Sunday, February 8, 2009
Dark Days Challenge - Week 12 Report
It all started with the need for another freezer clean out. I don't know how we manage, but we seemed to start accumulating lots of odd bits of this and that in the small upstairs freezer until it gets almost full. Then it becomes time to start meal planning at the freezer. So, the item retrieved yesterday was chicken chorizo. Since I don't have an overly extensive culinary imagination, I decided to make the first thing that came to mind ,which was chili. The returning cold weather led me in that direction.
The only problem with writing this up for the Dark Days Challenge is that I don't really know where the chorizo itself came from - other than that it was purchased at New Seasons. I think they made their chicken sausages with chicken from California. And the bell peppers were not local. But, everything else came from somewhere in Oregon or Washington - the hot peppers, onion, canned tomatoes, dried pinto and black beans. The hot peppers were ones we grew last summer and have been kept in the freezer. And, the black turtle beans I used were from Little Frog Farm, our CSA.
I made a variation of the Moosewood's Red, Green and Gold Chili. I sauteed the chorizo and set it aside. Cooked one large onion, one each of red, green, yellow and orange peppers - plus the hot ones from the backyard. Once those are well under way, I add (this time of year) canned whole and crushed tomatoes. I put the chorizo back in and let the whole thing cook while the beans finished cooking. Finally, I added the beans and gave it another half hour or so. For seasonings (besides the chorizo and the peppers), I added cumin and chili powder.
The only other thing we had with the chili was cornbread. Grady's sister, who is here visiting, made it using Bob's Red Mill corn meal. So, altogether a pretty straightup, simple, but satisfying dinner. Good thing because somewhere I lost my mind in planning for tonight's dinner. We invited 8 people for a birthday dinner for my niece, Karla. And I decided to bake "Birthday Party Paella" - bought the ingredients before looking again at the recipe to remember how much work it is. Plus, of course, being a birthday I had to make a cake as well. So, I'm having a bit of overzelous meal-planner's regret. But, I'm sure it will all taste great and we'll have a good time. And, that's what all this cooking is about, after all - isn't it?!