December 10, 2010 was a very exciting day for the Chili Project. Much new culinary ground was broken, and good food was eaten. But before we get into that, let me take a moment to say the following.
Happy birthday, Alyssa!
Today, my daughter turned 5. I hope she loves the flowers I sent her, and tomorrow I hope she enjoys her birthday party. How could she not? 17 of her closest friends are coming over to her house for a tea party. And, I am informed, there will be a pinata.
Now, on to the chili.
I made an Alaskan chili today. It was notable in three respects:
- ancho chili peppers (dried).
I had never made chili involving any of these three ingredients before, so let's discuss them one by one.
Biscuits are awesome. They're fun to make. You mix flour and baking powder and vegetable shortening and milk and sugar and cream of tartar, and then you squeeze all that goodness together with your hands, which get all white, and like magic, you've got dough. Then you use a wine glass to cut the dough into little circles. When you bake those circles at 450 degrees for 20 minutes, you get golden brown deliciousness.
If you can't tell, I think I'll do more baking in the future.
In this case, the biscuits formed the top layer of the chili. Interesting. Most chilis, the starch, be it rice or crackers or pasta, is on the bottom and the meat and/or beans are on top. In this Alaskan chili, having the biscuits on top made me feel like I was eating a chili sandwich. I could scoop up a biscuit, pile some more of the meat and chili peppers on top, and make an open-faced chili sandwich. I liked it.
Sirloin is a good meat for chili. It tastes good and classes the whole thing up, as opposed to the more usual ground beef.
But the anchos. These are the key ingredient. So good: a little fire, with a little sweetness thrown in. These will be go-to chili peppers for me going forward, especially when I'm making a chili for family members (Hi Mom! Hi Aunt Jana!) who only like a moderate amount of heat.
All in all, I really liked this "Line Camp Chili and Biscuits" and will be making it again.
Next: an old friend comes to visit. From Sonora, Arizona. He's kind of a pig, but everyone loves him anyway . . .