Sunday, March 02, 2008

cooking skills help needed & recipe questions...

Dear Blogger,

When you are cooking ground meat, how do you get it to be small pieces instead of large clumps of meat?

The Calico Cat

RB & Rhapsody don't care, but chopped meat sandwiches, etc. are better with the smaller pieces.

After I get my answer or tomorrow evening which ever is first, I will be making Bison Chili using the Whole Foods recipe. I will tweak it a bit... I will start by adding onions & I won't be using the bell pepper. I will use Aduki beans instead of kidney beans...

Brown 1 lb. of ground Bison in 2 Tbsp. olive oil with 1 large bell pepper, chopped, 1 large clove of garlic, minced & 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded & chopped. Add one 28 oz. can diced tomatoes with their juices, one 8 oz. can tomato sauce, one 15 oz. can of red kidney beans drained & rinsed, 2 Tbsp. chili powder, & 1 tsp. ground cumin. Bring to boil; reduce heat & simmer, covered, for 30 minutes. Add salt & pepper, as desired. Serves 4. 

Another question... Would adding cinnamon make this a Cincinnati (Ouch, it took me 3 tried to spell that correctly!) Chili? Any one ever add peanut butter to chili? Cocoa powder? (I have seen both - not in the same pot - done on TV.)

How do you serve chili? With corn bread? Over rice? Over Spaghetti (Is that also a Cincinnati thing?)?

Thanks for the cooking advice.

15 comments:

Gail said...

I'll be interested to hear the solution to the meat clump thing, too. I usually serve over rice, but my kids(grown) like it over macaroni, too. We usually top it with shredded cheddar, too. My chili is all meat, no tomatoes, no beans.

Leah S said...

I just keep poking my meat with an angled spatula. Mostly using the corner of it to break up meat clumps. Usually I never have clumps bigger than half an inch.

We tend to eat chili either on a hotdog or with corn chips. Now I want some... :)

Beth said...

HI Amy - I use a flat wooden spatula and as I brown the meat it separates into smal pieces. I never wind up with big chunks of meat. When I serve chili (which I'l be doing tomorrow night) I serve it in a bowl with cornbread and real butter on the side. My ex liked chili over rice but I never particularly liked that. I also put grated cheddar cheese over the top of the chili when it's in the bowl and let the cheese melt from the heat of the chili. I've never used cinnamon, peanut butter or cocoa powder myself.

Let us know how it turns out! I've never used bison meat in chili but I do love bison burgers! They are yummy!

Libby said...

I don't know a thing about the Cincinnati chili - but I've heard that if there is too much heat (chili) in your mixture, you can drop in a square of Baker's Unsweetened Chocolate to tone it down. Probably the same theory as cocoa powder? We serve our chili in a bowl with a little cheese and some chopped onion for garnish - maybe a little cornbread on the side. Enjoy.

Shelina said...

To make meat clump less, you mix it and break it up while you are browning it. I knew someone who ground up their beef really fine - they just have been stirring constantly. I think there is a fine balance between big chunks and almost powdery.

Cincinnati chili comes with cheddar cheese, onions. Cinnamon is a must, a wonderful added touch to any meat dish, although Sushi doesn't like it. I haven't heard of adding peanut butter or cocoa powder, but I've eaten the real
Skyline Chili and its competitor whose name escapes me at the monent, so I'm an expert!

Shelina said...

Here's the recipe:

http://tinyurl.com/29ookf

The chili is mild - I didn't think they used jalapenos!

paula, the quilter said...

Like the others, I break it up as I'm browning it. I make two different types of chili: red or green. Either one is served with tortillas and sprinkle cheese on top. Yum.

Morah said...

I figured I'd chime in here. After mixing and poking while cooking, I sometimes use my hands (after it's cooked and cooled a little) to break up the clumps. I sometimes like it very fine.

Laurie said...

A couple of times when I'd neglected to poke it apart while cooking I threw it in the food processor and pulsed it a few times. Be careful to keep it from getting too small, when I make chili I like the meat very well done.

Tanya said...

Sounds great! Hmm. Shall I try this for dinner tonight? I don't know about chili but when I am cooking ground meat for something else I'll add a little water or osake (gotta have the osake in Japan) and simmer it rather than brown it.

Ruth's Place said...

It also helps if the pan is hot when you add the meat, then keep stirring,

andsewitis Holly said...

I break up ground beef with a wood spoon as I'm cooking it. The more you "chop" away, the finer the meat gets. Chili is served with corn bread generally in my house. I'm curious about the peanut butter. Wonder how that would taste?

Becky said...

If you want the ground meat really small you just stay with it mashing it with a fork. This is what my mother-in-law does and she has NO BIG clumps of meat - NONE. She always fusses at me about not doing it the "RIGHT" way - meaning her way of course. ; )

Hedgehog said...

I'm a veggie chili girl, but when I brown meat for others, I just use a wooden spatula (like many others above). I search my chili with corn bread on the side and sour cream on top of the chili in a bowl. Sometimes the corn bread contains jalapenos and/or cheese.

atet said...

Ok, you have the browning meat and poke it a lot answer -- now for the Cinci chili part. For true Cincinnati chili -- chocolate (baker's unsweetened) is a MUST. I have a great recipie for it too. My grandfather was addicted to the stuff. Serve it over spagetti, with a layer of chopped onions and cheese and (I think) beans and you have chili five ways. Yum (though I skip the onions).

Chili is really one of those dishes where there are so many variations (and ways to get those variations) that it needs different words. Any way you serve it? Yum!