Mmmm…Chili

It’s going to take me a while to get used to formatting posts with this new fangled 21st century blogging toy.  When I started blogging it was manual edit of html files (and we were THANKful. now GTFOff my lawn.)

I’m toying with the idea of just giving up all my sooper recipe secrets.  The egg nog, bagels, baguettes, cookies (well, maaayyyyybe not the cookies.)

The way I figure it, I came up with the tweaks that made my take on those things special. I did it before and if I just handed it over to the internet, I would be forced to push the envelope and come up with more.    We’ll see.

IN THE MEANTIME. Here’s the chili I’ve been working on for a few years (call it 4-5 times a year, a little tweak every time, yadda yadda, no I fucking hate Seinfeld.) It’s not the spiciest chili in the world. If you brag about scoville units or what the hell ever then…just go away. You’re a pepperhipster.

But the recipe below, which I just finished the last of today, is the best I’ve made.  I have to stress that it will create a “perfectly serviceable basic chili” and that you’ll end up tweaking it to your taste.  I’ll probably make this a little spicier next time.

A note: I have a 7 1/2 quart crock pot. If you try to do this in a normal sized crock pot, send me pictures of the mess because it’s gonna be fucking hilarious.

THAT said, here we go.  Ingredients first, instructions second, as God intended:

  • 5.1 pounds of 80% lean ground beef (the .1 is just ’cause that’s what it added up to.)
  • 3 Large white onions.
  • 3 Bell Peppers
  • 19oz can of black beans
  • 19oz can of pinto beans
  • 15oz can of tomato sauce
  • 28oz crushed tomato (this MIGHT be a bit much. But it backed off after a while, so I’m leaving it like this.)
  • 16oz jar of Pace hot salsa (Yeah, it’s cheating. Bite me. I’m not here to win a ‘from scratch’ award.)
  • 4 Tablespoons crushed garlic
  • 3 (+1 later) Tablespoons Cumin
  • 3 (+1 later) Tablespoons of Chili Powder. (Yeah if you want to go watch Alton Brown’s video on making your own chili powder you can. Yeah your chili will be better than mine if you do. Go brag to your mother.)
  • 1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper.
  • 1/2 Cup of flour (yes really.)
  • 24oz guinness stout (wait what? Damn right.)
  • 4oz can of sliced jalapenos (later)

It’s best to do these more or less in order, just to minimize the amount of time you’re staring at simmering pans.  It’s not the most complex recipe of all time. After all it’s crock pot chili.

Rule #1:  Taste at every stage. You’ll never know what ingredient does what if you don’t taste it every time you do something to it.

  1. Cut up the onions and put them in a large pan on medium low heat WITH A LID. We don’t want to dehydrate them.  We’re not looking for carmelization or anything. We just want to sweat them down a bit.  I find that if I put the onions in raw they never quite cook through all the way in the crock pot, which is fine if that’s how you want them.   Let ’em stew in their own juices.
  2. Turn the crock pot on low.
  3. Drain the cans of beans and pop those in. (people say dry beans are better. Never tried it.)
  4. Tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes, salsa, guinness, red pepper, garlic, cumin, chili powder (3T of each of those. Like it says above, save 1T for later.)
  5. cut up your peppers as small as you like and toss them in too.
  6. Now for the beef.  I like to cook ground beef really REALLY hot.  Otherwise, it tends to render out and just sorta boil itself and this is chili not some insipid flavorless British peasant food.  To do this, I use a wok on the stove (I tend to use it a lot owing to the fact that it doesn’t fit in my fucking cabinets) at ludicrous heat in batches of… enough.  Seriously. I’ve no idea how much at a time.  As long as you’re browning it and not boiling it, you’re good.
  7. WHEN you brown the last batch of beef, toss the 1/2 cup of flour in there and mix it up pretty good. Since it’s been browned you might want to put a good bunch of the already browned beef back in to just sorta coat with the flour.
  8. Beef in to crock pot.
  9. Check the onions. If they were on medium low and you really started them first, they should probably be ready to go in. Get every drop you can out of that pan in to the crock pot.
  10. Now. Everything is in there except the ‘later’ stuff, which consists of:
    1. 1 Tablespoon of Cumin
    2. 1 Tablespoon of Chili powder
    3. 4oz can of sliced jalapenos
  11. Wait.  Srsly. This is the most awful part of making chili.  You can’t have it today. I don’t care if you started this at 3 in the morning.  You can’t have it today.  Leave it on low until tomorrow afternoon.
  12. It’s tomorrow! (see how that works. Fucking magic.)  Put in the rest of the ‘later’ stuff. Why?  Here’s something nobody ever told me about crock pots until after I’d experienced it a few times: slow cooking DESTROYS spices.  It pulls the sharpness right out of them. That’s why we use so much on the front end, it bleeds in to the chili wonderfully, creating a great flavor base without being too sharp.  It seems on the front end like a ridiculous amount of cumin to put in anything.
  13. So we need, after 18 to 24 hours, to give the spices a swift kick in the ass. That’s why we held off with the jalapenos and a bit of each of the spices, more or less.  Dump them in now and mix it up pretty good.
  14. Give it another hour and a half.
  15. Eat.

Some more of the whys:

Flour:  The flour adds texture, plain and simple.  I like my chili to be a gloppy mess. Don’t? leave it out.  It will affect the flavor not one bit.

Crushed Tomatoes: When you taste this as the initial ingredients are all in there, you’re going to make a face and say “that’s awfully tomatoey.” I did and I was pissed because I thought I misread my recipe from the last time.  But the magic of the crock pot pulls the sweetness of the tomatoes way back by the end of things.  It’s really really not too much by the time it’s done.

