Sen Yai Sen Lek
2422 Central Avenue
The Good: The dish I had was tasty. Thai Iced Tea went down well to cut down the aftereffects of the spice
The bad: Server messed up my order, bringing me Pad Kee Mao (Stir fry wide rice noodles with garlic, Thai chilies, Thai basil,
tomato and onion) when I had asked for Pad Gratiem Prik Thai (Garlic and black pepper stir fry with
cilantro and bell peppers. Served with steamed jasmine rice.). Rather easy to see the difference...
I wound up eating the Pad Kee Mao anyway, because it was one of the dishes I had been thinking about.
Also bad: The server brought me the wrong bill when it came time to pay.
Overall, food good, service less than stellar. I will return, but I won't "hurry back" if you know what I mean.
After I went to the Science Museum on Saturday (as part of a work sponsored event), I then decided to branch out yet again, cuisine wise.
This time I went to a small family restaurant in St. Paul called Babani's.
The cuisine they serve...Kurdish.
Babani's claims to be the first Kurdish restaurant in the United States. I don't know the truth of that claim, but it was certainly the first time I'd ever heard of a restaurant specializing in Kurdish cuisine. Turkish, Iranian, Syrian, and even Iraqi, yes. Kurdish, no.
What I had, for my first foray was, as described in the menu:
"2- Kubey Sawar - Crushed wheat made into a dough and
filled with lean ground beef, spices, and onion then
sauteed in olive oil. This dish was first made famous
in Nineveh - Modern day Mosul, Iraq.
I had a choice of soup or salad. I chose soup:
Dowjic - Chicken, yogurt, rice basil and lemon juice. This
soup's tangy bite has traditionally kept many a Kurdish
traveler from wondering too far from home.
The food wasn't extraordinary, and not too different than other middle eastern cuisine I've had, although I admit the soup was a tangy, sour surprise. I wanted more of that when I was done! The Kubey Sawar's weren't spectacular, but they were certainly tasty enough.
Its not in a location that encourages me to visit often, but anyone who is already in downtown St. Paul might want to try it in order to get a taste of a cuisine not really well known on these shores.
While at the Mall of America today, My Friends the Olsons™ and I visited Cantina Corona
for lunch. Its a Tex-Mex place on the fourth floor of the mall, in a narrow and twisting space that offers good views of Nickelodeon World but is a nightmare of a design otherwise.
We were less than thrilled. In point of fact, it was a very negative experience.
Dani seemed to like her kid's chicken burrito, and Scott's shrimp tacos were, to his mind, okay but nothing spectacular. The free appetizer we got (and one reason we picked the place), a queso-chorizo dip and chips, was again, nothing spectacular.
The problem came with my order and Felicia's.
I ordered the "Austin", which was advertised as two beef tacos and a chicken burrito. Felicia ordered a 4x4 shrimp dish.
First, when they brought the food, they brought *two* Austins by mistake. Felicia reminded them of what she had really ordered and settled to wait while the rest of us ate. And she waited and waited...
In the meantime, my dish was not much above the level of Taco Bell. The chicken burrito was unprepossessing, but the tacos were u-boats. What I mean is, they used what looked and tasted like bargain basement hard shell "tacos" that Scott and I call u-boats. An extremely negative dining experience.
Worse, they were so slow in getting Felicia some food (we all finished what we wanted of our dishes and were twiddling our thumbs) that she and we finally gave up, and left to settle the bill.
Ironically, it was as we were settling the bill that they finally had the shrimp dish ready. This is unacceptable, especially given how relatively uncrowded the restaurant was and how quickly shrimp cooks. We did not pay for that dish, of course, but we felt that our unhappiness, evident in every way, should have been rectified even more. It was not. They clearly wanted to wash their hands of us and we will return the favor.
We would never go there again, and I advise you never to make the mistake.
