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Chili – Cook-Off 15


Chris Amirault
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Okay, my attempt at New Mexico-style green chili with lamb is currently simmering away. Was too hurried to do the full pictorial thang, but I promise I'll post some kind of photo at the end. Here's what went into it:

1/4 lb bacon

2 lbs "lamb bones" -- yielded what looked like approx. 1 lb. meat in 1/2" cubes

2 7 oz. cans NM style green fire-roasted chiles

1 lb. fresh Anaheim chiles, roasted, peeled, and chopped

2 small onions, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

Approx. 1/2 tsp NM red chile powder

3 dried chiles de arbol

Approx. 1/2 tsp ground cumin

Approx. 1/2 tsp ground Mexican oregano

1 bay leaf

3 cups cooked garbanzo beans

1 scant cup water

First I cooked the bacon, then removed and reserved it. I browned the lamb, including the bones, in the bacon fat, removed and reserved that too. Browned the chopped onion and garlic in the bacon fat, then added back the lamb, bones, and whatever bacon I hadn't already noshed on :smile: , plus all the other ingredients except the garbanzos, and let it simmer for about 1/2 hour. Then the garbanzos went in (thanks, gourmande, for the impetus for that--I had pressure-cooked a big batch of garbanzos earlier in the week and there was still a goodly amount hanging around in the fridge).

So far, it's looking pretty promising, and definitely green! I'll let it keep simmering until the lamb is really tender, then remove the bones, put any remaining meat off them, and stir the meat back into the chili.

Only other observations so far: my pepper-peeling technique still needs a little work. The Anaheims went directly from the oven into a tightly-sealed container to steam as most people suggest, but while the skins of most of them came off fairly easily there was at least one I had to give up on and mutter, "Okay, a few shreds of skin in a non-competition chili aren't going to harm anything." :rolleyes:

Oh yeah--the Anaheims roasting in the oven smelled distinctly different from when I roast bell peppers, but I don't know if that might actually be due to the fact that, unlike bell peppers, I roasted these Anaheims dry, without oil (I figured it would be a pain in the butt trying to peel slippery peppers).

Edited by mizducky (log)
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Okay, I could have let the chili simmer for even longer, but it's getting late and I'm getting hungry!!! :laugh:

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As I expected, even though I only put in a scant cup of water to start things out, the chiles released a large amount of liquid, so between that and using cubed rather than ground meat, I produced a soupy chili. Which is fine, because that soup is downright flavorful. The amount of heat is not huge, but just right for me and my sensitive tummy. The lamb, while tender enough, is not doing the disintegrating-into-meat-fibers thang; like I said, I should have let it simmer perhaps another hour. The garbanzos really held up well--there's no tomato products in this recipe, as you'll recall, but the canned green chiles contained some citric acid, so that plus the natural sturdiness of garbanzos probably helped with that. The green chiles, both fresh and canned, semi-disintegrated, but I think they're supposed to do that. The flavors of the lamb and the combo of different chiles are playing together very nicely in my mouth. :smile:

A note on my rationale for the variety of chile products I used: as my transplanted New Mexican friend tells me with great sighs of longing, you just can't find fresh New Mexico chiles in Cali markets, and there's no good substitute. The typical Hatch NM chile used for these kinds of dishes is called Big Jim--it's the chile that, when fully ripened to red and then dried, gets made into those ristras (chile wreaths) one sees in NM gift shops. Green, they slightly resemble Anaheims, but are a good bit hotter. The green chiles are rumored to come dried too, but I haven't found them. Typically the fresh ones are flame-roasted and skinned, and then either used as-is in recipes, or frozen. There are some mail-order places that sell the frozen stuff, but of course I didn't want to wait for that! :biggrin: The canned flame-roasted green chiles are considered a last resort--and most of the time, the chiles in those cans aren't even Big Jims, they're just more Anaheims. So, I did a compromise suggested by one or another of the NM chile-head websites I found, using a combination of canned and fresh-roasted Anaheims for the general flavor, color, and texture, and then some other chiles for the heat. The chiles de arbol are my favorite go-to dried chiles for long-simmered dishes--I've got their heat-level pretty well calibrated at this point. And the New Mexico (red) chile powder? I threw that in, well, just because (it sez New Mexico on the label! :laugh: )

Edited by mizducky (log)
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well I really was planning to make chili from some recipe tonight.. but I was tired so I just did it my way.. here it is:

chili.jpg

I can't give the recipe but I can sort of tell you what's in it..

ground beef and ground pork

vegetables: celery, onion, garlic, grated carrot

can of tomatoes

spices; ground corianderseed, cumin, chipotle peppers, tiny bit of cinnamon, chocolate.

