Sunday, October 31, 2010

Muffin-Pan Potato Gratins

It's been a real lazy weekend, and I was catching up on the pile of cookbooks and magazines in the pile near the couch. So I thought I would do the Great Cooking Magazine Challenge that Suzy from Kitchen Bouquet did a while back! Good motivation. I found a really easy recipe for potatoes in the new issue of Martha Stewart's Everyday Food that looked amazing! And did I mention easy? Really easy!

These were FANTASTIC! I used 1% milk instead of cream, because that's all I had and I don't think it made a bit of difference. The bottom sort of stuck to the nonstick pan, of course it did, that's my luck, so I ended up just re-stacking them with the top pieces that had browned. These "stackers" would be great for company or just as a side for the family! We really enjoyed these. A really great spur of the moment recipe that I will definitely be making again!

Muffin-Pan Potato Gratins
Source: Martha Stewart Everyday Food, November 2010
adapted There's Always Thyme to Cook 
Printable Recipe

2 medium-sized Russet Potatoes, very thinly sliced
6 tablespoons heavy cream (I used 1% milk)
coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 400°.

Lightly coat 6 standard muffin cups with unsalted butter. Place two slices of potato in each cup and season with salt and pepper. Continue to add potato slices, seasoning after a few slices, until the cups are filled. Pour 1 tablespoon heavy cream over each cup. Bake until potatoes are golden brown ad tender when pierced with a knife, about 30-35 minutes. Run a knife around each gratin. Place a baking sheet on top of the pan and invert to release the gratins. Flip right side up and serve.


Joining Mary's Mosaic Monday. For more mosaic's stop by the Little Red House!

Friday, October 29, 2010

How Easy is That?

That's the question the Barefoot Contessa's new book asks!  It's rhetorical and I can't help but answer it! I just got my copy in the mail and really enjoyed it so far. Great recipes, beautiful pictures, hey, it's Ina Garten, so I'd expect nothing less! It delivers a ton of easy recipes, already bookmarked!   So the answer to "How Easy is That?" would be a resounding "VERY EASY!"

First recipe I tried was the Snap Peas with Pancetta! Just happen to have Pancetta in the freezer for just in case. Hey, you never know when you might need some Italian bacon!  You could use regular bacon, too, if you wanted. I loved it, and ending up serving it warm, but would be just as nice as a cold side! Even Miss Picky liked it! I made the peas ahead and although when I reheated it after shocking it, the green wasn't as bright, it was still so good! Would have been better if I remembered to sprinkle the Pecorino on. Can't remember everything. And I usually don't!

Snap Peas with Pancetta

1 tablespoon salt
1 pound sugar peas, trimmed
1/4 pound pancetta, diced
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1/4 cup minced red onion
5 tablespoons freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese
salt and freshly ground black pepper

My notes -- Instead of blanching you can also steam the snap peas in the microwave on high power for about 6 minutes, then drain in a colander and immerse in ice water. I also served it warm, so I heated it again in the microwave for about 2 minutes before I added the vinaigrette and bacon. If you make the peas in advance and reheat, it loses it's bright green color but still tastes delicious!

Bring 2-3 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot and add 1 tablespoon salt. Fill a large bowl with ice water and have a colander ready in the sink. Put the snap peas into the boiling water for about 15 seconds, drain in the colander in the sink, and immediately put them in the bowl with the ice water. Cool completely and drain. Cut each snap pea in half lengthwise and place in bowl.

Place the pancetta and 1 tablespoon of water in a medium saute pan and cook over medium heat, tossing occasionally, until the pancetta is browned evenly and crisp. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to cool.

To make the vinaigrette, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, and lemon juice. Pour vinaigrette over the snap peas, add the red onion, pancetta, and Pecorino. Toss well and season with salt and pepper, to taste.

And I'll join Suzy from Kitchen Bouquet with an Ina Garten Flashback for Flashback Friday. If you haven't tried it, The Barefoot Contessa Guacamole Salad is a really big, big favorite here. Click here to see the post on Guacamole Salad!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Trick or treat?

 Like a kid in the candy store...

Do you have a favorite?

Monday, October 25, 2010

It's that season...

 Take some apples. Crisp, firm apples. These are Jonagold. I'm pretty sure anyway!

and in a short time you can turn them into Candy Apples and put a big smile on some kid's faces. It put a big smile on mine. I love candy apples. You're never too old!