Brief thoughts on Five Guys Burgers and Fries
I had heard many things about the burger chain. The President and the First lady like their burgers. Friends of mine have told me that they are among the best burgers they have ever eaten. However, Minneapolis is Smashburger country. Could Five Guys really be as good as them?
Tonight, Scott, Dani and I decided to find out.
There are two Five Guys in the area--one near the University Campus and one to the West in Maple Grove. We went to the Maple Grove one.
It was crowded. Finding a table was a challenge. We learned the lore of how to order and the relatively limited menu. Things come plain unless you order a topping--and they have nearly 2 dozen free toppings to choose from.
I ordered a hamburger (which comes with two patties), with mayo, ketchup, lettuce, tomato, pickles and jalapenos. Scott got a bacon cheeseburger with a couple of toppings, including relish, barbeque sauce and grilled mushrooms. Dani got a plain hot dog, which came split (which confused her at first). We also ordered an order of fries, and drinks. It's a Coca-Cola place, and they did have Barq's. They also offer Gold Peak tea.
Our discussion and conclusions mainly compared it to Smashburger, our favored premiere burger place. We agreed that the burger qua burger was equal to, if not a little better than the Smashburger. The sheer number of toppings (all free) was a big plus. One downside was the cheese--the only cheese they offer is american, not a big favorite for me and Scott. He did think the cheese was good quality, though.
The fries were a thick cut, thicker than Smashburger. fortunately, although they had a big thick cut (with lots of potato action), the quality of the potato was high. We're more fans of thinner cut fries, but these were not bad at all. A small order of fries feeds two, a large order feeds three. Oh, and Scott and I approved of the fact that they had malt vinegar available in addition to ketchup.
The limited menu is a downside, but that seems to be their paradigm. They concentrate on burgers and fries (with hot dogs) and they certainly know their stuff. If they had more choices for cheese, Scott and I agree that they would be clearly better than Smashburger; their product is superior to an American cheese smashburger on the basis of toppings and slightly superior quality.
Yes, I think we will definitely go again. If they were as equally close to us as Smashburger, it would be a tough decision if we were in the mood for burgers one day as to which one to go to.
To celebrate the completion of my move into my friends House, (and the fact that I had a coupon), I took my friends to Everest on Grand...
Everest on Grand, as you might expect from the name, is a Tibetan/Nepalese place, with some North Indian dishes thrown into the mix. On the menu were familiar items such as Chicken Tandoori, Tikka Masala and Naan. There was plenty of unfamiliar dishes as well.
Scott was amused that it was near his alma mater, Macalester College. Also, it wasn't too far away from Khyber Pass...an Afghani place.
anyway, once at the restaurant, we started off with an order of fried dumplings called Kothe. Kothe, like their steamed cousins the Momos, are made from a mixture of vegetables or ground meat, mixed with onions, cilantro and spices. We could have, if we wanted, gotten Yak meat ones, but instead we got ordinary meat Kothe.
The blend of spices made them tasty to Scott and I, Dani and Felicia found them less so.
We also got orders of Garlic Naan bread, and Papad, which are thin lentil chips. I am not a fan of lentils, but these chips were tasty.
As far as main dishes...
Felicia had Bangurko Chhoyla, a type of tandoori with marinated strips of pork meat. She loved it, and Scott and I thought it was pretty good too
Dani had Poleko Kukhura: Marinated chicken drumsticks are roasted in Tandoor oven and tossed in olive oil with freshly sliced onion, green pepper, and tomato; served with house mint sauce. Basically a version of Tandoori chicken. Dani liked it.
Scott and I decided to be real men and get some spicy Chau- Chau:: Wheat noodles sautéed & lightly pan-fried with vegetables and a meat of your choice. Scott got shrimp, and I got chicken; both of us got it medium hot. We agreed, afterwards, that it would rate about 3.5 on the Sawatdee 5 pepper scale. Both of us made good use of pieces of Naan to keep from overheating.