Kidney beans, barley.

Fresh parsley and fresh coriander

very, very good and so comforting..

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We made some Texas-style chili last night -- big cubes of chuck, no beans, fairly hot. I top it with jack cheese and fresh onions, but I left them off for the pictures.

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"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced" - Vincent Van Gogh
 

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Chili in the pot, simmering, sans-beans, which are still cooking in the Le Creuset and are to be added later with some more tomato liquid.

This is composed of tomatoes, tomatillo, onion, red bell pepper, ground lamb, ground turkey, and ground pork, with fresh serrano, fresh jalepeno, dried New Mexico, dried chopped chipotle, and powdered guajillo and morita chipotle. dried oregano. And some mole paste. coriander seed. thyme. and garlic. Hit of vinegar.

Fresh cilantro will be added before completion.

EDIT: We just dumped in some frozen corn kernels as well.

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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Here is today's chili simmering away...

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As mentioned yesterday, today I'm making a very simple ground beef version. The ingredients include:

ground beef, onion, red and green sweet peppers, canned tomatoes, canned kidney beans, chipotle in adobo sauce, garlic, cumin, oregano, chili powder, cocoa powder and salt.

Once served I'll top with some chopped fresh cilantro and grated cheddar.

Cheese: milk’s leap toward immortality – C.Fadiman

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I did mine last night and served it tonight. I used ground beef and beans, but no tomatoes, and went for a flavor profile of Chile Colorado. I was finished in under an hour but it turned out to be quite satisfying nonetheless. I posted the recipe here: Northern Valley Red

I also took some photos, some 'still lifes', if you will. The first is my cast of characters (including appropriate tunes, of course):

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And this is how it went down (again, with an appropriate 'accompaniment'):

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Garnishes are corn tortilla strips, sour cream and cilantro.

aka Michael

Chi mangia bene, vive bene!

"...And bring us the finest food you've got, stuffed with the second finest."

"Excellent, sir. Lobster stuffed with tacos."

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Beans should be pre-cooked. If you have tomato product in the chili, or anything else acidic for that matter, your beans won't cook up right. Then you get into the situation where you don't know how much liquid you would need to cook the beans. My true confession is that, if I am using beans like in Whacked-Out Chili, I use a good brand of canned. Goya seems to do a good job of cooking beans without them getting mushy.

Okay, thanks. I'll stick with America's Choice canned, then.

And it will be ground beef once again, at least this time. Esposito's on 9th Street had a special on 80/20 ground beef (10 lbs for $9.90) that I had to take advantage of.

Recipe and photos to come when I cook it.

Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia

"95% of success in life is showing up." --Woody Allen

My foodblogs: 1 | 2 | 3

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Bit of a nerve to contribute from the other side of the water-but to me the best results come with hand chopped meat-deliberately in a variety of dimensions from 3/4 inch cubes to finely ground. But the essential is pork rind-very finely ground after(long) cooking-shin of beef is best-and returned to the pot. only this gives the richness of texture I'm looking for.

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Jake, how thick was it? I definitely lean on the spackle end of the spectrum, though I can appreciate the benefit of drippy juices soaking down.

People, we need more photos!!

Sorry, just got the camera back...it was fairly thick, but not paste-like, just a thick sauce (tomatos reduced, I don't use paste in it.) I'll try and get a picture this week if we pull the leftovers out of the freezer.

Barbara Laidlaw aka "Jake"

Good friends help you move, real friends help you move bodies.

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Haven't got any photos -- I'm not a big food photographer to begin with, but tonight it's really just not an option, with a flashless camera phone, a light out near the stove, and meat-in-dark-sauce cooking in cast-iron -- but I made chili tonight 'cause of this thread. Goat chili.

In August, we got a goat -- minus the head and one leg -- from our butcher, who'd ordered it to fill a special order and had a lot left over so gave us a good deal on it. There's not much of it left now, but there were two packages of assorted chops, which I had found were best braised: they're bony and fairly small, so although they can be seared/baked/sauteed/whatever, if served on the bone they're pretty hard to eat.