Have to say I get very nervous working with a pot of molten sugar. Especially with dogs and children around. The kids were out all day, so this was a good day to surprise them, they love candy apples, so do I!

The dogs went outside in the yard. Just in case. Boiling sugar, really bubbling!  Really hot! Exercise extreme caution with this stuff!  I kept the pot in the sink while I dipped the apples, with a baking pan lined with parchment next to the sink. I had everything in place, didn't want any mishaps. I got through everything, except one small thing. One small little thing. After all the apples were done, I had only made four so there was still candy sugar left over in the pot, it spilled over into the sink. The sugar sort of glued the drain strainer thing closed. Figured hot water would melt it and I could get the drain opened. After I got done panicking because the sink was starting to fill up and that drainer thing wasn't budging. I used a measuring cup to get most of the water out, and tapped the drain thing with a hammer. It cracked the candy seal and then I needed a screwdriver to pry it up! That worked! I was way more worried about burning someone than anything else. A flood was all I needed next. But all's well that end's well!
  They couldn't have asked me to make cupcakes?

Let some of the excess drip back into the pot or you'll have a big puddle on the end of your apple. I only made four apples. No sticks in the house, so I used chopsticks left over from the sushi place. Worked great! I'll have to get more because next I see caramel apples in our future!

Candy Apples
Source: Martha Stewart, October 2005
adapted There's Always Thyme to Cook
Printable Recipe

This makes about 6 apples

2 cups sugar
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon red food coloring, (optional)
or instead of food coloring, 1/2 cup of red hot cinnamon candies (optional)
6 medium apples
parchment paper

In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine sugar, 3/4 cup water, corn syrup, and food coloring OR red hots, if using. Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat to medium-high. Insert candy thermometer and continue to boil until temperature reaches between 300 degrees and 310 degrees (hard crack stage), about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, remove stem from apples, insert a wooden stick into the top of each apple, pushing about halfway through; set aside. When mixture reaches temperature, immediately remove from heat. Working quickly, dip apples in sugar mixture until completely coated. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper; allow to cool.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Chopped Liver? Liver Pate? NOT! It's Mock.

Mock Chopped Liver, also known as Vegetarian Chopped Liver. Vegetarian Pate. Mock Pate. Call it what you want, I'm calling it delicious. Could have fooled me. Really. It was a great substitute. And there's no comparison when you see all the cholesterol in chopped liver. Heart attack on a plate. We were pleasantly surprised.

This is lighter, healthier and has a very similar taste and texture, which was very surprising. No kidding. I've heard of it made with lentils, string beans, eggplant, mushrooms, there's so many variations. I got this recipe from an old friend, her mother's recipe! This one is made with canned baby peas, chick peas, walnuts and hard boiled eggs. This mish mash of stuff was going to taste good? You have got to be kidding. I didn't believe her. But she was right, it was excellent. The entire bowl disappeared. OK, granted we were all starving, dying for dinner to be ready, and considering we thought UGHHH when we heard the ingredients, it really is so good. Comes together in a delicious way. So I had to try to make it myself. And we're glad I did. Good stuff. Go figure.

Serve with crackers as an appetizer, on a sandwich with rye bread. It's a nice change from the usual.

Vegetarian Chopped Liver
Source: Shelby
Printable Recipe
Yield: This recipe makes a lot, more than a quart

2 15-oz cans Le Sueur Very Young Early Peas 
1 15-oz can chick peas
2 large sweet onions, sliced or chopped
8 oz shelled walnuts
3 tablespoons olive oil or grapeseed oil
4 eggs, hard-cooked and shelled
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

In a skillet, saute the onions in the oil until they turn golden brown.

In a food processor or a blender, combine the chick peas, walnuts and baby peas and pulse it a bit, to a smooth consistency. Remove to a medium size bowl. Then blend the eggs and the onions together in the food processor (or blender) and pulse to a smooth consistency.
Add the eggs and onions to the chick pea, walnuts and peas in the bowl and mix it all together; add salt and pepper to taste. It should resemble chopped liver somewhat! Serve chilled.

Joining Mary's Mosaic Monday. For more mosaic's stop by the Little Red House!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

How leftovers became a delicious soup...

