All-American Chili

It has been freezing cold in Chicago, the perfect weather for hearty meals.  This is by far my favorite chili recipe.  Don’t let the long list of ingredients intimate you.  My shortcut is to chop all the ingredients, combine all of the spices, rinse the beans.  I put the tomatoes in a bowl and gently squeeze them and crush with  my hands.

For a heartier meal, I cook some pasta — usually elbows or any other kind of small pasta and serve with the chili on top.

As with many chilis, it is tastier the next day.  This recipe was enough for two meals for 4 people (3 hungry boys and moi).

I like to sprinkle ours with shredded mozzarella cheese, chopped green onions and if you like, a dollop of sour cream.  Yum!

Here is a link to the recipe and complete list of ingredients .  Bon Appétit!


Easy peasy Ginger Fried Rice

I love this rice when I absolutely don’t feel like doing anything too complicated.  I always have left over rice which I freeze.  Yes, rice freezes well up to a month.  The best time to store the cooked rice is when it’s just finished cooking.  Make sure to pack the rice with steam and cover the lid immediately to trap the steam and moisture (I usually save in on a pyrex glass container).  When the rice has cooled, store in your freezer.  The quality will stay well up to 1 month. You will need to reheat it before using.   If you will be using the rice within a couple of days then no freezing is recommended.

If you don’t have any left over rice and would still like to make this easy recipe, you could cook the rice early enough to let it cool down completely, even refrigerate for a bit if possible.

I am including the link to this recipe from Mark Bittman whom I absolutely adore.  A couple of notes:  1) Make sure not to overcook the ginger/garlic or they will be bitter — it needs to be crispy and brown (not black!).  2) I didn’t have leeks so I used shallots and it turned out just as yummy — I understand scallions can also be a good substitute.   I would NOT use regular onions as they may be too pungent.