We have a food backlog at our house. From drooling over recipes in books, and from haunting the nearby farmers' market twice a week (though we have cut back), even from foraging simply because certain things are in season and must be gathered — we have too much food on hand.
Add to that the pressures of this darned blog — with the cooking events, holiday meals and general show-offiness of the food blogosphere — and I've got too much in the pipeline to bother with Cranky's manly annual yearning for something as trite as chili for the Super Bowl.
And yet. And yet.
There we were in the kitchen together yesterday, performing dual culinary pyrotechnics, side by side. Creating completely different meals, at the same time, on the same stove, in our little (but apparently well-laid-out) space.
And then we got to eat the results! I prepared something for blogging about later (I'm a prisoner of this business, I tell you!) and Cranky cooked up a perfectly logical, temporally relevant pot of the Best. Chili. Evar.
And the good part (aside from the fantastic chili) is that he decided to make a Small Recipe, so we wouldn't be burdened by extra stuff that needed to be consumed, when silly Cookiecrumb is clamoring after the next new thing to try, leftovers be damned.
He started with a reasonable chunk of pork from one pork chop, about 1/3 pound. You can buy one pork chop; the butcher doesn't think you're weird. But then Cranky had to cajole butcher into giving him an appropriately small quantity of beef. And once Cranky explained that "It's just the two of us and..." the butcher kindly offered to lop off a hunk of chuck, again about 1/3 pound. To that, Cranky added a slightly smaller quantity of Mexican chorizo (at our store it's sold in little sausage casings, so two tiny nuggets was just right). The chorizo itself is so well-spiced that not a lot more seasoning was needed.
I'm not going to explain the procedure. I just want to brag about the ingredients Cranky used. In addition to the meat, he cooked up some chopped onion and garlic, hacked tomatillos, lots of good ground dried chilis (various types, blended in the pan) and a good bloop of our own frozen local tomato sauce. The beans, tender pinks, cooked separately. Once the beans were nearly finished, everything went together into a slow cooker for a couple of hours. Salt, adjustments, yadda, yadda. Drizzles of beer were added to maintain a good soupiness... and then.
(Jeez, aren't those beans enormous? No. It's just another one of Cookiecrumb's blog addictions: children's cooking sets.)
PS: Blogger will be out of service for an hour this evening beginning at 7 p.m. Pacific time.