Monday, November 19

Sometimes a girl just has to have her Chili.

And today was one of those days. It was cold. It was DARK.

And I am talking about the kind of dark you don't get in Texas. This is the kind of dark where the sun is officially SETTING at 2.30 in the afternoon and it's totally black by the time you walk to the subway at 4.17pm.

This time of year I tend to be more homesick than usual. When I am homesick, I self soothe by cooking. Today I had one of those ridiculous cravings for chili. The kind of craving that says 'if I don't have chili, I might DIE'.

I am totally into the photo blogging thing lately. We got a new Canon 300D and have fun playing with it. I was inspired by my new favorite website: If you are a foodie, you MUST see that site. Complete and utter food PORN. Anyway, I got ants in my pants to start taking pictures of my food, or for my husband to start taking pictures of the food as I was making it. I feel like it is fulfilling a creative need I have. So anyway...Introducing the Chili:
First, you gotta have the right spices. I use chili powder, crushed chilis, cumin, sea salt, celery salt, cayenne pepper and oregano-

Then I chopped up some onion, green bell pepper, 2 small tomatoes, 2 chilis (I couldn't find jalepenos...I sad) and got some tomato paste and some kidney beans ready. Now, many Texans will tell you that no decent, self respecting Texan would EVER add beans to chili, but I like them, so I do:

Here is the stuff in the pot:

Adding the tomato paste mixed with two cups of beef bouillon:

Stirring it all, and I don't have a picture of this, but I bought a really STRONG bottle of stout and added it as well. A good strong beer can add such an amazing level of depth to chili. And this one did not disappoint!

There are countless ways to eat Chili. I prefer a chunkier chili, and my favorite way to eat it is spooning it into homemade flour tortillas! So, as the chili simmers for about an hour, I made some tortillas. It sounds harder than it is actually! Here is the recipe I have been using for a few years now:
2 cups of Spelt flour (you can use regular, I just prefer spelt over wheat)
1.5 teaspoons of baking powder
2 to3 teaspoons of olive oil
1/2 to 3/4 cup of warm water.
Mix all the dry ingredients, add the olive oil and stir with a fork and slowly add the water. Stir until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Put some flour on your hands and pick up the ball and kneed it for a few minutes until it is nice and soft. Throw it back in the bowl and cover it with a towel and let it rest for up to 20 minutes.

Use this time to go and stir the chili or something. Then put your cast iron skillet on the stovetop to start heating up.

When your 20 minutes are up, divide the dough into 8 balls. Then grab that old rolling pin that you never thought you would EVER use and start rolling:

I'm lucky cause I have oak counter tops, so it feels very bakery like. My tortillas are rarely perfect circles, and unless you have perfection issues, it is no problem at all. When it's flat, throw it on the skillet:
When it starts to get little bubbles, flip it.

Keep them warm, stacked on top of each other in a kitchen towel:

Ready to eat? Spoon the chili into a bowel. Garnish with whatever garnishes you like. I use cheddar, a little sour cream, green onion, red onion and Louisiana Hot Sauce (I should say Texas Pete, but honestly, Lousiana is just better).

I always get a sense of accomplishment after I have created something that reminds me of home. I get a goofy grin as the familiar smells fill my apartment in this little corner of Norway, and suddenly I don't feel so far from home.


MeadowLark said...

Oh!!! Ya juat HAD to go and make me HUGNRY!!! LOL! I've been eating chili all week for the same reason:) Only, I learned from a Mexican lady while camping years ago how to flatten my tortilla's by hand:) My kids love to do this:)

Amylia said...'re killin' me here! :)

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