Thursday, December 20, 2007

It's Going to be a Chili Winter!

Fawn Friday is my hero! My food hero! It's one thing to be a former professional chef, but with her combined expertise as a personal trainer (RKC), her food approach is one that recognizes the importance of health. In the 3 days, of the best vacation of my life lol, I learned so much, which I came home and applied, that I feel as if my cooking and food adventures are just beginning. 2008 is going to be incredible.

So with that said, the first huge change in my kitchen, and my cooking, has been what Fawn shared with me as her favorite kitchen tool....the pressure cooker! I love it! I forced myself to learn, by doing, and now I can't stop! I look for new things to cook in it, and use it up to 4 times a week, sometimes twice in a day! But more on that another time.

The most recent idea she gave me however is Chili. I don't think I've ever made chili before. Probably beause you can buy canned chili inexpensively, and I personally didn't eat it (my boys did, and that includes Mark!) because it's too thick and salty (canned), but when she mentioned making it, I had to try myself. I asked her for a simple list of ingredients, and based on that, I went into my kitchen and threw my first pot together!

I came up with what I call my "Rainbow Chili", because my ingredients were so colorful. I had, basically, most of the ingedients she suggested.....the most important ones being, chilis, chili powder,beans! The rest of the ingredients I threw in, because that's what I had in the kitchen! (the picture above is what I already had in my fridge and pantry. I especially loved Fawn suggestion of yam)

veggies, onion/celery/yellow & red bell/poblano/jalapeno/habanero/kale & stems/sweet potato/carrot/garlic canned tomatoes/tomato paste

beans, black/pinto/white (because I didn't have enough of one kind)

spices, chili powder/chipolte powder/cumin/oregano/thyme/fennel

ground pork

Here it is before covering it and cooking under pressure for 25 min. I served it over, what else but, rainbow chard (topped with stems), before deciding to then add another 1/2 c. chicken stock turning it into "Rainbow Chili Soup w/chard"

I'm making my third pot tomorrow before I go into work, but this time I'll try a green chili w/white beans, based on a ingredient list for chili verde. The most imortant part of cooking is learning the basic methods and techniques...the rest can be decided by what you have on hand.

This is what I love about chili,

the "guys" love it!
endless flavor possibilities, it is, after all, just veggies, beans (or not) and meat (or not)!
done in the pressure cooker, fast
easily doubles and freezes, if it lasts that long!
made with fresh and organic ingredients....nutritious!

My next food post will include my Rainbow Cabbage Salad I made to go with!

Thanks Fawn, you rock!

Here's Fawn Friday at the Farmers Market, one of the places she took me during my stay with her and Aaron, buying sunchokes....and what's that in the background? Chilis???


Mark Reifkind said...

the chili rocks! a great combination of meaty and spicy.can't get enough, thanks hon!

fyjdonna said...

ahhh...and I was going to say, if the "guys" don't eat it all I would LOVE to have more. But I guess Mark cannot get enough. Oh well!

Thanks again for sharing some of your chili with me the other day too, because I definitely agree that it is delicious.

Tracy, you know you inspire me in so many ways, and that includes your amazing cooking.

Hopefully, I can get it together to take you up on your offer to help me learn how to eat right... especially if it all tastes as good as you cook it!

Love you sister, Donna :)

fawn said...

OMG! Tracy, what an honor! I am so totally flattered to be featured on your blog! I can't wait to get back in the kitchen with you!

For those reading Tracy's blog... she is an awesome cook, she is professional standard for sure! She has a very thoughtful way of looking at food and flavor... something that not even all professionals have. The weekend she spent here in Minnesota with me was a real treat for me too! I love the way Tracy thinks of food!

Diana said...

Tracy, this looks really good, I already have so much soup in my freezer from all your other recipes, I'm sure I can find some room for chili! I like to eat buffalo, elk, and venison so I will be putting some ground elk in the chili instead of pork. I like pork too, but the elk is so good!
By the way, I took the measurements! That was top 5 of most humiliating moments to have that done! Really wish I would have done it earlier to compare, but I can get an idea of how things are.
Happy holidays and good eating!

Unknown said...

I've started putting a small amount of unsweetened cocoa powder in my chili. I know it might sound weird, but it seems to round out the flavor a bit.

Tracy Reifkind said...


As I come full circle with my relationship with food, I'm excited to share, with you and your daughter (my neice!), yet another way of empowerment.

Delibrate creation....creating a body of health starts with the knowledge to make choices in that direction.

Tracy Reifkind said... are the gift that keeps on giving!! I might have to have you do a regular "guest spot" on my blog! I like to give credit, when credit is due!

I learned so much from you in just a few short days, I haven't even applied half of it. I still haven't done anything with canned salmon, or made mayonnaise (aioli).

But the key to learning, when it comes to cooking, is practice. Oh and tasting!

Tracy Reifkind said...

Diana....are you eating Rudolph??? LOL

Anyway, where does a person get elk...because you know I have to try it!

Tracy Reifkind said...


Ah yes, a little touch of Mexican flavor. The farmers market near me sells "mole" with chocolate. they also sell these chunks, and if I'm not mistaken powdered version, of mexican chocolate.