The restaurant was a little pricey but we were all absolutely delighted with dinner, and I expect that we will come back again. Scott and I are already talking about trying the Kothe, a small portion for just us, with Yak meat...
Arthur Lebow, from NY Times Magazine, has an op ed in the NY Times today about chocolate. He laments the loss of quality of Scharffen Berger's chocolate after being acquired by Hershey's, and looks with concern at the attempts by Kraft (and possibly Hershey too) to acquire the British candy giant Cadbury.
He's worried that the artisan chocolate Green and Black is going to be devalued and denatured, just as Scharffen was, if one of these giants wind up picking up Cadbury. I think he has, unfortunately, a very good point.
I like chocolate. I am a fan of good dark chocolate. I remember the days, and shudder, when I thought that Hershey's "Special Dark" chocolate was the best thing on earth--because I just didn't know any better. Throw in a visit to England to be introduced to real Cadbury chocolate, and my education in things chocolate proceeded apace.
Right now, for a "common everyday chocolate", I rely in Ghirardelli dark chocolate. Lindt's are more expensive, so I only get those on special occasions.
It would be a shame if Kraft or Hershey devalued British chocolate. There isn't enough good chocolate in the world. There is already too much mediocre chocolate.
Have you noticed increased prices for pizza lately? You're not going crazy.
The culprit is cheese. In January 2006, block cheese cost $1.20 on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Now, 18 months later, that price has increased 75 percent, to $2.10.
And why has cheese gone up so much in price? Simple. Grain prices have skyrocketed as lots of grain has been converted to ethanol rather than being sold as feed or as food.
Via Jerry Pournelle:
STOP WHAT YOU ARE DOING
Find the button that lets you email comments on dockets.
That is HERE:
Comment on Proposal
Tell them not to allow fake chocolate to be called chocolate. Do that early and often. This is serious.
Let them sell chocalicious or cocoalicious if they like. But if it says chocolate it ought to BE chocolate!
I've reinvented and rebranded a recipe of my mother.
What my mother made and called Chili when I was growing up was one of, if not THE, favorite dish of mine. It took me years, though, to learn that it wasn't really chili by anyone else's standards. For one thing, only people in Hawaii eat Chili with their rice. Second, what my mother made for chili is very soup-like in consistency.
When I started cooking on my own, I began to tinker and experiment with Mom's old recipe, and I do so with enthusiasm. Various kinds of beans, canned tomatoes and meats have gone into iterations of chili.
Not all of those iterations of chili have been successful. An experiment with stew meat turned out poorly. An attempt to make chili at TBR resulted in it being a little too unpalatable for most tastes.
But Chili, Jvstin Style, is still my signature dish.
Recently, though, as these things happen, I got a craving for my mother's chili, inauthenticity and all. But I decided to reinvent it for the 21st century. Also, I couldn't mentally call it chili anymore. And then I remembered there is a mexican dish called Tortilla soup...and so Chili Tortilla soup was born.
I had to modify the recipe in mid-creation since it was too thin and tomato-flavored.
It makes quite a bit. It completely filled my 5 qt crockpot. Be warned. It does make great leftovers, though.
2 lbs Ground Beef
2 15 oz cans kidney beans
1 12 oz can Mexicorn
16 oz. Beef Broth
3 11.5 oz cans Tomato Soup
1 tbsp crushed Roasted Garlic
16 oz. jar picante sauce
2 tbsp Hot Sauce (or to taste)
Shredded cheese (flavor as preferred)
Seasonings to taste
In a pot with some oil, add the Roasted Garlic and cook for a couple of minutes to release the essential oils and flavor of the garlic into the oil
Add the ground beef, and seasonings and cook over medium heat until browned.
Transfer ground beef to a crockpot and add the beans, soup, broth, hot sauce, and picante sauce. Combine well and cook on low for 5-8 hours.