This is a pretty young goat, I think -- milder than the lamb I buy, and many of the cuts would be more likely mistaken for pork. The ground meat made the best non-beef hamburgers I've had.

Anyway, though -- today I braised the chops in my cast iron "chicken fryer" (so Lodge calls it), with two diced cayenne peppers frozen sometime in the summer, a few cloves of elephant garlic, a mixture of spices (cumin, grains of paradise (I'm out of peppercorns), oregano, paprika, dash of cinnamon, dash of sugar, dash of salt), the half cup of coffee we hadn't drunk this morning, and enough stock to cover.

Once the meat got to the point that it was hopping off the bone, I strained out the liquid and popped it in the fridge -- it's very fatty, and I want it to cool down enough for me to get most of that fat out, especially since this goat fat is fairly gamy. I've got beans -- straight up red beans like we'd be using for red beans and rice -- cooking in a little stock, and some roasted tomatoes, and I'll toss those all together in about an hour, after I've made some cornbread to go with.

The one thing it's really missing is onion, which I'm out of cause we skipped the Farmer's Market yesterday morning in favor of a Halloween party. But it's a nice halfway point between "what I think of as chili" and "what I think of as stew," and spicy enough -- thanks to those midsummer cayennes -- that the Missus is gonna ask for some cheese on top.

ETA some chili-making background:

Chili is the first dish I learned to make, if you don't count "watching Dad cook while Mom's sick" type stuff (scrambled eggs, hamburgers, ... more scrambled eggs). I'd been "baking" for a few years, making cakes from mixes while my mother was out running errands, because I'd realized that asking, "Mom, can we have cake?" often yielded a "no," while "look Mom, I made a cake!" might get an exasperated "and look at the mess you made," but we still had cake. The kitchen's a mighty powerful place.

I'm not sure why I switched from sweet to savory, and neither's my mother, who points out she'd make chili any time I asked for it, since it was something the whole family'd eat -- so that cake-making motivation wasn't there. But whatever the reason, I started making it when I was about 12 or 13, which means I've been at it 18 years now. When I was in college and was "the guy who can cook," chili was the main thing people came over for.

I've gone through every phase with it, adding all the ingredients you suddenly think are brilliant, all the CASI recipes, peanut butter chili, sweet potato chili, a chili I called "Chili Palmer" after Elmore Leonard's Get Shorty (pork chops and ground beef, lots of papaya), Texan purism, etc. At this point, I just make whatever I'm in the mood for. Usually I prefer chili-grind beef and/or pork, onions, chile, tomato, a minimum of garlic and bell pepper, and enough stock in the liquid to encourage a thick sauce to the final product (the stock I used tonight is heavy on the gelatin). If it's more finely ground beef, I like it to be thick enough to spread on toast without soaking through.

Edited by Ktepi (log)
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I lept into the fray with a chili stew concoction for lunch today.

I used stew meat, onions, garlic, fire roasted tomatoes, chipoltes in adobo sauce, a little cumin, a little paprika and a little chili powder plus several slugs of vinager.

Served with cornbread, cheddar cheese and sour cream.

It was a little spicy for my taste -- I'm usually a Cincinnatti chili girl but I had two servings and hubby had two as well.

I browned the meat and then simmered it for about 3 hours. The meat didn't get as tender as I had hoped. Oh well.

There's always next time!

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It is cold and damp here today with what is politely termed "wintry mix" falling from the sky, so chili seemed like just the thing for dinner.

It's not fancy, it's not authentic, it's only a riff on the flavors of Mom's Chili. Mom's chili is middle American at best, but it's the flavor I grew up with, so while I like other chilis, I always come back to this.

It's basically half a pound of ground beef, browned and drained, some onion thrown in (I use half a small or a quarter of a large), a bunch of chili powder (yes, the premixed stuff in a jar) - I never measure, I just eyeball it - some oregano, a shake or two of ground chipotle, a can of diced tomatoes, drained, and a can of beans. Salt and pepper as needed. Mom always used dark red kidney beans, but I've been using black soy beans, and really liking the flavor. I also used fresh tomatoes tonight because all those green tomatoes we took off the plants about a month ago are now ripening all at the same time.

