"No matter what happens in the kitchen, never apologize." - Julia Child

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Snow day chili

Yesterday was a snowy, wintry day, and I was fortunate enough to have taken the day off to give myself a four-day weekend, so I got to spend the day curled up in fleecy pants at home with my boo. There's something about snow that just says, "Spend the day slow cooking something," so I decided to make chili con carne. (Jeremy was fantastic enough to go out in the afternoon to get a few things to help make the chili. I think he was excited to wear the new winter coat I got him for Valentine's day. Well, that and the prospect of dinner was exciting too.)

I've never actually made a chili with beef before, so I was nervous that it wouldn't come out quite right (I attribute this to my perfectionist tendencies), but I shouldn't have worried, because when has Mark Bittman ever led me astray? It was quite delicious, and I like the fact that you can sort of vary what you put into chili according to your mood and tastes. Having a pot of pinto beans simmering on your stove with an onion for two hours makes your house smell warm and homey and good. We put together the final product in my lovely Le Creuset (the perfect place to slow simmer anything), and each of us had two helpings. I topped each bowl with a little ancho chile sauce (which adds a nice, smoky spice), a dollop of plain Greek yogurt (which I use in my kitchen in place of sour cream), some shredded cheese, and a handful of chopped green onions. Perfection! Warm and comforting on a chilly, snowy day. I think it might become my go-to meal for cold, nasty weather days. Next time I'm going to try it with ground turkey.

What's your go-to meal on cold days? Or what meal do you most like to slow simmer to perfection in a big pot of scrumptiousness? I am betting that all you folks out there with slow cookers are in your glory season right now.

Also, yesterday was Fat Tuesday, so here's hoping you got yourself a doughnut or some King Cake to celebrate the occasion. J and I shared a Boston cream doughnut in honor of the occasion, and it was awesome.

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