Cut or strip tortillas into 1 inch strips and line the bottom of a bowl. Pour the soup over it, and top with cheese and serve.
Introducing the Atwood Cookie Kitchen, my friend Deb Allen's attempt to spread her delicious taste sensations to other people in exchange for money.
Delivery is only available in the Albany area at this time. But as someone who has tried her cookies at various Cons, I can personally attest to their quality.
I cooked for my mother last night a dish I invented with the Olsons..."Gumbolaya"
The dish as written should feed about 4 people.
1 pound chicken breast, diced
1 pound Andoulle or Chorizo Sausage, chopped
1 1lb box orzo pasta
32 oz. chicken broth
2 tsp chopped garlic
1 shallot or small onion, chopped
Cajun seasoning (I settled for McCormick here on the East Coast. I usually use Zatarains or Tony Chacerie's)
In a pot, with some heated oil, add and cook the garlic and onion for a few minutes. Add the sausage and the chicken (seasoned with the cajun seasoning to taste) under medium heat until both are nearly completely cooked. Add the chicken broth and raise temperature until mixture is boiling.
Add orzo pasta and reduce heat to medium-medium high, cooking for the recommended 10 minutes. As the pasta cooks, it should absorb all the liquid in the pot. Once the pasta is cooked, the dish can be served with bread and salad.
It was extremely filling, and my mother was impressed with it enough to ask me for the recipe. (High praise!)
Matthew Yglesias has a lighthearted blog post on, of all things, Ketchup. He links to an article in the New Yorker explaining why Heinz Ketchup is as close to an ideal ketchup as you will ever get.
No, really? As the article points out...there are a myriad of mustards in any decent supermarket, many barbeque sauces, mayonnaises, pasta sauces.
But there are very few ketchups. Even Heinz' attempts to make variations on ketchup's flavor (as opposed to those colored ones for kids) haven't really worked. And that's because Ketchup with a different flavor is no longer ketchup, but sauce.
While I use Famous Dave's BBQ sauce a lot now...I always have a bottle of Heinz handy
Recipe: Chili de Tejas, Jvstin Style
Inspired by my Texan friend Ginger and the prospect of making a true Texas Chili for a "cookoff" tomorrow at work, I made a bean free chili tonight (my first!), and sampled it for dinner...
It tasted good. I was well pleased with the results and will keep this version in mind when I don't want beans in my chili.
This is a decently spicy chili, too.
2 pounds ground beef
1 pound ground pork
2 cans Ro-Tel diced tomatoes (I used 1 Original and 1 Mexican)
2 16oz jars Pace Medium Salsa (I used Chipotle, and Roasted Garlic and Peppers)
1 clove of garlic or the equivalent, crushed
1 serrano pepper, seeded, diced.
1 can diced green chilies. (Ortega)
In a pot with some hot oil in it, add the beef, pork and garlic. Cook the beef and pork a few minutes before adding the serrano pepper and the canned chilies, and finished cook the meat through.
Add the cans of diced tomato and the salsa, stirring well and mixing thoroughly.
Let this simmer, stirring occasionally, for about half an hour. (To, as Alton Brown puts it, let the flavors all come to the party).
Serve with some starch. (I had some tortillas).
I think this will be too spicy for most of my coworkers tomorrow, but *I* like it.
This is the version of Jvstin's Chili that I made for the Christmas Party at HCGC
Chili, Paul Style
(The Christmas Party Recipe)
1 pound ground beef
1 pound of ground sausage (I used Chorizo this time around)
1 can Campbell's soup--Tomato (or Fiesta Beef if you can get it, which is what I used)
16 oz. Salsa. (I used Medium this time around)
30 oz. of canned, diced tomatoes. I used three 10 oz cans of Ro-Tel this time around (for the additional flavor)
2 cans of beans. This time around, I used Bush's Chili beans, but I have had good results with kidney, pinto and especially black beans.
Season to taste. I used chili powder, cumin, and a touch of garlic.
