Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Legume Wednesday: Chili

Yesterday, I was so excited. I'd found a ton of tasty looking crock pot recipes for dried beans and had even set out my pinto beans to soak overnight. I was going to do Legume Wednesday! Really do it, with beans and the being on time part. Everything. Plus, finally some real food in the house.

Of course, nothing is ever that easy. This morning, I noticed a few tiny black bugs floating on the water of my bean cup. As I stirred it, more came floating up. Oh yeah, I've got weevils. Thanks to a friend, I can safely assume I have greater rice weevils. Living in my pantry. In my food. The kind that goes in your mouth. You can imagine the cringe here. 28 bugs for 1 cup of beans. ONE CUP! 28 WEEVILS! That's insane. And there could be larvae in the beans themselves. Ugh.

With a bit of research, I found that weevils are generally safe to eat, though not generally appetizing in my part of the world. Still. They were already soaked and everything. And I've eaten worse. So fine. I'll see if I can stomach tiny cooked larvae in my baked beans. Except for the fact that I was supposed to use black-eyed peas instead of pinto beans in the recipe. skty8uhwuiwgvk! Back to the drawing board.

I couldn't find anything with the same amounts of tidbits that I had, but I noticed that my ingredients looked suspiciously like the chili recipes I had been finding. Crock pot + off the hip recipe with leftovers + time. It couldn't be that bad, right? Well, right actually. Except for the fact that the beans were a bit dry and not as soft as I would like, it had a good flavor. (I'm ignoring the "extra protein" found in the bugs. There ARE no bugs. It was a dream.) I added about 1/2 of rice because I wasn't going to make any separately and it needed to be used. This is a super pantry meal because everything is adjustable to what you have on hand and what spices you like. Overall: success.

Crock Pot Chili

1 lb ground beef, browned
1 c dried beans, soaked (larvae optional)
1/2 green pepper, chopped
1 T onion flakes
1 1/2 tsp chili powder
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp beef bouillon
2 cubes tomato bouillon dissolved in about 2 cups of hot water.

Throw in crock pot and cook on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 6-8 hours. Or whenever you remember to turn it off. Check occasionally to stir and add water if needed.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Last Christmas Round-up

Dude. I cooked like crazy this Christmas. I've totally forgotten a bunch of stuff. I had a third round of baking as a present for my step-dad. I was looking for Splenda recipes that didn't suck, because diabetic food shouldn't taste that way. There were three batches: chocolate with chocolate chip, peanut butter with chocolate chips, and "sugar" cookies. They all turned out pretty well. Can I find the website anymore? No. Still, I managed to pump out dozens in about two hours due to severe dictatorship on my part and a very efficient assembly line.

When me and Dude went to visit my dad, I baked several mini-banana breads using a recipe I'd wanted to try for a while and mini-apple tarts with apples that were wilting. Did I get to try either? No. I even made some for myself this time and forgot about them in the holiday rush. I hear they were great. Maybe I'll cook them again one day and actually tell you what they tasted like.

There was also a bit about yogurt chocolate-chip cookies that Dude said were the best he'd ever had. In my opinion, pretty good but no cigar. Plus, can't find the site. Sigh.

Sorry guys. If I don't write it down or type it up in a timely manner, I might never remember what they are. I'll try harder next time.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Roast Buttered Chestnuts

I'd nearly forgotten. A few months ago I ventured into the classic tradition of roast chestnuts. Gastronomy Domine has a recipe that embellishes a classic flavor with butter. You knew I was all over that, right? Well, I'm not sure how I feel about chestnuts. I think mine were a little past their prime, so they tasted a bit funny. Underneath was the sweet, nutty flavor that is the true flavor. It was nice, but I'm not sure I'm sold. Still, I got to try something new. And for me, that's worth way more.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Bean and Barley Soup

How has everyone been? Well, I've been much better since my new computer has finally arrived. It's been painful without it. Would you believe that I couldn't update the blog on my borrowed laptop? It would let me on the page! Because of that, you've missed this recipe. Well, it's another Zylo recipe, so it's more an outline than anything else. Still, it's good, I got to use of leftovers, and it's made with things I had on hand. Read: perfect. I also lived on this for a week. Since school started, I haven't cooked anything of value and have been living off fast food. This was the only healthy thing I've had since. Let's see where I go from here, yeah?

Bean and Barley Soup

1-2 quarts water depending on how soupy you want
Enough stock to flavor, I used the rest of my chicken boullion and 1 tomato cube
1 cup pearl barley
1 cup lentils or beans of choice (I usually keep lentils on hand, plus no pre-cooking)
1 can tomatoes or roughly 3 chopped
Chopped broccoli (again, what I had on hand and I love broccoli in my soups)

Bring water to a boil. Dissolve boullion. Dump in everything else and cook for 1-2 hours. Eat.