Lamb chili with white beans.
You’ll be pleased to know that despite it being February, which sucks, I have yet to eat grease, drink whiskey or buy things.
Instead, I decided to amuse myself with a couple new recipes.
The first, which made its triumphant debut Tuesday night, is a chili con carne in which the carne is ground lamb. And y’know what? Despite its origins in Noo Yawk City and a distinctly minimal approach to tomato products it was purty damn’ good. First time I ever used cilantro stems in anything. Live and learn.
The second, assembled last night, was also from The New York Times, courtesy of Martha Rose Shulman. It involved chicken and chiles, plus a big-ass can of tomatoes to make up for the dearth of same on Tuesday. Alas, it proved a bit sweet for my taste. Next time, fewer red peppers, more chile.
One thing I like about Martha’s recipes is that they normally involve ingredients the average well-stocked pantry already has on hand. I was a little light on chicken and bell peppers for this one, but that was easily remedied.
While I was out scoring bird and bells I swung by the Fine Arts Center and collected a few pounds of Pueblo chile from Doug Wiley of Larga Vista Ranch. I hadn’t known that he was still coming up on Wednesdays despite the farmers’ market being on hiatus for the winter, and there was quite a crowd of Bibleburg foodies on hand to greet him. So now you’ll know where to find me on a Wednesday afternoon.
Last but not least, while we’re speaking of food and the cooking thereof, longtime Friend of the DogS(h)ite Larry T. provides the following. I may test-fly this one over the weekend while Herself is off visiting kin in San Antone.
CycleItalia’s Quick Red Sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
Half a small onion, chopped fine
1 clove garlic, crushed and minced
1 pinch red pepper flakes
A splash of red wine
1 cup tomato sauce (the better your basic ingredient here is, the better the sauce will be, but the cheapo canned stuff works fine).
Salt and additional pepper to taste
In saucepan over medium heat sauté the onion, garlic and red pepper until just soft, not brown.
Pour enough wine to just cover and let evaporate for a minute or two.
Add in the tomato sauce and stir well, then reduce heat until it’s just bubbling on the edges. Simmer for at least 20 minutes and up to an hour if you have time.
Variation: Pasta all’Arabbiata (Angry Pasta)
To make a spicy version of red sauce, just add more red pepper flakes to the sauce—about ¼ to ½ teaspoon, depending on your taste, and garnish with chopped parsley rather than basil.
Italians do not sprinkle grated cheese on arabbiata — drizzle on a bit of the best extra virgin olive oil you have instead.