Sunday, September 26, 2010

A Perfect Sick Remedy

This past week started with a bang. Little Man woke up Monday morning with a sore throat and a high fever. Of course, being the Mr. GREAT Mom that I am, I get to go to the doctor with the boy. Doc Julee takes one look in his throat and says no doubt...Strep. Ok, no big deal. I can handle this. I have taken care of plenty of sick children. We rent Princess and the Frog (MY IDEA THANK YOU) and snuggle on the couch.

Well, that evening, Momma comes home and is complaining of not feeling well.

PAUSE...I have to tell a back story real quick that will make this tale even sweeter. I am notorious for getting sick. It does not matter what the kids had or if they were even sick...I got sick. Darling Wife has reminded me of this plenty of times. Anyway, back to the story...

So when I take her temperature, yes, she has a fever. Look in her throat? Well, I won't gross you with the details, but lets just was a nice white mine field back there.

Of course, she tries to go into the office the next day. Makes it there, but has to turn right back around because she can't even function. (NOTE: Still no sickness for me) She walks in the door and goes straight to bed. I asked if I can fix her some soup and she mumbles something that sounded like OK.

Well, I look in the pantry and cannot find any canned soup. Well, I am in culinary school about to be a chef...I don't need any "canned soup". I can make this myself. Here is the recipe I used...which received rave reviews from the sick, mumbling patient in the other room.

Quinoa Vegetable Soup
2/3 cup quinoa
2 carrot, small diced
1 celery stalk, small diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can of tomatoes (it is ok to use canned tomato)
~ 15 oz of chicken stock (broth can be substituted, but recommend unsalted stock) ***
~ 3 1/2 cups water
* I also used a little fresh basil and some dried rosemary.

1) Saute' the quinoa, carrot, celery, onion and garlic in medium sauce pot. Cook about 5 - 10 minutes until brown...DO NOT BURN
2) Pour in stock, water and tomatoes and bring to boil
3) Immediately turn down heat and simmer until quinoa and vegetables are tender...about 10 - 15 minutes.
4) Salt and pepper to taste

***The difference between stock and broth is the ingredients. You definitely want to have the no salt versions because you want to salt your own dishes.

I like to think this lead to the speedy recovery of my darling wife. Oh...and did I get sick...I think we all know what the answer to that one would be. I don't want to rub it in anyone's face THAT I NEVER GOT SICK! HA! TAKE THAT! sorry, I am so embarrassed.

Monday, September 13, 2010

And the Winner is....

Not the Ordinary Chef. This was an amazing learning experience for me, and I must say, the chili we put out there was AMAZING. I got great feedback from everyone that tasted the chili. I think we ran into a few problems...1) On the judging form for the People's Choice, we were listed as the Lonely Chef, which confused some people. 2) It was HOT HOT HOT! I don't think 95 degrees is the best time to enjoy some good chili and 3) did I mention it was HOT?

As you can see, The Ordinary WIFE did an amazing job at setting up the table. We were, by far, the best decorated table out there.

Alright, so I might be giving away some secrets, but here is the recipe I used. Please let me know what you think if you try it. Although I would recommend waiting until it drops a few 20 degrees outside.

Ordinary Mexican Chili
1/2 lb. Ground Venison
1/2 lb. Shredded Elk
1/2 lb. lean chuck, ground
1 lb. lean pork, ground
3 Roasted Poblano Peppers
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 cup finely chopped onion
8 oz. hunt's tomato sauce
1 cup water
1 can beer (12 oz.) (preferably DARK)
3 Tablespoons chili powder
2 Tablespoons Beef Stock
2 Tablespoons cumin, ground
2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons oregano leaves
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon coriander, ground
1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa
1/2 teaspoon Tomatillo Pepper Sauce (or any hot sauce)
1 teaspoon cornmeal
1 teaspoon flour
1 teaspoon warm water


1. Heat the convection oven (or standard) to 400. Place the peppers on a sheet and roast for about 30 minutes. Remove from and place in ziplock bag and place in freezer (this sweats the peppers to enhance the flavor) Skin and remove seeds. Small dice the peppers and hold.
2. Brown all meets in saute pan. You can divide the meats so not to overload pan. Place meet in crock pot and drain fat. Leave a touch in the pan.
3. Saute the garlic, peppers and onion. Brown but do not burn
4. Add the other half of the meat and the tomato sauce, water, beer, chili powder, bouillon, cumin, paprika, oregano, sugar, coriander, cocoa, and hot sauce. Mix well. (Don't forget to toast spices first)
5. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer, covered , for 2 hours.
6. In a small bowl, stir together the cornmeal and flour, then add the warm water and mix well.
7. Stir into chili and cook, covered, for an additional 20 minutes.

There you have it! You have just made Ordinary Mexican Chili!