Chili Rescue and the Subsequent Mission

In my pantry today:

  • 1/2 c ground mild pork sausage
  • 1 c soaked kidney beans
  • 1 10oz can chili seasoned/fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 1 extra large (aka “big ass”) tomato
  • 4.5 c water
  • 1 tbsp garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp coriander
  • 1 tbsp Garam Masala
  • 2 tsp asafoetida

First thing’s first: drain those beans you set to soak last night and boil them for a solid 10-20m. This is a “better safe than sorry” rule that should be applied especially to kidney beans before they go on a date with your slow cooker. Phytohaemagglutinin may be a word I dare you to say aloud and not sound butternuts, but it is not a toxin I wish upon anybody.

Once you’ve taken care of the “making sure not to poison yourself” thing, go ahead and dice your onion and tomato while your ground sausage browns. Open the can of tomatoes and pour the whole mess into that jar of garlic paste that has about 1tbsp left to live. No one can fit a hand down into that jar to get the dregs, so shaking it up with delicious liquids is the way to go. Pour it into the crock pot over the diced onion and tomato, then put 1/2c water in and shake it up again for official chili entrance. Scrape everything you can off the sausage pan and dump it all in too.

At this point I hope your kidney beans have been properly boiled, for it is time to drain them and put them in the crock pot. Add 4c of water and all seasonings, stir, cover. Walk away.

…Now, when you come back you’ll have added too much water, which greatly decreases the flavor while increasing the soupiness — neither of which are things you want of your chili. If I hadn’t already written so much of this post, I’d probably sweep this under the rug with my other mistakes. Because it is shameful to go out to Food Lion at 7:30pm for:

  • 1 packet McCormick chili seasoning
  • 1 small can tomato sauce
  • 1 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 14.5 oz can organic yellow corn, drained

To be fair, the chili powder I’d added previously was old and flavorless. To be shamefully fair, I flat out added too much water at the onset; this is due in part to how badly I burned the crock pot the last time I used it. Oh god, did I say that last part out loud?

Now. After adding all that extra hullabaloo and bringing it back to a boil for 30m, this is still just a 3 spoon chili. Maybe 4. After the last burnt-chili-crockpot experience, followed by this really too overstressed one maybe I just perceive too acutely the taste of failure; I am learning that the taste of failure is mostly in my mind and is applied to the dishes I cook in proportion to the shame I feel when they don’t instantly reach 5 Spoon Status.

Due to my self-imposed Three Shame Strikes™ rule, I am officially now on a specific mission to reach some sort of chili zenith. Don’t worry (I tell you all as I imagine going off to battle) I will triumph, for it is merely chili and I have opposable thumbs.


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