Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Hallows Eve Chili

Today is Halloween. In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, the weather in South Carolina has been on the chilly side and somewhat windy. My thoughts are with those up north dealing with all of the damage and effects from the storm. I know the story all too well, I spent most of my childhood summers waiting on my parents to decide if we were really going to evacuate for all the hurricanes. Sometimes they were on my birthday, sometimes they were during huge state swim meets, it was just a toss up of what the hell are we going to do here?

In other news, I will get my bar results on Friday afternoon (so Texas says). I have been full of anxiety and most of my relief from that anxiety has come from hanging out with my family, cooking, taking my dog on long walks on the beach, and hanging out with my friends. To my friends and family that read this blog, I am sorry, I haven't been the easiest person to be around because of the fact that I have been waiting for Friday for almost four years of the LSAT, law school, and then the bar exam. This is what I signed up for.

Today, I make chili because I feel like it is appropriate. But, I decided to change up my approach some. I think I made some good decisions.

Hallows Eve Chili
1 package of pork tenderloin (it comes with two, usually) - sliced into 2 inch pieces 
Olive oil or Grapeseed Oil 
1 yellow onion 
5 ears of corn (in the husk)
1 jalapeno pepper 
1 habernero pepper 
1 orange bell pepper 
5 tomatillos (with husk) 
3 big cloves of garlic diced 
1 bundle of green onions, diced 
1 shallot
cayenne pepper
old bay (for the corn, I will explain below) 
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons local honey 
1 can pinto beans 
1 can kidney beans 
1 can black beans 
1 large can of crushed or diced tomatoes
2 pieces of bacon 

Directions: First, taken the pork tenderloin out of the package and submerge into a bowl with a bottle of Magic Hat #9 beer, 1 cup salt, and garlic powder and some warm water. Let this sit about 45 min to an hour.

Next, let's get to this corn. I decided to grill the corn because I wanted to and I thought it might give the chili a smokier flavor. So what you do is pull back the husk of the corn and take out all the silk. The silk is the stringy stuff that is the worst if you get it in your teeth. After you remove that, put the husk back over the corn. Do this with all the corn you choose to use. Then place in a big bowl of cool/room temp water with salt and chili powder for about 10 min. While you're waiting, light the grill. Let it get nice and hot. Then, grab the corn in the husk, shake off the excess water and place it on the grill. Let them cook about 5-10 min a side, but stay close so you can keep an eye on it so it doesn't burn.


While the corn is cooking, grab the tomatillos. Leave them in the husk and when the corn is about half way done, place the tomatillos on the grill with the corn so that they can char. You will want to check and flip these at least every five minutes. They should be done in about 10-12 minutes.

Take the corn and tomatillos inside and let them cool.

Next, take the two strips of bacon and cut them up into small rectangles. Let them cook up with some oil and when they are crispy, remove them to another bowl. This will be your meat bowl.

While this is happening, after it has been about 45 min in the brine, take the pork and cut the loins into approximately 2 inch pieces. You will brown these in the bacon grease and oil. I added some fresh rosemary to the oil at this point and let it work into the pork. Brown the pork in small batches until it is browned on all sides. Remove to the meat bowl.

While this is resting, cut all of your veggies and add them to the oil that the meat was cooked in (or if you cut all your veggies ahead of time, you can just toss them in after the meat is done). Saute and stir the veggies until the onions are soft. Then add 1/2 cup of brown sugar, and stir in and the rest of your spices (salt, pepper, cayenne, garlic powder, paprika, etc.). Then add the meat.

Once all of this is together, I add another bottle of beer (Magic Hat #9) and the can of crushed tomatoes and the beans. Make sure you let the beans drain in a strainer, this recipe has a lot of action happening already.

Let it cook for about 2-3 hours on low heat, and stir it so nothing sticks to the bottom.

Serve with cheddar cheese and sour cream, if you dare. ;)

Have a great rest of the week!

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