher Salt & Black Pepper

I tried it this time with coarsely ground beef, but I think small-dice round is what I prefer. The smoked ham hock reinforces the smokiness of the chipotles, and the molasses in the brown sugar is an excellent component that bridges multiple flavor components. I found using all Ancho chiles (rather than a mix of Anchos/Pasillas) works just as good for me. The bell peppers add a heckuva' lot more flavor than the Anaheims I was using before. There are a couple others things I want to try...

1. Use 1-T toasted/powdered Chipotles rather than 2oz of canned Chipotles.

2. Change liquid ratios and amounts. I think there is a bit too much tomato flavor, and a hair too much volume. It's not bad, but next batch will be 16fl.oz. Beer, 8fl.oz. Stock, 8fl.oz. Tomato Puree. I'd definetly like a little more presence of the beer that is barely there in the background.

3. Brown the beef, make the sauce (and simmer for 30min), strain over the beef, and then braise for ~90min. I want to strain out the little bits of onion, pepper, and garlic. A bit "fancy" for chile, but texture is a big deal for me, and I appreciate smooth sauces. Another option would be to grate the onion/pepper and mash the garlic into a paste. I'm not quite sure that would be enough though. Roasting/peeling the peppers might be a good idea too.
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I've read a few new recipes that have given me ideas as well. Using roasted garlic rather than raw, and using homemade chile puree/paste rather than tomatoes which is said by many to "overpower" the natural flavor of the chile. A recent recipe I've read uses the following...

4 Toasted Ancho Chiles
4 Toasted New Mexican Chiles
1 Toasted Chipotle Chile
3-C Liquid (Stock/Beer/Water)
3oz Onion
1/2oz Garlic

Combine all in a pot, simmer for 20min, and blend to a puree/paste. I would then replace my tomato puree with this chile puree and reduce the dried chile amounts by 1/3-2/3.

I'm going to give it a run as soon as I can source some New Mexican Chiles.
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Old 12-06-2006, 10:55 AM   #29
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Harborwitch - I'm giving your spice shop a try. Ordered some Saffron, Chiles, and Szechuan PC.
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Old 12-06-2006, 01:56 PM   #30
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Penzey's is a wonderful place for spices of all kinds, I highly recommend this place. http://www.penzeys.com

I don't like my chili too hot (I want to be able to get it past my throat LoL) and I used to not like beans either.

1 lb ground beef
1 lb ground turkey
onion, garlic to your taste

3 smalll cans tomato paste
2 cans dark red kidney beans, drain (reserve on the side)
2 cans pinto beans, drain (reserve on the side)
1 large can tomato sauce
SPICES: cumin / salt / pepper / a touch of oregano
Peppers (I experiment w/these, Dad grows all kinds)

I said to reserve the bean juice just in case it's TOO thick for you, then add as needed. I don't like to use water when I can add something flavorful.

I feel I left something out, but can't think of it right now. :-) I'll come back and edit if needed.

I want to try a dark beer, sounds delicious.

As far as the ground beef and turkey, you can use whatever you want, chunks of beef and turkey sound good too.

To me, chili is a put together with what you have type of dinner. I am not entering a chili cookoff. LoL
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