Ever since I got that food mill, I have yet to toss a leftover soft tomato that no one will bother to use. Now I just roast them, freeze them and put them to good use as a soup or a sauce. Had some orange and yellow bell peppers that were starting to wrinkle, because they were hidden by other stuff in the frig. So I threw them in the roasting pan as well. Dug deep in the freezer and found a poblano pepper that I had sliced in strips and froze to use at a later time. They freeze fine, it came in handy, I threw them in the roasting pan, too, along with some sliced shallots and fresh garlic! As each kid got home from school, they said "smells good!"  So did the Griller, said same thing when he walked in the door, but I think he was secretly happy that I roasted and he didn't have to grill, it's getting cold out there!

After about an hour roasting, I turned off the heat and let it sit for another 45 minutes in the warm oven. I took it out, dumped it all in the food mill and it spun around and around, the seeds and skins separating from the juicy pulp! Threw in a chipotle in adobo sauce, just one for good measure! And then on the stove to simmer for a while. Added some corn, a can of black beans and some shredded leftover chicken. Topped with a little cilantro and some sour cream. Leftovers never tasted so good!

Roast vegetable goodness with chicken, corn and black beans! Somewhat plain for some, just topped with a little sour cream and a sad little piece of cilantro!

and the works! Tortilla chips, avocado, and  sour cream!

Roasted Tomato and Pepper Soup with Chicken, Corn and Black Beans

4 tomatoes, cut in half, not huge, any kind you like
8 Campari tomatoes, small plum or large cherry tomatoes, cut in half
2 orange or yellow bell peppers, seeded and cut in quarters
2 red bell peppers, seeded and cut in quarters
1 poblano pepper
5 cloves of garlic
2 shallots, sliced
salt and pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil to drizzle

1 cup leftover roast chicken, shredded, small pieces
1 cup corn
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
juice of 1 small lime

Sour cream
Tortilla chips
Avocado, sliced

Preheat oven to 350° F.

Place the peppers, tomatoes, shallots and garlic on a large half-sheet pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Roast for an hour. Turn the oven off and let the pan sit in the heat for another 45 minutes or so.

Run everything through a food mill to remove the skins and seeds. Or in the food processor and then strain the seeds and skins. Pour the puree into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to medium-low and add the chicken, beans and corn. If the soup is too thick for your taste, add some chicken stock to thin it out. Simmer for about 20 minutes and serve with sour cream, chopped cilantro, tortilla chips, avocado, a squeeze of lime, whatever you like! Anything goes!

Joining Suzy at Kitchen Bouquet for another Flashback Friday
My original post on the Food Mill and Roasted Tomato Sauce can be found here. and my post about a really delicious Roasted Tomato Soup can be found here!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Tried something new this week. New to us. Risotto. Never made it before, never ordered it at a restaurant before and it does take a little bit of attention to make. Attention. Something I don't always have. Usually never! I grew up hearing the words "focus" so you'd think "focus" was my first name! I was never exactly in a rush to try to make risotto.

My friend, San, mentioned this recipe from epicurious and it just sounded so good. Creamy, lemony, all words that peaked my interest. But the constant attention I'd have to give it, just wasn't sure. Eh, I should try, how bad could it be? I managed to get around the constant stirring by adding a bit more broth at one time so I was able to do something else and not have to constantly stir.  Have to say, though, I was getting antsy, kept tasting, nope, still crunchy after 20 minutes, taste, nope still crunchy after 30 minutes. Then finally after what seemed like an hour, but it wasn't crunchy any more, the risotto was perfect. Creamy, lemony, just like I thought it would be!

Keep adding broth and stirring and taste it, until it's done, it may take more broth, and more time than the recipe says. But it's worth it in the end.
Lemon Risotto
Source: Bon Appétit, May 2002
Printable Recipe

6 cups canned low-salt chicken broth (I needed more)
3 1/2 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large shallots, chopped
2 cups arborio rice
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (about 3 ounces)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
grated zest AND juice from one lemon

In a large saucepan, bring broth to simmer over medium heat. Melt 1 1/2 tablespoons butter with oil in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add shallots and sauté until tender, about 6 minutes. Add rice; stir for about a minute. Add wine and stir until evaporated, about 30 seconds. Add 1 1/2 cups hot broth; simmer until absorbed, stirring frequently. Add remaining broth 1/2 cup at a time, allowing broth to be absorbed before adding more and stirring frequently until rice is creamy and tender, about 40 minutes. Stir in cheese and remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Stir in parsley, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Season risotto with salt and pepper. Transfer to bowl and serve.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Roasted Garlic

I'm on a roasting kick lately and this time it was garlic. Halloween coming up and all, it'll keep the vampires away.  Hey, I roasted so much garlic, it'll keep EVERYONE away!

