Tag Archives: chili

The Gentleman Caller’s Infused Oil

The Gentleman Caller’s Infused Oil

Knock knock knock.

Gentleman Caller.

Oils are an integral part of cooking. Regardless of what you are preparing, it’s likely you will incorporate a fat, unless you are in a time machine going back the SnackWell 1990’s.

Oils are purposeful. They add flavor, they lubricate, in some cases they elevate ordinary things to spectacular dishes.

They are also malleable, and take on the flavors compounded with them over time.

So, I offer you The Gentleman Caller’s Infused Oil. This is good for salad dressing and finishing. It can be used for cooking as well, but because of the labor involved and the subtlety of the product, it’s best for dressing and finishing.

What you need:

  • 4 cups of grapeseed oil
  • 2 heads of garlic
  • 4 tbsp peppercorn (black or mixed)
  • 4 tbsp red chili flakes
  • 4 long sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • the rind of a lemon

In a sturdy pot (I use a cast iron skillet), measure out your oil. Cut the heads of garlic to expose the insides of each clove. No need to peel. Place in a 250 degree oven for about an hour and a half.

Allow this to cool.

Choose your bottles or jars. I chose 1 bottle to accommodate 2 cups, and then 2 more to accommodate 1 cup each.  Wash them diligently. Make sure whatever vessel you use can attain a solid seal to prevent leaking and contamination.

Combine your ingredients. For every cup of oil, you will want 1 tbsp of chili, 2 lemon peels, 1 tbsp of peppercorn and a sprig of rosemary.

Allow to sit for 2 weeks, shaking occasionally. Enjoy!

Other interesting combinations include:

  • star anise and fennel frond
  • raw garlic by itself for a very garlicky oil
  • fresh basil leaves and roasted garlic
  • fresh lavender and thyme

This is The Gentleman Caller signing off.

For the PDF click here: Infused Oil

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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 All Purpose Chili Sauce #1

Printable PDF at the bottom of the page!

Knock knock knock.

Gentleman Caller.

Happy New Year, spicy friends.

Are you looking forward to 2017 as much as I am? We always can choose hope over fear. And that’s what we do here at The Gentleman Caller: I am choosing to hope you love this recipe rather than fear it burns your tongue off.

I am kidding! You know I love spicy things, but this, despite being full of chilies, is actually deep in flavors without being overly hot.
Today I present to you The Gentleman Caller’s All Purpose Chili Sauce #1. I say #1 because there will likely be sequels, like with a good movie franchise. Consider this my sauce franchise. Most people think that by the time you get to #3 the franchise has lost its luster, but I promise you that in my sauce franchise I will not offer you a “Rocky 7”, a “Halloween 3”, or a straight to video “The Return of Jafar.” May they all be “The Empire Strikes Back.”

This is an all purpose sauce for use on top of tamales, burritos, really anything Mexican. Yes, I am bastardizing Mexican cooking. I am not Mexican. I am TEXican. Take it or leave it. But when you taste it, you are going to want to TAKE IT.

What you need:
(This is to yield about 2 cups)

  • 8 cloves garlic*
  • 1/4 white onion, rough chopped
  • 2 tablespoons lard (or shortening or vegetable oil)
  • 14-16 guajillo dry chili peppers
  • 1/3 cup canned diced tomatoes**
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 allspice berry, freshly ground (1/4 teaspoon)
  • 1 whole clove, freshly ground (1/8-1/4 teaspoon)
  • 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon masa harina
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken, turkey, pork, or vegetable stock

*If you are a garlic lover (as I am) you may use 8, 10, up to 12 cloves of garlic. If you do, add a little more honey.
**You may substitute Rotel diced tomatoes and green chilies for a bit more punch.

Use your kitchen shears to snip the stem off your chilies. Cut a slit up the center of the skin; use your thumb to remove the seeds.
Fill a saucepan or metal mixing bowl half full of very hot water (over 120 degrees). In a dry cast iron or any pan that gets really hot, roast the chilies on high heat till they begin to smoke a bit. You will be able to smell them. Transfer the chilies to the hot water bowl. They should be covered. Allow steeping for at least 15 minutes.

