The Literate Chef

Da’s Famous, Flame-O Chili (Five Alarm)

In Meat, Recipes on November 16, 2014 at 3:44 PM

Da’s Famous, Flame-O Chili (Five Alarm)

Da’s Famous, Flame-O Chili (Five Alarm)

(Preparation Time – Active 1 hour; Total – 3 hours – Makes about 6 quarts)

I’ve been perfecting this chili over the past 45 or so years, in an attempt to replicate the one served at the long-defunct Alamo Chili House on West 44th Street in Midtown Manhattan. Several friends and I used to visit the “Alamo” for the perfect hangover remedy, back in the days of youthful imbibing. A bowl of their famous chili and a bottle of Dos Equis, and we were ready to go back to work and get through the afternoon, relatively unscathed by the vestiges of our hangovers.

This is a seriously hot chili. The meat to bean ration is about 3:1, so adding more beans and reducing the number of jalapeños and/or dried spices, may make it more palatable to those who can’t take the heat. The addition of sour cream and/or shredded cheddar cheese with each serving, will also help tone down the heat factor.

This recipe makes about 6 quarts of Chili. It will easily serve 8 people and leave 2 quarts, which can be individually frozen for those coming cold winter days and nights.

Ingredients:

1/4-cup canola oil
5 – 6 pounds ground chuck
2 large or 3 medium yellow onions, chopped coarsely
10 cloves of garlic, chopped coarsely
2 bottles of beer

Dry Spice Mix Of:

7 Tbsps. Chili Powder
4 Tbsps. Ground Cumin
4 Tbsps. Hot Hungarian Paprika
3 Tbsps. Whole Cumin Seeds
1 Tbsp. Cayenne Pepper
½ Tbsp. Dried Oregano

2 28 oz. cans whole tomatoes, chopped and with liquid
3 Jalapeño peppers, chopped coarsely
2 Jalapeño peppers sliced
2 19.5 oz. cans of Kidney Beans, drained and rinsed

Procedure:

1. In a large sauté pan, heat canola oil, add meat, break it up and brown it stirring frequently, transfer meat and liquid to an 8 quart pot.
2. Add beer, onions and garlic to the pot, cook 5 minutes.
3. Stir in the dry spice mix.
4. Add tomatoes and jalapeños, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes, uncovered.
6. Cover and cook on low heat for 90 minutes, stirring occasionally.
7. Add beans and cook 30 minutes more, uncovered.

Serve with your cerveza favorita!

Crispy Brussels Sprouts, Glazed with Pomegranate Molasses & Hazelnuts

In Recipes, Vegetables on November 15, 2014 at 12:42 PM

Crispy Brussels Sprouts with Pomegranate Molasses and Roasted Hazelnuts

Crispy Brussels Sprouts with Pomegranate Molasses and Roasted Hazelnuts

(Preparation Time, 50 minutes, serves 2 or 3)

Last month, while visiting friends down at The Shore, we dined, as usual at their favorite restaurant, Brandl. On this most recent occasion, the menu listed Crispy Brussels Sprouts, roasted with pomegranate molasses. As a fairly recent devotee of this much-maligned vegetable, I could not resist ordering them. Herewith, with a little addition, as suggested by my wife (hazelnuts, which we have used in the past with Brussels Sprouts) is our attempt to re-create what turned out to be a delicious accompaniment to an excellent meal at Brandl.

Ingredients:

1 lb. Baby Brussels Sprouts, (if you cannot obtain the small ones, merely use the regular ones, sliced in half)
¼ cup Pomegranate Molasses (see below)
½ cup unsalted, chopped hazelnuts

Procedure:

1. Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees.
2. Line a shallow roasting pan with heavy-duty aluminum foil.
3. Trim off the stem ends of the sprouts, as well as any yellow leaves.
4. Rinse and dry the sprouts, and add them to a mixing bowl. Toss well with the pomegranate molasses.
5. Add the hazelnuts and toss well again.
6. Evenly spread the sprouts on the roasting pan, place high in the oven and roast for 25 minutes.

To prepare the Pomegranate Molasses:

• Add 1 cup of pomegranate juice to a 1-quart pot, bring to a boil and reduce by half.
• Shut the heat, whisk in 6 Tbsps. of Grandma’s Molasses. Bring to a low boil and reduce back to 1/2 cup.
• Use ¼ cup for the Brussels Sprouts and refrigerate the remainder for up to two weeks, for the next time.

Rigatoni all’ Amatriciana

In Pasta, Recipes on November 9, 2014 at 5:36 PM

The sauce for this pasta dish originated in the town of Amatrice, which is in the Lazio Region of Italy, northeast of Rome. Many recipes call for the use of guanciale, which is not always readily available, so if I am unable to get it, I use pancetta, which is perfectly acceptable. One could also use prosciutto, as well. However, if you can obtain guanciale, I would recommend trying it, as it has a slightly different pork flavor and texture. The classic pasta shape used with an Amatriciana sauce is bucatini; however, because of its thickness, it can be somewhat difficult to wrap around your fork. I find that rigatoni works well as the sauce and the pancetta work their way into the pasta tube, giving you more flavor in each mouthful. But, once again try the bucatini yourself for a different eating experience.

Rigatoni all' Amatriciana

Rigatoni all’ Amatriciana

 Active Preparation Time 45 minutes; Serves 4

Ingredients:

4 Tbsp. olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb. pancetta, diced, or cut into matchsticks of 1/4 inch.
1 medium onion, chopped
1/4 cup red wine
2 28 oz. cans San Marzano Tomatoes
1 lb. Rigatoni

Procedure:

  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil for the pasta
  2. Heat the olive oil in a skillet on medium high.
  3. Add the garlic and stir well for about 30 seconds, add the pancetta and lower heat to medium.
  4. Cook pancetta, stirring regularly, for about 4 minutes.
  5. Raise heat to high and continue stirring until the fat is rendered and pancetta is just before getting crisp, about 2 minutes more.
  6. Remove pancetta with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  7. Pour off the fat except for about 1/4 cup.
  8. Add the onion and cook until soft, stirring to scrap up the fond. Add the wine and deglaze the pan.
  9. Add the rigatoni to the boiling water and cook for one minute less than al dente.
  10. Crush the tomatoes and add to the skillet. Add back the pancetta. Cook on medium for about 8 to 10 minutes.
  11. Drain the rigatoni and add to the sauce, mix well for about 30 seconds.
  12. Serve with grated Pecorino-Romano
  13. We recommend a good Italian red wine to accompany thus dish.

One of our favorites is a Barbera D’Asti Superiore from the Piemonte region of Italy. Quigley Fine Wines imports an excellent one called Sola. It is produced by Agricola Bertolino.

Sola Barbera D'Asti

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