Tuesday, September 7, 2010

What You Should Have Eaten #10

Forgot to take a picture of the recipe again. Sorry. Click the name above for the recipe.

No cocktail tonight. I’m cooking with beer, so I’m drinking it, too. The recipe calls for an imported beer; I take offense at that. I don’t think I’ve had any imported beer that can’t be trumped by a similar domestic, and I’ve had a lot of beer. It’s my thing.

I decided to go with an Abita Andygator. I’ve had so-so luck with Abita’s standard brews; I probably like their Turbo Dog the best. I can’t stand their Purple Haze. Nasty. We’ll see what they do with a high-gravity beer, and how something like this tastes in a recipe.

That’s an extremely mediocre beer. It’s got a really nice, golden color, but the head left a lot to be desired. Ditto on the aroma. The taste is just so-so. I’m enjoying the 8% ABV, so that makes up for a lot, but I’m using half the bottle in the chili, so it looks like I’ll have to continue the drinking with some Natural Ice. My only excuse for even buying this is that it was cheap, I was out of beer, and my checking account was lacking for any kind of substantial beer.

Also pictured is the simple yet awesome cast iron bottle opener I got from Marlboro. I’ve gotten a lot of free stuff from the just by registering on their website and entering a few contests: four Omaha strip steaks, a bag of Arbuckle coffee, a credit card-sized bottle opener, the cast iron bottle opener, some awesome Cajun-style steak jerky, a metal water bottle, and I’m about to get a 22-inch Weber kettle grill. And yes, while I was the occasional smoker when I signed up, I haven’t had one since April. Yet I’m still participating in their freebees. Does that make me a dishonest person?

I went pre-packaged with the baby bella mushrooms, but fresh with the shitake. It was all about the price. I could have gone pre-packaged, but I would have had to have bought twice the amount I needed. So fresh was the way to go. I ended up getting a little less than the recommended ¼ pound, though. I vow that when I finally win Powerball or Mega Millions, I’ll always use fresh spices and exotic fungi when cooking.

I’m omitting the onions and using just a bit of ground chipotle chili powder instead of canned chipotle peppers in adobo. I don’t like hot stuff, and onions don’t agree with me.

Gill seasoning used includes Mrs. Dash Grilling Blends Steak and a bit of Mrs. Dash Tomato Basil Garlic and another dash of McCormick’s Grill Mates Lemon Pepper with Herbs.

I’ve gotten to the point where I rarely, if ever, measure out spices. I think with spices, that’s cook’s choice on how much or how little to add. I don’t like chipotle, so I add less, but I love cumin, so I add a little more. Same reason I leave out ingredients like onions.

Oh holy moley I think I chose a good beer for cooking. While only mediocre for drinking, as soon as I poured it in the pot, the fragrance was breath-taking. It combined with the spices and veggies to create a wonderful scent sensation. I have a feeling Stella Artois (the suggested beer) wouldn’t have had this effect.

I wish wish wish I could have spent the extra scratch to spring for a chunk of smoked Gouda to shred, ‘cause I loves me some smoked cheeses, but I went the cheap route with a package of pre-shredded mild cheddar and Monterey Jack. It’ll work just fine, but I bet some smoked Gouda would be so fine on top of this chili.

Success! Well, at least for the adults who ate this. I knew the kids wouldn’t touch it, so I gave them leftover sloppy joes. I thought it was a tad spicier than I had wanted, but it didn’t stop me from enjoying it. In the future I’m going to use the majority of the ingredients from this recipe as the basis for a slightly original three-meat (ground sirloin, steak, kielbasa) chili recipe.


Kate said...

Yum...looks awesome.

Stella Artois is the piss beer of Europe. Why does the rest of America seem to think it's the most wonderful thing to come out of European beer? Sure, it's better than Miller Light, but let's be fair here. Stella is an American Lager that happens to have been made in Europe. Now, if it had called for a specific beer like a Trappist dubbel or a German weiss I could sort of understand it (not that you still couldn't substitute an American brew) but calling for Stella is like saying cook with Miller.

Rob Rosenblatt said...

It sounds fancy. Hell, look at how popular Corona is here, and that's Mexican skunk beer.

Kate said...

Yeah, Pacifico is better. But it's still just a light (not lite) beer. Best enjoyed in context, I think. I mean, I enjoyed Bud Light when I was attending frat parties long ago.