Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Pressure Cooker Chili - easy and great

First, read this, which is Alton Brown's recipe - mine is simply changes additions to.

Changes -

Meat - I use 3lbs chuck roast. Feel free to use other meats as Alton suggests

Beer - not a favorite for me - i substitute low sodium chicken stock.

If you use chicken stock (store bought) drop salt - the stock will provide all you need.

Additions -

1 cube semi-sweet cooking chocolate - add's a very interesting, and mexican, addition. Smooths and deepens the flavor.

Beans - yes, I like them. I had 3 cans of whatever - black, red, pink, white. Drain and rinse first, add when chili comes out of the pressure cooker.

Don't Drop

The chipotle peppers and adobe sauce - the heat will cook down - great flavor.

Tortilla Chips - they really thicken the sauce, add great consistency - many chili's end up being meat and beans in a watery sauce - the chips really make the sauce part great.

Great recipe - not that long to cook since you are using a pressure cooker and salsa, and will make you seem like a chili god at your office chili cook-offs.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Low Rent in an Awesome Way

Perfect Review of the Paradise - from Eating in Madison A to Z.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Karabalis Restaurant - Hayward Wisconsin

Karbs in Hayward Wisconsin - ate there after Labor Day - so it was fairly empty

6 oz Sirloin with potato and salad bar

Sirloin was decent, although cold in the center (rare should be cool, not icy). Hash Browns were good - Salad bar was above average for a northern wisconsin super club.

Price - $9.95 - excellent value. Good service, although limited beers on tap.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Tinga - in the Pressure Cooker

Pressure Cooker Tinga today - not exactly traditional, but I used what I had

5 lbs of boneless Country Style Ribs (99 cents per pound!)
2 onions, rough chopped
3 tomatoes, rough chopped
2 garlic cloves, smashed
2 cups chicken stock
3 tbs chipotle pepers, chopped, with sauce
Achiotina in lard (try a mexican grocery)

Based this off of memory, and recipes here and here.

Chopped and trimmed the ribs down to 1 x 2
Heated oil and 2 tbs achiotina in lard
Browned meat in batches
Once the meat was done, browned the onions
After the onions were browned, added garlic, cooked for 2 minutes with onions
Added chopped tomatoes, cooked 2 minutes
Added Chicken stock
Salted to taste
Added meat back in, put on the lid, cooked for 20 minutes - high heat till whistling, then turned to med - low (4 on my dial) so that it whistled, but not screaming.

Meat is falling apart tender, not too spicy. Pablanos would be nice with the onions, or other more spicy peppers, but for my family - have to be hot sauce on the side for me.

Two options for this -

First, 10 minutes into cooking, added pealed diced potatoes, then pressure cook for 10 minutes more. Serve like a stew, with sour cream, avocado, red onion, warm tortillas on the side

Second option, pull meat from sauce, cook sauce down, add back the meat, then serve as tacos or tostadas.

Both are great options.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Draganettis - Eau Claire Edition

Dinner for 6 on a busy Friday night in Eau Claire, WI at Draganettis. Google Maps location is here

Server was new (I hope). Mistakes, in order:

1. Left pepper shaker on nearby table rather than offering it to us
2. Did not clear salad plates before serving main course
3. Ordering multiple glasses of wine, couldn't be bothered to serve ordered refills - that costs the restaurants money and the servier, as the tip is based on total meal cost
4. Coffee ordered came late, no offer of refills till we were checking out.

Food Commentary:

Bread was ok, olive oil for dipping is on the table (not good quality). Butter was mixed with garlic, pimento, spices - ok.

Salad was so so, served with the dressing in a little plastic cup on the side - this is a linen napkin kind of place - dressing in a plastic cup?

A wide variety of dishes were ordered, three with cream sauce, three with tomato sauce. I ordered the special of the day, .Seafood Pescatore (fruits of the sea). Plates (bowls, depending on your order were large.

Cream sauced dishes were the best, tomato based not so much. The Pescatore was disappointing. Swordfish (overcooked), shrimp (2, ok), clams (not in the shell), cod (cheap filler), sauce was acidic, had heartburn all night, and I don't get heartburn. If I am going to not an inexpensive restaurant, ordering the special of the day, I expect a good meal, not merely an edible one.

I have had good meals/service here, and the pizza is good, but this meal - below average for sure.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Gourmet Magazine is Dead - Good Riddance

Gourmet Mag, at one time, was the pinacle of fine food magazines. I loved to read it in the 7o's and 80's. When I resubscribed in 2005, it was a pathetic image of it's once proud self. So I was not shocked to read of it's demise.

Good Bye. Good Riddance.