Tuesday, December 28, 2010

What are you making???

...that was the question asked by the bemused manager at the Ethiopian restaurant down the block when I came in out of the chilly rain at 5:30pm to ask for a stack of injera to go. The answer was "Chili." That was too weird even to be dismissed with a chuckle or a snort, apparently; she persisted. "Chili? Regular chili?" I shrugged, smiled, said we liked it, and strode back into the wet dark with my prize.

The chili in question is Sarah's All-American Grad School Chili, much better than the slop I made myself and the long-suffering Irene and Rich when I was in grad school, and not susceptible of any improvement I can think of.

Sarah's All-American Grad School Chili

Lean (or extra-lean) ground beef
Black beans (soaked and boiled from dried, or canned)
Chopped tomatoes (fresh or canned)
Diced carrots
Diced onion
Diced mushrooms
Chopped garlic
Chili powder (not hot) (add cumin if
you are using pure powdered chilis
instead of chili powder mix)

The following order of cooking is a guess since I was out foraging for starch at the time:

Saute the onion first until it starts to brown; lower the heat and add the carrots; when they start to soften, add the meat, mushrooms, and garlic; when the meat has browned, add the rest of the ingredients and simmer for 15 minutes.

Scoop out of the bowl by hand with palm-sized pieces of fresh injera and enjoy.


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