1. Brown beef, sausage and any seasonings in a dutch oven on the stove. You can break down the ground beef to the desired chunkiness of the meat.
If you use a crockpot:
Add meat and other ingredients to crockpot, mix well. Cook on low 7-8 hours.
If you cook on the stove:
Add other ingredients to meat. Mix well and cook on low for 20-30 minutes.
Serve with rice, sourdough bread or other starch.
Inspired by an episode of Emeril Live, I tried to make a sausage-based chili in the crockpot on Sunday for Scott and I.
The problem with it, we agreed, was that I seasoned it too heavily to be eaten by itself. It needed to be tempered by something, like rice, or sour cream, or just not to go overboard as I did on flavoring it. It's not that Scott and I dislike hot, spicy food...but there was no counterbalance here, and it sorely needed one.
But the recipe itself worked well and makes a "meaty chili"...and is in the extended entry
2 pounds of sausage.
--This time around I used a ring of Hillshire Farm smoked sausage, and a pound of ground chorizo sausage (possibly one of the things that made it too hot)
2 cans of Beans
--I used a can of black beans and a can of kidney beans. I think you could realistically add a third can here if you wanted, or a can of Mexicorn, or something else.
1 14 oz. can of tomato soup (Campbells)
16 oz. jar of salsa or picante sauce
-I used picante sauce since Scott likes neither diced tomatoes or diced peppers.
28 oz. of canned tomato products
--I am rather vague here because you can make your chili individualized by this "plug-in". Back in NYC, my family would traditionally just use tomato soup here, making a very soupy chili. Personally, I've learned through my own experimentation that I like having some diced tomatoes in the mix, it gives the chili some texture. Sunday, I used Enchilada Sauce and Taco sauce. (since Scott dislikes the diced tomatoes as noted above)
Dice or cut into chunks, and if not already cooked, cook the sausage in a pan as per normal. Even if it is pre-cooked, proceed to brown it.
In the meantime combine the remaining ingredients, plus any desired spices, in the slow cooker's basin. Add the cooked and browned sausage to this, mix together well.
Cook 3-4 hours on high, or 6-8 hours on low. Chili is one of those dishes which does better the longer you cook it, so that all the flavors mingle and infect every morsel of sausage, every bean and every drop of the tomato base.
Especially if you've seasoned it heavily, serve this with a good starch to soak up some of that spice--rice, pieces of bread, etc. You could even ladle this into a tortilla if you wanted.
My cooking experiences, cooking for me and Scott have been mixed bags the last couple of weeks. I made a ground beef Stroganoff which had zero "pep" to it, I cooked Italian sausage but used a pasta sauce Scott disliked (it had green peppers...).
One of my few successes was a stove-top version of Chicken Ole. You might recall that I've posted the slow cooker version on this site.
So for those of us without those neat gadgets, I will detail my stovetop variant.
1 lb chicken breast
8 oz. sour cream
1 can campbells fiesta nacho cheese soup
1 pkg taco seasoning
1/4 cup water
1 lb jar of salsa (I used a medium variety this time)
1 pkg frozen corn
A small amount of a neutral cooking oil.
1.Chop the chicken breast into small pieces, and cook in the oil over medium-high heat for a couple of minutes.
2. Add the taco seasoning and water, and continue to cook for another minute or so.
3. Add the canned soup, salsa, and frozen corn and stir together and simmer for 15-20 minutes or so.
4. Add the sour cream and cook until the concoction is bubbly.
I would have liked, since this is a little "soupy", to have cooked some rice and combined it together as the last step, but we were out of rice. Instead, I warmed some tortillas, and Scott and I used pieces of these tortillas to dip into bowls of this stuff and eat it.
Yesterday was the first day that I haven't put a blog entry up for over a month, and with good reason.
