Friday, May 20, 2011

Fire Roasting Chiles

I wanted to share a few shots of us roasting 6 lbs of chiles for our party we’re doing tomorrow night.

These are both Anaheim and Poblano. We hit them with a roofing torch while lighting some Mesquite Chunk charcoal.

After they’re well browned on both sides we move them off the heat and close the lid, but leave a vent open to keep the heat up so the chiles will soften before we take them in the house and remove the charred skin, stems, seeds and veins. They are good with any grill roasted meats, poultry or fish, and also just plain with a pinch of Mexican Oregano, a squeeze of Key lime and a pinch of coarse salt.

Charro Beans

I’ve been cooking private parties for the past 35 years, more or less. In that time we’ve come up with some bullet proof recipes. What I mean by that is they are always welcome as far as flavor, they hold extremely well, so if there is a time crunch and we need to wait to serve they will still be delicious and they go well with grill roasted meats. We finished the recipe for our Charro Beans about 20 years ago and I will see people that I cooked for way back then and they will say, “I loved those Charro beans!” The trick to any beans is slow and low. Allow them to become soft before adding salt or anything else except a little vinegar. And always have a second pot of hot water on the stove to add as the water cooks down. And the big secret to great beans that was taught to me by my daughter Katie and was taught to her by her inlaws; COLD WATER ADDED TO BEANS THAT ARE COOKING CAUSES THEM TO TIGHTEN UP AND MAKES THEM TOUGH.

This recipe will amaze your friends and family. I love good fresh bread with a little butter and an ice cold beer with a big bowl of Charro Beans. Mmmmmm!

Charro Beans

Frijoles a la Charra

3 cups (about 1 pound) dried pink beans

1 tablespoon white vinegar

6 cups water

1 bottle of Negro Modelo Mexican beer

3/4 pound bacon, fried, crumbled, and drained (reserve 2 tablespoons of the drippings for finish)

1 white onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1-tablespoon corn oil

4 poblano chiles, roasted, peeled, and chopped

2 dried chipotle chiles

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1-teaspoon ground cumin

1-teaspoon whole Mexican oregano

1 1/2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

Finishing ingredients:

2 tablespoons bacon drippings

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 white onion, finely chopped

4 Roma tomatoes, chopped

1 jalapeño, finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon Mexican oregano

1/3 cup Tequila

Sort beans, removing any foreign material, and rinse well. Place beans in a large pot filled with water and white vinegar. Bring to a simmer and slow cook until tender. If extra water is needed add but be sure to use boiling water. Add beer, bacon, onion, garlic, oil, chiles, salt, cumin, oregano and cilantro and simmer for 20 minutes for flavors to blend.

To finish:

In a skillet over medium heat, sauté the onion and garlic in the reserved bacon drippings for about 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Add all other finishing ingredients and simmer for about 5 minutes; add to pot of beans. Simmer for 1/2 hour more. Adjust seasoning. Serve .

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Argentinean Giant Cereus Blooms Red!

This is the time of years when we see all the colors that this beautiful Sonoran desert has to offer. Below is a picture of an Argentinean Giant Cereus but it has an unusual color of bloom.

Most often this prolific cactus offers giant white blossoms that smell like jasmine flowers. A few years ago Kathy and I were driving down Scottsdale road and saw a few of these in bloom in 5-gallon containers.

I had never seen one of these in this red color and so we turned around and I bought one. I have about 120 different kinds of cactus that I’ve been collecting for the last 35 years. This one didn’t bloom for the first few years and I was worried that it would just come out white. But a few days ago I saw that it was ready to pop. This morning as I was putting together our new solar hot water system I noticed that it was in fact red and so when it popped I grabbed the camera and here it is. Another unusual fact is, that it is pollinated by a giant white moth that comes at night. My friend Ed has waited for it to come, as he flowers only set for a few nights a year. He waited on his patio with his camera. He said that the night it came the moon was full and it sounded like a big humming bird and was quite a bit larger. He got a few shots but has not sent them to me. If he sends them I’ll share them.

Monday, May 16, 2011

This God a Poem by Daigneault

This God A Poem by Daigneault

Not wanting to join

They say, “I’m spiritual”

Mom and her folks

Believed every word

My education tells me

The world is more than 5000 years old

And I man cannot live

In a fish for 40 days

A written text

Handed down for generations

Christian, Muslim and Jew

Claim this god

But deny love

To their brothers

As our world burns

With murder, rape and greed

Chasing the unholy

In pursuit of possession

This God of my father

So distant

In the hours of pain

When all looks lost

We turn to this god

Who’s name we’ve lost

To find him close and new

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Texas Truck Stop Red Chili

Texas Truck Stop Red Chili

My friend Bob boze Bell's son Tommmy dropped me a note asking for my Red Chili recipe. Bob drew the label for my 'Chili from Hell' 25 years ago, and when Tommy was about 16 we had a chili ceremony in my back yard where I gave Tommy the spoon I was given by world chili authority and the guy that taught me how to think about flavors Andy Householder. That's just how we do things out here in Cave Creek. As I told Tommy a recipe is more of a general direction than a road map. It will help you find your way.

This red chili is delicious and so easy to make. Give it a try.

1-1/2 LB Beef Tri tip, cubed

1/2 LB Ground pork

2 14-OZ CANS Chicken broth

1 8-OZ CAN Tomato sauce

2 BOTTLES Budweiser beer

2 Large white onions, chopped

3 CLOVES Garlic, finely minced

1/4 C Mild New Mexico chili powder

2 TSP Cumin

1 TSP Whole Mexican oregano

1/2 TSP Ground cayenne pepper

1/2 LB Grated Colby or cheddar cheese

Salt to taste

1. In a large frying pan brown off the meat and half the onion and drain well. Bring the chicken broth and tomato sauce to a boil in a large steel pot. Add the chili powder, oregano and cayenne pepper to the chicken broth. Boil over medium high heat for 15 minutes.

2. Add meat, reduce heat to medium and boil for 30 minutes. Keep a good eye on your pot -- do not let it get too thick. If it's getting thick, open one beer and pour half into the pot and the other half into the cook and reduce heat a little.

3. Stir often. Don't let it stick or burn. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 45 minutes or more. Once again the chili should be lightly thick like a cream soup until the last 15 minutes of cooking. As before, if the chili is too thick, open the other beer and pour half into the pot and the other half into the cook. If the chili looks about right, pour the entire beer into the cook.