I usually just buy peeled garlic and freeze it for when I need it, but my neighbor went to the market and they were having some sort of cooking demonstration using organic garlic. It was farm grown locally on Long Island. He liked the demonstration so much he went a little garlic crazy and bought way too much. So he stopped by and dropped off a bunch for us.

We like garlic, we don't love it. Well, we love a little garlic, not overkill.  I didn't want it to go bad, it really was so nice, much nicer than the shriveled, dried, green in the middle, yucky stuff you get at the grocery store sometimes. So I googled what to do with it. And I decided that roasting it would be the best option. It would bring out the sweetness and cut the bite. And that's just what I did!

Roasted Garlic!

I think I'm in love. It's sweet, it delicious and it's spreadable. And I want it to last. So I mixed it up with a stick of butter. Rolled it in parchment and now I'll have a garlic butter sauce any time I want. Just store in the freezer and cut a slice or two any time I need some!

It's great mixed into pasta, on top of a steak, spread on a toasted baguette, on roasted vegetables. Endless possibilities!  Mine is in the freezer, just waiting until I decide what exactly what I want to do with it. And figure out exactly what my picky one will want to eat!

In the meantime, it made a really nice garlic toast!

Roasted Garlic and Roasted Garlic Butter
Printable Recipe

2 heads of garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Slice about a third off the top, pointed end of the garlic bulbs. Remove any loose paper from whole heads of garlic as you can, don't break apart the cloves.

Place it on a large piece of aluminum foil and drizzle it with the olive oil.

Bring the foil over the sides of the garlic and twist to seal it, not too tight. Place it in a small baking dish and roast in the oven for about 45 minutes. Bake until the garlic is soft and easily pierced with a thin-bladed knife. Squeeze the roasted garlic from the clove. Wait until it cools a bit, then squeeze the cloves out. Or use a fork!

To make garlic compound butter: leave a stick of unsalted butter on the counter while the garlic roasts, so it will come to room temperature. When the garlic has roasted and cooled a bit, squeeze the cloves into a bowl, and take the room temperature butter and mash it all together. Take the mixture and plop it on a piece of parchment, wax paper or plastic wrap, then roll it up into a log. Twist the ends to tighten it up. Throw it in the freezer and slice off a piece whenever you need it. Use 3 to 6 cloves of roasted garlic per stick of butter, depending how strong you like the flavor. I used 5 very small cloves to one stick of butter.


Joining Mary's Mosaic Monday. For more mosaic's stop by the Little Red House!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Roasted Beef, Barley and Mushroom Soup...

Got the new Everyday Food in the mail a few days ago, actually got it more than a few days, but it's so small it fell behind the pillows on the sofa and I forgot about it. Can you tell how often I fluff the pillows? NOT!  Love this little magazine, there is always a good recipe, easy and family friendly, even when you have a picky eater. Which I do. Really picky. But Miss Picky does love soup, and there were a few in this month's issue. Saw the Beef Barley recipe and knew she would go for this one. I've never roasted anything before throwing it the soup. It's delicious. Adds a nice deep, rich, depth of flavor to it. More than just throwing in a few pieces of flanken (short ribs!) and simmering out every last bit of flavor, although the Griller loves boiled beef. That is a big no-no on my plate, but to each his own! and here I taught my kids not to say EWWW to other people's food tastes. but I can't help this one. EWWW!

I adapted the recipe somewhat and threw in some little chunks of potatoes, some shredded carrots and a little splash of sherry. It's really flavorful, hearty soup, perfect for the cooler months ahead! We loved it, if you can make it a day ahead, try it, tastes even better a day later!

Roasted Beef, Mushroom and Barley Soup

1 lb sirloin steak, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 lb cremini or button mushrooms, stems trimmed and caps sliced
2 Yukon Gold or any potato you like, cut in small chunks
1-2 carrots, shredded
2 shallots, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup pearl barley
8 cups low-sodium chicken broth
splash of sherry (optional)

Preheat oven to 425° F.

In a medium pot and add the broth, potatoes, carrots and the barley. Bring mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat and simmer.

In a roasting pan or rimmed baking sheet; toss together the steak pieces, mushrooms,  shallots, and olive oil; season with coarse salt and ground pepper. Arrange in a single layer and roast until beef and mushrooms are browned, about 25 minutes. Transfer to the pot of broth, add a splash of sherry, and simmer on low heat until the barley and potatoes are soft, about an hour. To serve; season to taste with salt and pepper and top with chopped fresh parsley if desired.


