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Dinner last night... - Tina Marie's Ramblings
Red hair and black leather, my favorite colour scheme...
Dinner last night...
I made chili last night. Actually, I made this: Alton Brown Chili.

It was very different. While it was cooking, my apartment smelled (well, still does) like curry. The meat was perfectly done - it just sort of fell apart. I thought it was a bit on the spicy side, but not too much.

I'll probably make it again, only next time I'll serve it over rice. Or boiled potatoes. Or use the alternate method (250F oven for 4 hours), add potatoes and carrots halfway through, and make a stew.

Anyway, it was way good with cornbread crumbled into it. And you can't beat a half-hour chili recipe.

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Current Mood: pleased pleased

6 comments or Leave a comment
From: robnorth Date: November 18th, 2004 09:22 am (UTC) (Link)
Cumin is a really under-rated spice. IMHO, it makes the difference between chili that tastes like ketchup and beans, and chili that tastes like CHILI.

It's also a primary ingredient in curry powder, which was why you "smelled like curry". (The name "curry" comes from "coriander", which is usually 2d or 3d on the curry powder ingredients list, but cumin is usually number 1.) Cumin is also used a lot in Chinese cooking.

A really neat way to have rice, if you're bored with plain old white rice but don't want to fart around, is to heat a bit of oil, toss in 1/2 t or so of whole cumin seeds — crunch 'em a bit between your fingers first — and when the seeds start to pop a bit, toss in the rice, stir it around a bit, add the water, bring to boil, cover, lower heat, etc.

If you want to make samosas, the dough is basically a buttload of flour, a few T of cumin (say 1 T per cup of flour), a bit of salt, and enough water to make it into a dough. Let rest for an hour or so after kneading, then roll out, fill with samosa goodness, fold and crimp, then deep-fry (or, for low-fat samosas, brush with oil and then bake at around 425F). Samosa filling can be whatever you want, really — there are places here that sell breakfast samosas, filled with egg, potato, and bacon. Typical is potatoes and peas, with perhaps some meat (beef, chicken, lamb), spiced in a curry-ish way (either curry powder or your own special mix). Yum.

My wife has an aunt who's allergic to cumin. That makes it difficult for her to eat out here; believe it or not, lots of the pizza places put cumin in the dough, because it's What They're Used To.* There are only a very few pizza places here in Surrey that it's safe for her to order from.

* According to these tables, in 2001 Surrey had 17% of the population speaking Punjabi or Hindi as their mother tongue. Allow for their kids who probably call English their mother tongue (true of those who immigrated 10 years or more ago, I suspect) and you get probably 25-30% of our 400k population being of South Asian origin. Getting curry, Indian sweets, spices, cheap samosas, and all sorts of things here is Not A Problem. My aunt-in-law does whine a bit about the whole cumin-in-the-pizza-dough thing, though, on the grounds that pizza's Italian, not Indian, dammit!

For fun, in Canada as a whole, Chinese is now the 3rd most common mother tongue, at about 3%, behind English at about 60% and French at about 23%. Italian and German are next at about 1.5% each, but Punjabi is now 6th at almost 1%. And (a) that was in 2001, and I'm sure it's grown since, and (b) they're all concentrated in Vancouver and Toronto. I'm tempted to start learning conversational Punjabi, just for the hell of it, and to be able to read some of the store signs here.
skywhisperer From: skywhisperer Date: November 18th, 2004 12:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ooh, this would be really good in samosas, too! I'll add that to my list. :)

inviolet suggested putting it in the bottom of a pan, pouring cornbread batter on top, and baking. That also has potential.
From: robnorth Date: November 18th, 2004 02:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
<Homer>Mmmmmmmm, chili samosas....</Homer>

I've heard of the cornbread-batter-on-top idea before, but never tried it. One of these days.... I bet it would work great in a crock pot, too. Kinda like how my mom useta make stew with dumplings on top.

Damn, I want chili tonight!
From: robnorth Date: November 19th, 2004 09:38 am (UTC) (Link)

Got chili!

Woo-hoo! On the way to work from the SkyTrain station, I pass by the football stadium. The local team, the BC Lions, are in Sunday's Grey Cup. A radio station was trying to have a little "tailgate party" in front of the stadium, and they were giving out free chili and root beer. Mmmmm, chili for breakfast. And this one had lots of cumin in it. Yum!

Quelle serendipity!!!
alioth1 From: alioth1 Date: November 18th, 2004 10:13 am (UTC) (Link)


I love curry. I love chili.

When I'm next over, can you make me some (and show me what you did making it - my chili cooking methods, whilst they work pretty well, are unrefined and are of the Road Kill variety).
skywhisperer From: skywhisperer Date: November 18th, 2004 12:09 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Mmmm

I'd be glad to. BTW, when are you coming over for a visit?
6 comments or Leave a comment