Hot Biscuits and Chili

Standard

A friend of mine is American.  Her fav recipes from being a kid wasn’t exactly a main dish; it was her mother’s biscuits. I asked her what she normally had them with and she said, “I guess they’d go well with my Dad’s chili.” So I snagged that recipe as well.   Biscuits make me think of the southern states, probably erroneously. But either way, they weren’t something we ever had on my kitchen table growing up, but I figured they had to be simple enough. And they are.

Let’s start with the chili though:

Ingredients

5 Onions
1 Head of Garlic
5 Shallots
1lb Ground Beef
1/2 lb Ground Pork
5 Medium-sized Carrots, chopped
6 Stalks of Celery, chopped
3 Peppers, red, yellow and orange, chopped
2 Cans Whole Tomatoes
1 Can Black Beans
Chili Powder to taste

Get a few tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil heated up in a soup pot.

Chop 5 yellow onions, 5 shallots, a head of garlic roughly. throw them into the pot and turn the heat down to medium and saute until everything is translucent, but not golden.

Add a pound of medium ground beef and a half a pound of pork. Make sure to break up the meat while it’s cooking. Add a 1/2 teaspoon of Sea Salt and crack some pepper over the meat. I find the chili tastes the best when the meat is as broken up as possible.

Keep cooking the meat and the onions to make sure the flavours begin to meld. After about 10 minutes, add the peeled and chopped carrots & celery and let cook for another ten minutes. Dice up 3 peppers, cored and seeded, and throw them in. Let it cook for another 10.

If you want to, you can chop up some potatoes and throw them in.

Add in two cans of whole tomatoes and one can of chopped tomatoes.

Stir it up and let simmer for a few minutes before adding a can of black or red kidney beans.

Keep the heat on low to medium, keep stirring and let simmer for 2 hours or so.

You can serve immediately, with some cheddar grated over it or, ideally, remove from heat and let it cool, then refrigerate overnight.

Biscuits

2 1/2 Cups Flour

2 1/2 tsps Baking Powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 tbsp sugar

1/2 sticks of cold butter

3/4 cup milk

1 egg

 

Preheat to 400

mix dry ingredients together thoroughly
add butter cut and cold
use pastry blender to cut butter into dry ingredients until it looks all crumbly.
Add milk or butter milk and beaten egg and mix it up into a big sticky, gooey ball of dough

Roll the dough out to about 1, 1-1/2 inches thick and use a round cookie cutter, about 3 inches across to cut the dough

Brush w either buttermilk or 1 egg beaten mixed w 1 tbsp milk and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment

Bake for 10-15 minutes, until the biscuits are nice and golden brown on top, or a toothpick can come out clean when they’re pricked. When you take them out of the oven, cool them on a wire rack.

These can be rewarmed in the oven wrapped in aluminum foil and sprinkled w a touch of water. Rip them open and cover them butter before eating.

tea-biscuits.jpg

Advertisements

Chicken Chickpea Masala

Standard

Chicken Masala 1

My friend Simone told me she loves to cook her mother’s Chicken Chickpea Masala. She also said it’s one of the only traditional recipes her mother has that doesn’t take all day to make. We made it together and I was blown away by how fast, simple and tasty it was.

Ingredients:

5 Onions

6 Cloves of Garlic

2 tbsp Olive Oil/Vegetable Oil

2 tsps ground cumin

2 tsps ground coriander

2 tsps turmeric

Ground Pepper

1/2 tsp (or to taste) Cayenne (optional)

Chicken, boneless, skinless, cut into 1-2 inch cubes

2 Cans Tomatoes

Yogurt

Fresh Cilantro

1 19oz can Chickpeas

In a large sauce pan, heat the oil and add the garlic/onions. Saute until they’re translucent. Add your spices. Saute for a few minutes on medium heat, mixing everything together. Turn the heat up to medium-high, add your chicken and cook until it’s turned white. Add the chickpeas and some of their liquid to the mixture. Stir it up, turn the heat back down to medium and throw a top on the pot. Leave it for 5 minutes before adding the tomatoes. Cook on medium for another 5 minutes, then reduce heat so the liquid remains at a simmer. Put the top back on and cook for another 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Crack some pepper into the mix, add a sprinkle of sea salt, and mix it up and serve. You can top with some greek yogurt and fresh cilantro.

Chicken Masala 2

My Grandmother’s Veal Parmigiana

Standard
Veal

Veal

Growing up, my favorite dish was my mother’s Veal Parmigiana. When she married my old man, her new mother-in-law gave her a few family recipes, this of which is one. When I moved out and had too learn a few recipes of my own, this is the first one I asked for. Over the years I’ve made some tweaks here and there, but it’s essentially the same thing: delicious.

 

First, start with a simple tomato sauce. Very simple.

2 Cans of Tomato Juice

2 Cans of Tomato Paste

5 Cloves of Garlic

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Grated Parm Cheese

 

Using a large knife, smash five cloves of garlic and toss them into a sauce pot to saute in olive oil for a few minutes. Add the two large cans of tomato juice and the two cans of paste. Stir and bring the sauce to a boil. Turn down and let simmer for a few hours, reducing the sauce until it’s nice and thick. The reason the sauce has no extras; no onions, no peppers, is because I want the veal the bring the flavour, not the sauce. If I were making some pasta, I’d make a sauce with more ingredients, as the pasta is merely a conduit for the sauce. But go ahead and make your own, or even buy a jarred one that you love.

 

For the veal:
1 egg
Bread Crumbs
Mozzarella
Veal Cutlets

Beat the egg in a bowl

Pour some breadcrumbs on a plate

Coat a cutlet in egg, then dredge in the breadcrumbs and throw it on a plate. Once all the veal’s battered, heat some oil in a large frying pan and fry the veal until the coating is a nice golden brown. Remove the cutlets from the oil and put them on some paper towel on a plate to soak up some of the oil.

When all the veal’s been fried, take a roasting pan and cover the bottom with your tomato sauce. Layer a few pieces of veal on the bottom, then throw a few pieces of mozzarella on top of them. Here’s where my recipe differs from my mother’s: I prefer to layer the ingredients on top of one another in a small, square dish, while my mother would do only one layer in a larger pan. Either way works. Continue to layer: meat, cheese, sauce. After each layer, crack some pepper over it. Top off with lots of mozzarella and throw it in the oven at 350C for 20 minutes. If you want, throw the broiler on for the last 3 minutes and move the pan to the top shelf to crust up the cheese.

When it’s done, let it sit for a few minutes to cool down and then dig in. We used to have this with a small side of pasta and garlic, and a spinach salad to start.

What I’m Doing Here

Standard

I moved out when I was 19. After about 3 months of eating microwaveable food and lots of bagels, I started realizing that my personal “cuisine” wasn’t all it could be. I definitely wasn’t enjoying my meals as much as I could, and they probably weren’t very nutritious. I figured I could use some help, so I went home and asked my parents for the recipes to some of my favourite dishes from my childhood. These recipes have done me well for long enough, but I’ve been growing restless in my options. I figured the best way to learn was through trying as many dishes as I could, so I’ve decided that I’m going to call up a different friend each week and asked them for their favorite childhood recipes, then I’m going to get together with their parents and cook it with them so I can learn exactly how they do it.  By the end of it, I should have a decent sized recipe book to draw my daily dinners from.