Monday, October 11, 2010

POM Juice is Wonderful!

As a kid I loved pomegranates. My grandma would bring me and brother one each and we'd cut them open and get the juice and the seeds everywhere. Loved it. Somehow the mess was half the fun. Maybe not for my mother :) My kids love pomegranates, too!  Only now I know the trick of pulling the seeds out in a big bowl of water. So they don't go everywhere. But we never do that. That's no fun. Although I do cheat and buy them already seeded! Or juice! The folks at POM Wonderful were nice to send me a case of POM juice. Eight lovely little bottles arrived the other day, and I was forced to leave a note to my kids on two of them that said, HANDS OFF! and they listened! Because they knew something good would come out of it!

And something good did...

Lamb Chops with a Pomegranate Glaze!

Pomegranate Glaze, thick and syrupy!

The recipe called for steaks, but I had lamb chops and no steak, so that was that. And it was an absolutely gorgeous day to grill. So the Griller took care of the chops, while I started on the salad dressing and the glaze! Miss Picky won't touch lamb chops, so she had the glaze on boneless, skinless grilled chicken breasts.  

Everyone was happy! 
 and I still have one bottle left. All mine. I'm sure it will end up as cocktail! Definitely!

Arugula and Baby Spinach Salad with Pomegranate Vinaigrette

Lamb Chops with Peppercorns and Pomegranate Glaze
Source: Bon Appétit - November 2009/ Test Kitchen
Adapted by There's Always Thyme to Cook
Printable Recipe

8 baby lamb chops
Peppercorn mix, coarsely ground (pink, green, white, black peppercorns) or all black pepper
2 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup pomegranate juice
4 teaspoons (packed) golden brown sugar
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

2 cups arugula
3 cups baby spinach
small jar marinated mushrooms
handful shredded carrots
half red pepper, half yellow pepper, sliced thin
big handful of toasted walnuts
1 tablespoon of the pomegranate glaze
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Sprinkle chops very generously with pepper and salt.  Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chops; cook to desired doneness. Transfer lamb chops to platter.

Add pomegranate juice, golden brown sugar, and 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar to skillet; if grilling use a small saucepan, and boil until reduced to about 1/4 cup glaze, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Season glaze to taste with a bit of salt.

In a jar, add the olive oil, rice vinegar, salt and pepper and a tablespoon of the pomegranate glaze. Shake it up. Adjust seasonings, if needed.

Toss spinach, arugula, carrots, mushroom, and bell peppers with the vinaigrette in a medium bowl. Divide salad evenly among the plates. Top with toasted walnuts. Place two or three lamb chops alongside the salad. Drizzle glaze generously on the lamb chops and serve.

Thanks again to Ryan at POM Wonderful!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Baked Apples

One of my favorite desserts has always been baked apples. Didn't matter what the season, I just love them. So when my niece came back from apple picking over the weekend with her daughter and brought us back a bag of Jonagolds, I knew exactly what some of them were going to be...BAKED!

I found what looked like a really nice recipe at epicurious. But I did change it a little. I omitted the figs, used walnuts instead of pecans and almonds and used apple juice instead of apple cider. I didn't baste all that much, but I did a couple of times. It's a super recipe. Loved it. Can't wait for leftovers tomorrow! It said unpeeled but I peeled one anyway. Still came out good.

Joining Mary's Mosaic Monday. For more mosaic's stop by the Little Red House!

Maple Baked Apples with Dried Cherries and Walnuts
1/3 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
4 tablespoons roughly chopped dried cherries (I used dried Bings)
4 tablespoons roughly chopped walnuts
6 large, firm baking apples, such as Cortlands, cored but not peeled (I used Jonagolds)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces
1/2 cup apple cider or apple juice
2 tablespoons maple syrup

Preheat the oven to 400°F. In a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar, dried fruit, and nuts.

Place the apples in a baking pan or casserole dish and stuff the cavities with the cherry and nut mixture. Place a small piece of butter on top of the stuffing. Pour the apple juice and maple syrup on the bottom of the baking pan, and drizzle a little on top of the apples. Bake the apples, until they are tender, about 30 - 35 minutes, making sure to baste every ten minutes.

When the apples are tender, transfer them to a serving dish and cover with foil to keep warm. Pour the pan juices into a saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Simmer the mixture and reduce it until it becomes a syrupy sauce, about 10 minutes. Serve over the apples.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Getting chili here...