In a large saucepan or small Dutch oven, melt 1 tablespoon of the lard. Sauté the onion. As the onion cooks, smash the garlic cloves and add them to the onion/lard sauté. Add the tomatoes to sort of deglaze them. Add half the chicken stock and allow to come to simmer. By  now the chilies should have steeped. Add them to this mixture. Pour this entire mixture into a blender carafe and process at high speed until very smooth. Warning: hot liquid in the blender tends to explode on you. Either leave the lid ajar or process in half batches.

Once that mixture is smooth, you can re-use the pan or Dutch oven you just used to melt the remaining lard. Delicately whisk in the masa. Keep stirring as it begins to bubble. Add all the spices and allow them to open up. Pour the contents of the blender into the masa mixture. Whisk it as it comes to a simmer. If it’s too thick, add more stock. Add the honey. Taste for salt level; based on how salty your stock is, you might require more salt.

Simmer while whisking slowly for about 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow it to sit and marry.
Taste again before serving to test for salt and sweet levels. If it needs it, add more salt or honey. You be the judge. Be judicious.

This sauce is obviously not difficult and packs a flavor wallop. You can dip quesadillas in it. You can pour it on simple ground beef for tacos. I invented it for tamales. But we pour Ranch dressing on anything. Think of this as Tex-Mex Ranch Dressing.
That’s it for now. Olé caballeros.
xoxo,
The Gentleman Caller

TheGentlemanCallersAllPurposeChiliSauce1

Corn Cake Louise

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Printable PDF at the bottom of the page!

Knock knock knock.

Gentleman Caller.

Cornbread. Like barbecue, it comes in innumerable incarnations and everyone thinks theirs is the best. Well, they can all go to hell because mine actually IS THE BEST.

Cornbread has remained an enduring staple because it goes with practically everything. This recipe doesn’t make a large quantity; I am rarely cooking for the masses. However, it doubles and triples very well. The yield on this is about 9 servings.img_8444-3

This recipe is the one I grew up eating that my sweet Mawmaw made for me. I have altered it ever so slightly only because I love green chilis. If you don’t like them, leave them out.

What you need:

  • 1 1/2 cups cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup melted butter flavor Crisco (Don’t judge. Do it.)
  • 1 16 oz can creamed corn
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 4 oz can green chilis

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Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Combine first 5 ingredients in a mixing bowl. In another bowl or 4-cup pyrex, add creamed corn to melted butter flavor Crisco. If you REALLY have a problem with this, you can use melted butter. Butter flavor Crisco, for some reason, imparts a different texture in the final product. When I make pie crust I use half butter, half Crisco. It’s not good for you. Don’t eat it every day. But every once in a while, no big deal. OK, rant over. Beat in eggs, buttermilk and green chilis.

Now it’s time to make a choice: you can bake this in a greased 8×8 in a 400 degree oven for 40-45 minutes.

Second choice: Put a 12 inch cast iron skillet in a 400 degree oven and get it hot. Drop a dollop of BUTTER FLAVOR CRISCO in the hot skillet, swirl to coat the bottom and sides, add the batter. Bake in a 400 degree oven for approximately 30 minutes. (check it at 25 minutes)

Third, and my favorite, choice: on the stove top, heat a cast iron skillet or comal (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comal_(cookware) and grease it up. It shouldn’t smoke, but get close to smoking. Use a half cup ladle or measuring cup to pour out a corn batter pancake on the hot surface. Use the bottom of the ladle to spread the batter a little as if you were making a fat crepe. Wait till the batter is slightly bubbling to flip. When the cake is browned on both sides, remove and enjoy. Try to only flip once.**

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Please don’t blame me for your impending addiction to this recipe.

That’s all for now, friends.

The Gentleman Caller

CORN CAKE LOUISE

**If you want to up the ante, ladle half the batter onto the hot surface, spread it slightly, add a sprinkling of grated cheddar cheese, pour the other half of the batter on the cheese and spread slightly. YUM.