I usually just serve the chili with shredded cheese and a dollop of sour cream, but I had an avocado that was going to be overripe soon, so I garnished with that, too:

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And since that picture doesn't show much of the chili, here's a picture after the first bite or two:

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I have a green chile stew planned for later this week, which probably qualifies as chili too :smile: .

Marcia.

Don't forget what happened to the man who suddenly got everything he wanted...he lived happily ever after. -- Willy Wonka

eGullet foodblog

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Wow... well, this is my first attempt w/cubed chuck. I agree: cubing it is a pain, but worth it. This batch was done in the Bayless style (that is, with a toasted ancho starting "sauce") but I used ground lamb, ground veal, and a big ol' cut of chuck. All of it was worth it. The main thing missing here was a bit of spice... and while I'm not a beer drinker (that is, I'm allergic to it if you can believe that), a local crappy beer is necessary w/chili...

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something that sorta makes a chili for me is grease. i know alot of people have an averse reaction towards it but when you see the oil sitting on top from the beef or the cheese it makes it ten times better for me. when searing my meat i always use a really fatty cut of meat. and the cheese has got to have that glisten to it from having too much and from the melting of course. i know it sounds strange but without it, it just seems bland to me.

bork bork bork

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I've been pretty busy and just discovered this thread today. My loss, but all OK now.

something that sorta makes a chili for me is grease. i know alot of people have an averse reaction towards it but when you see the oil sitting on top from the beef or the cheese it makes it ten times better for me.

Amen to that. I'm a native Texas, now living in Virginia, and I hate to admit it but there are two joints around here that serve pretty decent chili. At one, when you order, you specify the amount of grease you want on yours. I usually order what is called "Texas medium with cheese, onions, no beans", but lots of folks order "Texas wet". Sans grease, it just ain't the same :wink:.

"My only regret in life is that I did not drink more Champagne." John Maynard Keynes

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I've been pretty busy and just discovered this thread today.  My loss, but all OK now.
something that sorta makes a chili for me is grease. i know alot of people have an averse reaction towards it but when you see the oil sitting on top from the beef or the cheese it makes it ten times better for me.

Amen to that. I'm a native Texas, now living in Virginia, and I hate to admit it but there are two joints around here that serve pretty decent chili. At one, when you order, you specify the amount of grease you want on yours. I usually order what is called "Texas medium with cheese, onions, no beans", but lots of folks order "Texas wet". Sans grease, it just ain't the same :wink:.

I just added "Soulful Bowlful Chile" to RecipeGullet. It has added pork sausage to pump up the greas content. Since I am not yet learned in making a link to the recipegullet, here is an approximation of what I have added:

Soulful Bowlful Chile

Ingredients:

25 ancho chiles

1 quart beef stock

2 & ½ lb chuck, chili grind

1 & ½ lb fresh pork sausage (not Italian)

2 lb ground venison

3 T. canola oil

4 cups finely chopped onions

8 garlic cloves, minced

1 T. chile pequin

1 14.5-oz can diced tomatoes

4 Serrano chiles

1 12-oz can beer

2 T. ground cumin

2 T. kosher salt

1 & ½ tsp Mexican oregano

1 tsp smoked paprika

3 T. cider vinegar

Water as needed

1. Spread the ancho chiles on a large baking pan and toast for 10 minutes at 300º F. Remove from oven, allow to cool, and then stem and deseed. Combine with the beef stock in a food processor and pulse until a smooth paste is formed. Add more liquid if necessary.

2. Heat 3 T. canola oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté the meat in batches and transfer to a Dutch oven when meat turns gray---it doesn’t need to be browned.

3. Add the onions, garlic, chile pequin, tomatoes, Serrano chiles, and 12 ounces of beer. Bring to a boil, and then simmer for twenty minutes.

4. After simmering twenty minutes, add the cumin, salt, oregano, smoked paprika, and vinegar. Simmer, covered, for another hour, adding more water or beer as needed.

Serve with Mexican rice, pinto beans, and cornbread.

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This past Sunday, Whacked Out Chili was the project for the day. Here we go with the long list of ingredients:

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I got this particularly beautiful chuck roast at my local HEB. It was their Natural Angus brand. The marbeling was wonderful. Here we are starting to brown it in the big gumbo pot standing in as a chili pot. I cut it into about a 1/2 inch dice.