First things first, Scott and I went over to what is going to soon be my new apartment. A tiny matchbox sized studio over in Circle Pines will shortly become home sweet home, since the whole baby thing is coming closer and closer. The downstairs bedroom (where I am now) will become the office (which it once was), and the office will turn into a nursery. So even with a temp job (although a fairly stable one) its time for me to risk a place of my own, and it was high time I left from being underfoot at the Olsons anyway.
Scott and I also mapped out and drove the route to a place that I have a job interview for on Monday. Yes, a real life job interview, finally. The job market has been tighter than, well, something better mentioned in A Grand Affair. So I realize that I have a fair amount of competition, so I am neither overconfident, nor am I "counting" on getting this job. It would be a fair commute, too, about 30 miles each way in a car.
But for a real, full time job, is it worth it? As they say here in Minnesota...you betcha. I got some badly needed driving practice on Interstates, even if I don't get the job.
On the way back, we stopped in the high-end grocery store Byerly's, which looked a lot like Zabar's back in NYC. Unable to find them elsewhere, it was here that I finally found good old Nathan's hot dogs, and I bought a package, naturally.
Scott and I also went to Big Bowl, even if save for the appetizer we didn't stray from our favorites. Scott went for a Thai inspired dish, I went for the equally spicy "Blazing flat noodles". As an appetizer, since I had not had them in quite some time, we had lettuce wraps (ground beef, scallions, rice noodles to which you add sauce and put in bibb lettuce, fold and eat).
And today, well, on Oct 5, 1971 at 1:35 PM EST, I was born.
No major plans for today...maybe buy stuff for the apartment, a few other minor chores and things. Last year I spent hours on a bus, bus, train, bus trip from my apartment in Anaheim all the way to the Getty Center and back. It was a long and exhausting trip but a lot of fun.
Well, if I were to be so lucky as to get this job, I probably will "celebrate"...otherwise I will be relatively frugal about the matter.
I made a variation on the slow cooker Chicken Ole recipe that I believe I posted in the earlier incarnation of this blog for dinner last night, and the Olsons enjoyed it. So I thought I would supply the revised recipe...
1 pound of chicken, cooked, diced or cubed
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can of fiesta nacho cheese soup
8 oz. sour cream
8 oz. taco sauce
1 can of kidney beans
8 burrito sized tortillas, divided into eighths.
Mix all of the ingredients except the burrito pieces in a large bowl.
In the slow cooker, alternate layers of the mixture and the burrito pieces. To help avoid sticking, I recommend the mixture be the first (bottom)and top (last layer).
Cover and let slow cook on low 5-6 hours. Garnish with salsa, if desired.
Serves 5 (if you include something like a salad)
I cooked this tonight for the Olsons. The problem is that Felicia does not like chopped green peppers or onions, and so the salsa was a bad idea. If I make this again for them, I will likely substitute taco sauce instead.
Mexican Beef and Bean Casserole
Serve with Tortillas or Rice
1 pound ground beef
2 cans beans (pinto, kidney)
1 can tomato sauce
� cup salsa (or taco sauce or enchilada sauce for those who don't like salsa)
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 cup shredded cheese (Monterey Jack, pizza cheese, cheddar cheese, etc)
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
2. Cook beef in 10 inch skillet over medium heat 8-10 minutes , stirring occasionally, until brown; drain
3. Mix beef, beans, tomato sauce, salsa and chili powder in 2 qt baking dish or casserole
Cover and bake 45 minutes, stirring once or twice, until hot and bubbly.
4. Sprinkle with the cheese, and cook uncovered 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
I cooked this tonight out of a "Four Ingredients cookbook" that the Olsons had. I found it didn't make quite enough juice, but it was tasty and we ate it all. The book says it serves four, but three of us devoured it easily.
Soy marinated Chicken (serves three)
1 pound sliced chicken breast
2 tbsp. soy sauce
1 large (or 2 medium sized oranges)
Place the chicken breast in a baking dish. Mix the soy sauce and juice from half of the orange and apply to the chicken and the baking dish. Cut the remainder of the orange and place the slices directly on the chicken slices.
