Tag Archives: beans

The Gentleman Eats Chili

 

The Gentleman Caller at The Lion King Broadway’s Annual Chili Cookoff with fellow judges Rema Webb and Eric Heger

Knock knock knock.

Gentleman Caller.

Hello, friends. Happy Super Bowl Eve. What an exciting time. It’s like the sports world’s version of the Tony Awards. Probably with the same amount of performance enhancing drugs. I’M KIDDING.

Today I had the distinct honor of being asked to adjudicate at The Lion King on Broadway’s Annual Chili Cookoff. This yearly event is a staple of Super Bowl time.

And instead of having to COOK, I got to sit on my ass and have delicious, hot food brought to me.

These were some creative entries. One that I especially salivated over was a sparerib barbecue style chili. Ooh, it was rich. So good.

The most creative entry was my old friend, Jon Jordan’s. Jon and I met on Hairspray and he had his mits on my scalp quite a bit. He is the man who makes sure all the hair and makeup at The Lion King are on point. He entered an adorable Asian-style chili with Chinese five spice, served in a Chinese takeout box with green onion. So creative.

The winner was a spicy turkey (we found out after the fact) entry called Hello, Chili! Hello, indeed! Congrats to my new friend Jelani Remy for his victory.

In honor of today’s festivities, I offer you The Gentleman’s Favorite Spicy Chili.

What you need:

  • 1 lb ground beef or ground turkey
  • half of a white onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1-10 can Rotel tomatoes with green chilis
  • 1-8 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 tbsp Mexene chili powder
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground oregano
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • dash of cayenne, or more if you’re adventurous
  • 1 cup of Mexican beer, such as Corona
  • 2 tbsp masa harina (corn flour like you use for tamales)
  • 1 15 oz can red kidney beans (YES, I am a Texan and I say BEANS), drained
  • finely chopped white onion, to top
  • chopped de-seeded jalapenos, to top
  • chopped cilantro, to top

Note: if you happen to have a can of chipotle peppers open, a couple of spoons of sauce from the can is going to only make this more delicious.

Yields 4 realistic servings. 

Put a little olive oil in the bottom of a dutch oven. Heat it up a little, and throw in the onions. Allow them to cook for a few minutes; add the beef or turkey. Brown the meat.

Throw in the garlic.

Drain the fat off the meat if there is standing renderings. Add the Rotel and tomato sauce. Stir together and add all the spices. Stir, cover, bring to a low simmer.

Allow to cook for about 25 minutes covered. Add 1/2 cup of beer. Simmer 25 more minutes, then add the remaining beer.

In a small bowl, mix the masa with 1/3 cup water (or more beer if you like). Bring it to a smooth consistency and pour it into the chili pot.

Taste it. Assess the salt and spice level. Add more water, beer, or masa to bring to the consistency YOU like.

Add the kidney beans and allow to cook about 15 minutes. Allow it to rest before you eat it.

When you place the chili in a bowl to eat, top it with finely chopped raw onion (or scallion would be nice , too), finely chopped jalapeño, and cilantro. Yeehaw!

Enjoy this one.

xoxo,

The Gentleman Caller

Judging is very serious (with Rema Webb and Eric Heger)

The Gentleman Caller’s Beanie Ween with Lardon Spoon Appetizer

Knock knock knock.

Gentleman Caller.

It seems, according to the TV cooking shows and commercials, that people are thinking about the upcoming Super Bowl. Now, I think that’s fun and all, and the halftime is usually an event, but it ain’t exactly the Tony Awards. Feel free to laugh at that sentence.

If you follow me regularly here, you know I am always trying to breed low-brow to high-brow. I am still trying to deduce a Spam chateaubriand.

That’s a joke.

But someone who shall remain nameless dared me. Challenged me. Threw down a gauntlet via social media. My initial response was NEVER NO NEVER. But the more I ruminated, the more intriguing the idea became.

So today I offer you Beanie Ween (shoved full of spaghetti noodles) and Lardon (and french fried onions) Spoon Appetizer.

What you need:

  • 4 good quality hot dogs, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1/3 package of spaghetti noodles, broken into thirds
  • 1/2 of a large white onion, chopped
  • 11 ounce can of Pork and Beans
  • 1/3 cup lardon or coarsely chopped bacon chunks (www.Stantonmeats.com)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon hickory powder (www. kalustayans.com – see shopping guide)*
  • 1/2 teaspoon malabar (coarsely ground black pepper)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon siracha**
  • 4 tablespoons ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of beer (I give you permission to drink the rest)
  • 1 cup french fried onions

*Can substitute 1/2 teaspoon hickory liquid smoke.

**This is the barely spicy version. I would ideally go for 2-3 teaspoons.

This is the fun part. Take your 1 inch wieners and stick the spaghetti pieces through them. Use about 5-6 per wiener. If you have kids or non-cooks around who like to “help,” this is a great assignment.

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.

Bring about a quart of water to a boil in a sauce pan. Boil the “noodle wieners” for 6-7 minutes, just until the noodles start to bend. Remove and set aside.

In a sauce pan, cook the lardon until quite crispy. Remove from the pan. Add the onion to the bacon grease in the pan and sauté till translucent. Add the “noodle wieners”. Allow the wiener part to caramelize a little in the bacon grease. Don’t go crazy, just a light caramelization will do.

Turn off the heat. Add the can of Pork and Beans. Add all the remaining ingredients, stir to combine, adding the lardon back in the last couple of stirs.

Spoon into a pie plate lined with foil and sprayed with cooking spray. I actually used an aluminum one because, well, I am lazy.

See the big chunks of delicious pork and the course ground pepper? Flavor!

Put into the pre-heated oven for 10-12 minutes. Check it, see how loose it looks. This is probably when you want to add the french fried onions. Sprinkle them on top, bake 8-10 more minutes, just until the onions start changing color.

Remove from oven.

Pre-set tablespoons or appetizer spoons on your serving piece.

Quenelle* the mixture using teaspoons into a football shape and ease into the pre-set serving spoons.

Don’t be intimidated by fancy French words… you can quenelle as well.

*Yeah, I am fancy. Get two spoons and with one, take a scoop, while with the other you sort of roll them back and forth between spoons to achieve an oval kind of football shape.

Try to get a french fried onion on top and make sure you can see the lardon.

Dazzle your guests! They are going to think you are KLASSY. I think you are, too.

Printable PDF: THE GENTLEMAN CALLER’S BEANIE WEEN WITH LARDON SPOON APPETIZER

More soon.

xo,

The Gentleman Caller