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You can see that there is enough vegetation in this recipe that I consider this a one dish meal so I can get out of making a salad. :raz: Notice that the veggies are cut fairly large. You only cook them until they just begin to wilt before adding all of the other ingredients.

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After simmering for about an hour and a half, the meat is succulent and tender and you are ready to eat. Notice that the "gravy" is fairly liquid but nicely thickened. We wimped out on making cornbread and served it with buttered saltines. I had forgotten how much I like saltines with chili.

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Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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Beautiful, Linda!

I Cook-Off'ed Chili last night. Linda, I think it was you that sent me copies of posts about not soaking beans, and oven cooking them, a year or more ago... I want to give the right people credit, but now I can't remember who did the research and authored/posted all that! :blush: The info cited the Russ Parsons method for cooking beans and mentioned that Russ wrote the definitive aricle in the LA Times quite a few years ago. Well, I am truly a convert and owe you, Russ, and _____ my thanks. I will never soak beans again.

That is the method I used for cooking the beans for this chili. I sautéed onions and garlic in bacon fat, and then added beans (I'm old-fashioned about chili -- if it's not kidney beans it doesn't seem like chili to me), water and brought it to a boil. Then I added salt and transferred the Dutch oven to the oven for perfectly cooked beans in 2 hours.

Meanwhile, stove top, I cooked the other part of the chili (ground round; sausage; canned whole tomatoes, cut up; herbs, spices, flavorings... usual chili stuff) and then added the two together to simmer while we took a walk.

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I usually eat just a load of raw onions on my chili, but reading all the variety of toppings in this Cook-Off got me in the mood to serve more. Purplewiz's/Marcia's avocados looked so good, that was one of the offerings. Besides the onion and avocado we had olives, fresh cilantro, and cheese.

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Russ's first bowl...

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My first bowl...

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Dinner is served. I had a Mojo IPA and Russ had wine (Zinfandel).

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I heard that Brit Hume would've liked the chili better than Chris Matthews.

Life is short; eat the cheese course first.

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Susan, that looks wonderful. Olives in chili??? That surprised me. How did they go together, would you mix them again?

Barbara Laidlaw aka "Jake"

Good friends help you move, real friends help you move bodies.

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Susan . . . The final method for cooking the beans in the oven is credited to Russ Parson's. He put a copy of his article on the subject in the Dried Beans thread. Somewhere in there he declares that someone is going to put "Didn't Soak His Beans" on his headstone.

Why don't I ever think to garnish with avocado? That is a natural.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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Has anyone played around with a chili cassoulet? Or a cassoulet-style chili, if you like that labelling better. Susan's mention of cooking her beans in the oven made me think of it.

Maybe smoked sausage and hand-cut or chili-grind chuck, for the meats -- smoked pork of some kind maybe (tasso if I could get it here) -- kind of reluctant to put duck in chili, for some reason. Chipotles, garlic (roasted?), cumin, roasted tomato puree, rich stock, masa. Pinto beans?

I'm imagining something rich, deep, and spicy, with lime wedges to accompany -- or the orange slices of feijoada -- instead of the richness of sour cream, cheese, and avocado.

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Has anyone played around with a chili cassoulet?  Or a cassoulet-style chili, if you like that labelling better.  Susan's mention of cooking her beans in the oven made me think of it.

Maybe smoked sausage and hand-cut or chili-grind chuck, for the meats -- smoked pork of some kind maybe (tasso if I could get it here) -- kind of reluctant to put duck in chili, for some reason.  Chipotles, garlic (roasted?), cumin, roasted tomato puree, rich stock, masa.  Pinto beans?

I'm imagining something rich, deep, and spicy, with lime wedges to accompany -- or the orange slices of feijoada -- instead of the richness of sour cream, cheese, and avocado.

That is a fascinating concept. A common use of your basic chili here is as a chili pie. This favorite of the pot luck circuit is normally assembled using masa or crushed tortilla chips or corn chips, cheese, onion maybe. You could switch the balance to more beans, maybe use crushed chips in place of the bread crumbs, vary the meat mix . . . HMMMMM!!! Yeah . . . pinto beans. How about some chorizo sausage? This has possibilities.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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