Guinness: CRITICAL.  I promise you if you obey orders and taste it after you’ve mixed the Guinness in you’ll be quite pleasantly surprised by the affect it has.  It adds a richness to the flavor that nobody (yet) has been able to guess the source of.

Cumin: I think, pepper aside, it’s the most important spice in chili. It actually serves a pretty similar role in the flavor profile as the Guinness.

So enjoy.  Next time I’ll probably put a bunch of bacon in  (cooked to crispy and crumbled first) and I’ll probably amp up on the peppers by chopping up a little can of chipotle’s as well for the back end.

something something w00h00!

Yep. That’s right you fuckers. I’m pathologically incapable of keeping silent and between the headache that Trump people give me and Twitter’s shameless censorship (I mean, who suspends Robert Stacey McCain? That’s like chastising Mr. Rogers) it was time to leave THAT poisonous forum.

After the whole #JeSuisMilo thing I figured I’d stick to my guns and not leave until the booted me. But it got to the point between all that and the lycanthropic effect this political season has had on people both near and dear to me and those who I would otherwise just mute, well, enough was enough.

Plus, I probably had no protein and by 11:00 at night, that makes for a grumpy grumpy programmer.

So, in true Wilsonian fashion I lit out for the territories. Apropos of that, let me introduce or remind you of this little piece of genius:

 

 

Besides, anyone who’s known me for more than 4 minutes knows I’m far more interested in monologue than dialog anyway. This way I don’t have to pretend I’m talking TO anyone but mahdamnself.

 
A couple things:

– I will be posting work stories. So many people have been asking for work stories.
– I will be backfilling this blog with choice selections from blogs, sites, and various effluvia that’s escaped my mind through the keyboard over the past couple decades.
– I will also be posting on a bit of a horrifying array of topics. I used to try to keep things separate, different blogs, different category pages, etc. It led to me not writing a damn fucking thing. I’ll try to keep things categorized and tagged appropriately, but…yeah I might not.

One last thing:
language

“There we go. Got the NYC Bloggers link & graphic up there. I had some trouble with Radio figuring out which template to drop it in so it shows up there. These templates all really look the same to me.

I’d so much rather use Zope. But I’m a bit too fatigued to make the switch. Plus, where could I get that hosted?

This is just great. See, truth be told I’m one of them. I can travel all over, but somehow when I’m home I’m still a bit of a shutin.

Meetup: Meatspace camaraderie for Internet shut-ins. Meetup: a new service where you indicate your interests and your location, automatically locate other people local to you with similar interests, vote on a place to hang out and actually, you know, meet up. As an Internet shut-in with a permanent computer-tan, I’m a little leery of meeting up with actual raw biomass in meatspace, but I suppose that there’s some reason to hang out in real-life. Link Discuss (Thanks, Scott!) [bOing bOing]

Today is ALL about cleaning in anticipation of the first wave of Laura’s stuff, including the kitties!

Ok, maybe it’s not so much cleaning as deconstruction. The bedroom that had been relegated to “walk-in closet and full box repository” actually has a hardwood floor.

I didn’t know that.

I’m a search result!!!

HEY COOL!!! I just looked at my referer log and although it only had one entry, it looks like that was a legitimate hit! 🙂 ( 🙁 )

Someone did a search on “Michael Wilson pics” on yahoo and I came up first! Most likely this is one of 7 people with whom I went to Costa Rica.

Sorry people, the scanned pics total about 250 megs, can’t quite post that many. If you’re one of those 7 crazy people, don’t worry I’m burning CD-ROMs for everybody with all of them (even the boring ones) and will distribute them at the little get together we’re going to have someday.

I can’t believe I have to wait a WHOLE NOTHER HOUR for my news aggregator to download more articles. Maybe I’ll get dressed and shave.

It’s a bit tough to stay disciplined while out of work. No matter how many interesting projects you’ve got going.

Remote Lounge

Friday night I hit Remote Lounge on Bowery with “Social Circles”. This place ROCKS! Ok, maybe ‘rocks’ isn’t the right term. Kicks butt is better. Check the website for the general idea. 2 floors of booths and tables with cameras, monitors, buttons and phone receivers. You can control and watch through any of the 50 or so cameras. At any point you can hit a little button that looks like a camera and take a snapshot that will be posted their website. Unfortunately you can’t actually link to a picture directly without pulling it completely out of context. But, if you go

here and scroll all the way to the bottom, the next to last row, 2nd pic from the right (20:17, chan 23) you’ll find ME 🙂 (how’s THAT for narcissistic sparky?)

Now wouldn’t it be a shame if some enterprising geek wrote a perl script that went and downloaded all the pictures from a night at remote? But who would do such a thing? 😉

Club: 10/10 Great place

Website: 8/10 can’t link to pictures easily 🙁

Overall: 10/10 This place kicks ass

So I went to my friend Colette’s “Thank god I’m out of Jersey and back in Brooklyn” party Saturday night. It comes to mind Monday morning because I’m stuffing my face with Oatmeal Cookies I made that were left over. My cheese bread was a huge success as well.

As you can see I specialize in baking very healthy food :p.

Maybe one more cookie before I start my day…

[I know the image link is dead. I’m just tickled by the fact that it’s an earthlink.net homepage link. Hell, maybe I even have backups of that around someplace. It’d be funny to backfill it all.]

I haven’t wasted so much time in one day since… well nevermind. In a long time. One of my guilty little pleasures is the odd computer RPG here and there. But I’m pretty good at allowing myself to play ONLY ON WEEKENDS.

Today was a bit rough though. Woke up at about 9:30 and was profoundly unmotivated to do anything but play until about 1:00 this morning. not good. That’s ok though, it’s over for a while. I have WAY too much to do to be bored enough to play. :p

[I wonder what game I was playing.]