Tuesday, March 17, 2009

One pot wonders

Caracoles are great. Ever wonder what to do with left over’s? Why not put it all in one big pot. Of course if you do this you have to watch out not over season. Sometimes mixing ethnic spices is a bad idea.

Herbs de Province and oregano don't really go with the plum sauce or the teriyakis of Japanese cooking.

Other times things are good together, like balsamic, Worcestershire and teriyaki can make a wonderfully bold statement in a hearty stew. You just have to experiment.
One experiment I am interest in trying is called a tomato soup chocolate cake. My assumption is that the condensed soup helps the cake stay moist.

Any way we humans have been doing one pot meals since the days of fire pits and the big cauldron hanging in the middle of it.

The French cassoulet is an example. The pot and the family recipe would be handed down from generation to generation. Generally the cassoulet is lamb, pork, partridge. The meat would also depend on the season, and region of France your family was.

Bean casseroles have been around for ever, over course in the old slow cook method, pot in the fire place it took days to make a good pot of beans. How we figured out how to eat a bean. Legumes when picked are as hard as little pebbles, but after washing and soaking for hours then cooking slowly for days, they can almost become pasty as the starch cooks up.


I love to cook in big pots. This way gives you a meal tonight, and tomorrow, and sometimes... it is even better later, because the spices have a chance to marry.

Today's one pot wonder:

Chili

1 pound ground beef, cooked and drained
1 small onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 cup mixed bell peppers, green, red and yellow
1 can of diced tomatoes with green challis added
1 package of frozen corn mixture with onion and peppers added
1 can of refried beans with lime
1 can kidney or pinto beans drained.
Spices:
Sea salt
Fresh ground pepper
Seasoning salt
Ground cumin
Ground chili powder. (I like the Spanish style)
Dash of taco seasoning.
Squeeze of ketchup

Sauté the onion and garlic, then add back the ground beef. Add the corn mixture, the tomatoes, and 1/2 the peppers.
Leave it alone for 30 minutes. Add a little beef broth if it seems too thick, it seems to soupy, take an emulsion blender, and give it a few pulses. Add the rest of the pepper mixture. Cook for another 15 minutes.

This is one of those that are better the next day.

Serve with corn chips, and your favorite beer or soda.

Later Gators

Kimberly
Mistress of the Kitchen
http://dreamingtoday.info