Let this marinate, covered, for several hours. Turn over the chicken before cooking.
Place the chicken into a 350 degree preheated oven. Cook for 20 minutes, turn over, reapply the orange slices, and continue to cook for another 15 minutes.
Serve with rice and a vegetable of your choice (the original recipe uses asparagus, I used frozen peas). The recipe as given doesn't produce a lot of liquid, but the meat was moist and well flavored.
I wanted to highlight this recipe over on Deb's Hall of Mirrors. I do like pork, and there is nothing in here (eg. Mushrooms) which seems to be offensive to me. Although, Felicia made boneless pork yesterday, but I didn't care for the taste of the brandy and sherry in the marinade...
Well, I cooked for the first time for my hosts and friends here in Minnesota. For my first experiment in feeding them, I chose a staple of my mother's own repetoire, the very easy dish that our family has always called Chop Suey, even if it is really a goulash. And I have changed the recipe a bit from my Mom's basic template.
This is the recipe I used, with some proportional changes. I found that this time I made too much meat source versus pasta, and if you want to try this yourself, you'd likely want to start small anyway.
You will need:
1 pound of ground meat. I usually do 1/2 ground chuck and 1/2 ground round beef, but you could do it with turkey, possibly even veal.
1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes
I personally like things like S&W or Rotel diced tomatoes, since they have a kick to them.
1 10.5 oz. can tomato soup.
(that's the big change from my Mom, she uses 2 cans of tomato soup and 1 can of water, mine is less saucy)
1 can of beans, or Mexicorn or chili beans
(again my Mom doesn't bother with this but I like the added nutrition and flavor)
1 box of Pasta
I prefer Barilla, or Ronzoni. You want to use pasta that holds the sauce well and soaks it up a bit--things like Rotelle, Rotini, Medium Shells, Farfalle. You don't want to do spaghetti, but you can do it with Ziti.
Spices to taste--I usually use Chili Powder, Oregano, Garlic Powder and others as available. The advantage to this dish is that you can make it any amount of heat you want.
1. Brown Ground Meat with spices, drain fat if desired.
2. In the meantime get a pot of water for the pasta boiling. I recommend adding salt and a little oil to the water.
3. Add the canned tomatoes, tomato soup (or tomato soup and water) and beans to the meat, mix together well, and simmer for at least 30 min.
4. In the meantime get your pasta cooked as per normal.
5. Once both are complete, combine together well in a bowl, and serve with bread and a salad. Italian Bread, French Bread or rolls work really well, especially to soak up the soupier standard version.
Serves about 4-6. It depends on appetite.
I was kind of inspired by the Kitchen Sink blog to put up, here, a recipe of my own. Now, mind you, I've only started cooking in the last few years, and cooking by myself seriously since moving to California (when I lived with TGKFAB, Bonnie, her mother and I rotated the cooking duties). Now, here in my apartment, I just get to cook for myself. No pretty girls to invite over for dinner, alas.
Anyway, chili is one of the first things I learned to cook from my Mom since I highly enjoy it. Ever since coming to Anaheim, though, I've experimented with, and modified the recipe, its a continual work in progress. The addition of a slow cooker (thanks to the generosity of the Olsons) has only improved it, in my opinion.
This version of the recipe makes (for me anyway) about 6-8 servings.
Brown the beef, with spices, in a large saucepan, drain.
Combine the remaining ingredients in a large bowl, with desired spices
If you have a crockpot, combine the beef and the bowl ingredients into the slow cooker stoneware and set to cook on low 6-8 hours.
If you do not, add the contents of the bowl to the beef in the saucepan, and simmer 30 minutes.
Serve hot over Rice (which can be cooked with the chili in the slow cooker). Another option that out here I have found is particularly delicious is to serve the chili onto a tostada.