Shopping, Cooking and the Ideal Iteration of Beans
posted Jul 29 2013 6:22PM
Tonight, after my shift ends and I have completed the various other tasks I am required to do before I leave for the night, I will be prowling the aisles of some supermarket. I always shop late at night. It's less crowded and I find it so much easier to find what I'm looking for when I don't have to worry about someone ramming me in the hip with their shopping cart (which actually happened to me once; I had a bruise for about a month afterwards. The kicker: the woman who hit me didn't apologize or even acknowledge what happened. I was standing there in obvious pain and she had to change her direction just to get around me, and she didn't say a single word. I mean come on, who does that?! But I digress.)
I've told you before about my culinary pursuits. I'm not a great cook, but there are a few things I do well. One of them is chili. I'm obsessive about chili because there is a certain specific way I like it. That is, when I make it myself. When I order it in restaurants (which is to say every time I see it on a menu), I like a little variation. But I'm still perfecting my own recipe. For starters, I always use pinto beans. Some people will use black beans, many will use kidney beans. But I don't like black beans; the husks always come off and get stuck in my teeth. And I'm just meh about kidney beans. They just don't do it for me. So it's got to be pinto beans. And only one can. Ideally you should get one or two beans per spoonful. I don't like chili that's all beans and you have to search to find the meat.
Speaking of meat, I use a combination of ground beef and country sausage. The ideal ratio is one pound of beef and a half pound of sausage. They taste incredible together. Just put them in the pot together and cook the sausage as you brown the beef. I also prefer tomato sauce as opposed to stewed tomatoes or paste. I think sauce takes on the flavor of the seasonings better. I also pour in a bottle of beer, preferably a full flavor American lager. If you do it right, you'll still taste a hint of the beer in the final product. One of these days I'll get it just right and post the recipe here. In the meantime I'll keep tinkering because tasting those prototypes is half the fun. Cheers.