Updated every Tuesday for your culinary convenience!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Truly Makeshift - Baked Potatoes with Chili

First of all, sorry I didn't post last week. I have no excuse - it was just a case of Mommy Brain. I realized on Thursday that I had totally forgotten.

Second of all, sorry that I forgot to take pictures tonight, because I made a truly makeshift meal that I would like to tell you all about. So I guess I'll just tell you.

Yesterday, I picked up some baked potatoes and some green bell peppers - both organic - because I figured they were versatile and I didn't know what I would be making over the next few days.

So, today, I scrubbed two of the potatoes and baked them, coated in butter and wrapped in foil, at 400 degrees for an hour and a half - nice and soft! Meanwhile, I pulled out a bag of frozen black beans (1 1/2 cups or 1 14 ounce can) and a half-a-bag of frozen pinto beans.

I chopped an organic onion (did I mention I'm going organic?) and sauted it in olive oil over medium heat in a medium-sized sauce pan. Then I chopped about 2/3 of an organic green pepper (by the way, both of these veggies I chopped smaller than normal - probably 1/2 inch by 1/2 inch squares, versus the usual 3/4 or so). I added the pepper to the pan and kept sauteing.

I peeled 4 cloves of organic garlic. But before I added them, I removed about half of the onion and pepper. It looked like too much to me, and besides, I had other ideas for it... :-D

Then I added the garlic and sauted for a minute more. When I was concerned about over-cooking, I added a little water. Meanwhile, I drained a can of stewed tomatoes, chopped them, and added them, along with my frozen beans. I added a bit more water, along with some cumin, chili powder, and cayenne pepper. And I let it stew for a little while...

Dan got home (he had to go pick up sour cream) and asked me how it was going, so I told him to go taste-test. He informed me that there was a missing flavor. So he added some salt and pepper, and I struck upon the idea of adding a tablespoon of masa harina (Mexican flour treated with lime).

The masa harina completed the chili, and it was time to eat! We sat down to our meal, mashing the potatoes, buttering them, and ladling chili over them.

It was DELICIOUS! I was shocked to discover (this was my first time eating them) that organic russet potatoes have a FLAVOR! And a SMELL! It was a warm, buttery, delicious, cozy scent, and the flavor was actually strong enough that I could taste it through the chili. The green pepper was also delicious - I don't care for green pepper, and prefer dishes in which I can't taste it, but I ENJOYED tasting this!

The rest of the onion and pepper waits in the fridge for tomorrow's dinner - omelets! Just stick them in there with a little cheese...

See you next week for more cookin' goodness!

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