It's getting chilly here in New York! Time for apples, pumpkins, and comfort foods! And to us, comfort food means a big bowl of hot chili, hot as in temperature and hot as in spicy! Sorry people but we also like beans with our chili.What we don't agree on is toppings!

Made a huge pot of it the other night. We like it better the next day, it gets thicker, and the flavors come together to make a really hearty, delicious bowl of goodness! We do however like different things on our chili. one plain, one with cheese, avocado and onions. One with cheese, crushed saltine crackers and onions, and one with everything, cheese, tomatoes, onions and avocado.

Flashing back to one of our favorite chili recipes, it's from, and was posted to the cooking forum where I saw it and had to try it. Made it many times since then, using ground beef one time and mostly boneless chuck roast cut into small pieces. That was time consuming, so this time I cut big chunks out of the roast and pulsed it in the food processor. Not too fine, and it was a nice texture in the chili. And much easier if you have a nice sized roast!

Beef Chili with Ancho, Mole and Cumin

Adapted from the kitchen of There's Always Thyme to Cook
Source: Bon Appétit - February 2009 by Cheryl Alters Jamison and Bill Jamison
posted Cooking Forum - Riverrat
Printable Recipe

1 tablespoon cumin
4 bacon slices, chopped
1 4-pound boneless chuck roast, trimmed, cut into 1/2- to 3/4-inch cubes
1 large onion, chopped (about 2 cups)
4 large garlic cloves, chopped
3 1/2 cups (or more) beef broth, divided
1/4 cup pure ancho chile powder
1/4 cup Texas-style chili powder blend (I didn't have that, what is it?  I used New Mexico ground chili powder, Chipotle chili powder and a medium heat chili powder blend)
1 1/2 tablespoons mole paste (I had to make it, couldn't find in the store, then froze the leftovers, see recipe below)
2 teaspoons (or more) salt
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano, crumbled
2 tablespoons masa flour
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (more or less to taste)

warm, freshly cooked or drained canned black beans, kidney beans or pinto beans
chopped white, red or green onions
grated cheddar cheese, monterey jack cheese, or queso fresco
sliced fresh or pickled jalapeno chiles
tortilla chips or oyster crackers

Sauté bacon in large pot over medium high heat until brown and crisp. Using slotted spoon, transfer bacon to large bowl. Sprinkle beef with salt and pepper. Working in 4 batches, sauté beef in drippings in pot until browned, about 5 minutes per batch. Transfer beef and most drippings to bowl with bacon. Add onion and garlic to pot. Sauté until onion begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Add 1/2 cup broth to pot. Bring to boil, scraping up browned bits. Return beef, bacon, and any accumulated juices to pot. Mix in all the chili powders, mole paste, 2 teaspoons salt, vinegar, oregano, and cumin. Add 3 cups broth; bring to boil. Reduce heat to very low and simmer gently uncovered until beef is very tender, stirring occasionally and adding more broth by 1/2 cupfuls if chili is dry, about 2 1/2 hours. Mix the masa in a quarter cup of warm water to make a slurry. Spoon it into the chili and bring back to a boil to thicken the chili. Season chili with salt, pepper, and cayenne, if desired. Add more broth if it's too thick.

Chili can be made 3 days ahead. Cool 1 hour. Chill uncovered until cold, then cover and keep chilled. Rewarm over low heat.

Mole Sauce
Source: Allrecipes
Adapted by There's Always Thyme to Cook

2 teaspoons oil (vegetable or olive oil)
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
A little handful of cilantro, chopped, or 1 teaspoon dried
1 garlic clove, chopped fine
1 one can of Rotel tomatoes with green chilies
1 (4 ounce) can diced green chile peppers
1/4 cup almonds, sliced or chopped

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat, and cook the onion until tender. Mix in cocoa powder, cumin, cilantro, and garlic. Stir in the tomatoes and green chile peppers. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer about 20 minutes.  Let it cool a bit. Then whiz it with an immersion blender to make a smooth sauce, but be careful of splattering. Or you can also whiz the whole thing in the food processor.

Note: I put the leftovers in an ice cube tray and when it's frozen, put them in a ziploc bag and have a cube if I need one for a recipe.

Joining Suzy at Kitchen Bouquet for another Flashback Friday.


and joining

Texas Star Chili Cook Off 2012
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