Friday, January 8, 2010


I fibbed a bit in my last post when I said I didn't cook before moving to Andrews. My college roommate (we'll call her Mandikins) and I went through a phase junior year when we cooked for her brother and his roommate on Monday nights. The only things I remember making were fajitas (from a box), stir-fry, and chili. I had a name for each dish, and I would post it on my AIM away message as we cooked.

Fajitas: Fajita Fiesta!

Stir-fry: Wok and Roll! (This dish also had a catchy song to go with it)

Chili: Chilichilibangbang!

You'll note that each meal was accompanied by the exclamation point. It was an important feature.

So Mandikins and I made chili sometimes. I'm not sure about the recipe we used, but it wasn't as good as this one I make now: Sara Foster's Beef and Bean Chili***. I love Sara Foster. I love Foster's market. I love Sara Foster's cookbooks. And I LOVE this chili. It's spicy (but not too spicy) and flavorful (can something even be too flavorful?).

Maybe it's the 1/4 cup of Worcestershire sauce you put in. Maybe it's the 4 jalepeƱo peppers. Maybe it's the basil. Something about the combination of all the ingredients is just divine.

If chili could be fancy, it would be this chili.

I won't share the entire recipe with you because I want to adhere to copyright laws. I am, after all, an information professional. What you should do is go to your library and request this book. Or buy it. Amazing!

What I did do different, though, is I used 4 cups beef broth instead of the recommended 6. And my grocery store was out of red peppers, so I used green. And I always buy really lean ground beef, even though I know you're supposed to use fattier chuck for chili and burgers. I just don't.

I tried not to feel bad about the fact that Sara Foster writes about how her mom taught her to make this in high school, and it's "the first thing I remember learning how to cook." I try not to feel bad, because this was, to me, one of my advanced recipes from last year. It involves coring and seeding a jalapeno pepper (run a spoon down the inside, I learned) and a lot of chopping. Chopping and dicing means advanced.

It's really really good. Edwin loves it. I love it. I made it for our friends Carla and Claude a couple months ago. I think they loved it.

I hope you like it. I made it.

***Foster, Sara. Fresh Every Day: More Great Recipes from Foster's Market. "Beef and Bean Chili." p 54.

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