Thursday, October 09, 2008
Southwest frenzy: Texas chili and empanadas
I've told ya'll I'm not a creative cook.
I've told ya'll I'm wonderful at following recipes. Putting my own twist on them? Well, let's just say there's two dishes that will be featured here today. Out of those two, one was a product of my own culinary creativity. And it was nowhere near as tasty as the winner: Texas Chili.
I'll give you one guess who cooked this.
That's right. My darling husband whipped up this chili last weekend. And let me tell you, it was good. But it was hot. So hot I had to break out the milk and dump half a bag of cheese in there. Not that I mind cheese. Actually, I love cheese. Excuse me. I'm drooling again.
While this may look like a bunch of spicy meat to you, it's not. It's chili. "Real" chili, according many Texans, is pure meat and spices. No beans. No veggies. Nothing but meat and enough spice to make you cry.
Well don't tell my Daddy, but I make a chili with beans. I like it. Fiber is good.
This recipe is about as simple as it gets. Dump this in with two pounds of ground beef, brown and simmer for about an hour. You can do it for thirty minutes, but we use such lean beef we have to let things cook a little longer. Only put about half the red pepper in there. It made Ben sweat. He eats jalapenos for breakfast.
Now we come to the disaster portion of today's post: my chicken empanadas.
Being the brilliant wanna-be cook I am, I thought I'd take the pastry recipe from Ben's
Meat pies and stuff them with shredded chicken, cheese and refried beans. I'd spice them up with enchilada sauce and spices, throw them in the frying pan and have a meal that would send Ben to his knees in gratitude.
I don't know if I told you this, but I have a very active imagination.
Being the extremely brilliant duck that I am, I decided to do this on Monday night after work and having a million errands. Ben wasn't coming home until after 8, so I had plenty of time, I reasoned.
When you add a tired Blond Duck preparing for going out of town to baking banana nut bread for her mother for watching her antisocial chihuahuas to trying to be culinary creative, you get a disaster.
I forgot all spices and enchilada sauce in the beans.
I realized this after I was making the pies.
After all these were done and I'd burned the banana nut bread.
Still, I soldiered on and chunked them in the frying pan. Heck, how can anything beany, cheesy and fried be bad?
Well, I forgot to fry the edges. They were raw. I had to go back and re-fry them.
Personally, I liked my little empanadas. But they were too bland for Ben. He went back for more chili from the freezer, remarking that perhaps we should cook soups over the weekend and freeze them to heat up during the week.
Several of you also suggested that I bake all sorts of goodies and stick them in the freezer for the holidays. But unfortunately, there's a tiny problem.
I like freezing things.
In fact, I've frozen myself out of the freezer with a huge batch of empanadas no one will eat but me. I just finished off the burritos I made two months ago that he turned his nose up at because they weren't "spicy" enough.
So the moral of our story today, Invisible Friends?
1) The Blond Duck is sticking to cookbooks.
2) Anyone have an extra freezer?
3) Want a "mild" empanada?
Stay tuned tomorrow for a spooky Halloween story! And on Saturday, we'll have a seven things meme about Vivi and Wade, then Miss Pickles on Monday! Come check them out!