Want to Swoon Your Next Date Over Dinner?

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posted on Aug, 23 2004 @ 01:10 PM
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I've had working experience in the kitchen for over 5 years now - I started when I was 17 and still do it now, helping out with my cousin's restaurant here in Tallahassee and I also own my own personal chef business

Here's some images I took from my portfolio...The first one shows my business logo...




If anyone needs a helping hand for dinner ideas and preperation for that special someone...or if you just need to know how long it's going to take for your water to boil so you can drop some raman noodles, just let me know and I'll be more than happy to lend a hand


[Edited on 8/23/2004 by EnronOutrunHomerun]




posted on Aug, 25 2004 @ 11:10 AM
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That's awesome. Good for you on being a personal chef. It's one of the many ideas I've been thinking about for my next "professional" life.

Currently doing HR Consulting, but I'm in Wisconsin and the people of this state are very frugal. Cheap, ok?

I just don't think a PC would go over here, either. It seems the more money people make around here, the cheaper they are. Or, they think they know more than everyone else.



posted on Aug, 25 2004 @ 11:34 AM
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It seems the more money people make around here, the cheaper they are. Or, they think they know more than everyone else.

Oh how true!! "Yes sir, if you really want to impress your guests I wouldn't suggest salmon roe....try, well, anything but that!"


Business is slow here - Even living in a capital doesn't seem to help much....there's plenty of filthy rich people in this town, and I've met and chatted with a good few, but if I end up doing something for them it's usually real simple and nothing as extravagent as what I enjoy cooking for myself - lol - Luckily, a few of my friends' parents are mega wealthy and I've cooked for them on multiple occasions and that's what seems to keep things going....Cooking in their kitchens in unbelieveable! This one house has a kitchen that looks like kitchen stadium from iron chef - lol - fun stuff....



posted on Sep, 10 2004 @ 10:45 AM
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Other than a good salad or steamed veggies what can I make with this...

Looks in fridge and pantry....

Fridge:

brocoli
grean beans
brussel sprouts
tomatoes
green pepper
onions
mushrooms
feta cheese
green olives
garlic
romain lettuce
spring mix (various greens)
carrots
cucumber
almonds
half jar of pasta sauce

Freezer:

Frozen Shrimp
cheese filled spinach tortelinni

Pantry:

Cous-cous
black tutle beans
green lentils
split peas
black eyed peas
garbanzo beans
three varieties of rice
canned tuna
canned salmon
canned hearts of palm
canned artichoke hearts

Olive oil
balsamic vinegar
red wine vinegar
white wine vinegar
tahini
tamari
honey
wide variety of spices

Meat is absent but close by


Now get to work!


edit: I have had the shrimp for a while and don't know what to do with them!


[Edited on 9/10/2004 by Gools]



posted on Sep, 10 2004 @ 11:42 AM
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Originally posted by Gools
Fridge:

brocoli
grean beans
brussel sprouts
tomatoes
green pepper
onions
mushrooms
feta cheese
green olives
garlic
romain lettuce
spring mix (various greens)
carrots
cucumber
almonds
half jar of pasta sauce

Freezer:

Frozen Shrimp
cheese filled spinach tortelinni

Pantry:

Cous-cous
black tutle beans
green lentils
split peas
black eyed peas
garbanzo beans
three varieties of rice
canned tuna
canned salmon
canned hearts of palm
canned artichoke hearts

Olive oil
balsamic vinegar
red wine vinegar
white wine vinegar
tahini
tamari
honey
wide variety of spices

Meat is absent but close by
[Edited on 9/10/2004 by Gools]

Man...you're all set to go....

First off...get the shrimp out and let them defrost while I think of something...Don't put them in hot water tho - just room temp is fine...they'll thaw at the same speed



posted on Sep, 10 2004 @ 12:57 PM
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I dont know if you have a Bonefish Grill anywhere near you...but this may turn out to be somewhat similar to their Saucy Shrimp. Ill try and add cooking tips in as I go along. If you have any questions, Just ask...

1-2 lb Shrimp
1 cup feta cheese
3 Tblspns of olive oil
2 tspns thyme
1 medium onion
2 tomatoes
red/white wine
3 cloves garlic
jar of pasta sauce
cup green olives
salt/pepper to taste


Okay! Now that the shrimp are defrosted, (Using the magic of the internet POOF! Theyre defrosted
) if they are not yet peeled and deveined, do so. The best trick is to flip the little sucker on its back, get both of your thumbs in the center of the body and pull away....then just take a paring knife and make a shallow slice down the back and wash the vein out along with any remaining shell...using this method you can easily keep the tail on all the shrimp for appearance purposes. If you dont want the hassle of pulling it off later, just go ahead and do it now. Put the shrimp in a bowl...hit them with about 2 Tblspns of olive oil and some pepper and the thyme. No salt just yet as that will start the cooking process and could make them a little too chewy later. Put them in fridge for now. Break up the feta and put it back in the fridge.

Dice the tomatoes and onion. Youre looking for about a inch x inch. (Sometimes when you cook tomatoes with the skin on you can get little skin-rollups that are kind of crunchy and detract from the feel of the dish...to prevent this you can cut the vine-end out, cut an x in the bottom of the tomato, pop them in boiling water for about 3 minutes and shock them in ice water and then peel the skin off...your choice, if time allows.)

Get a saut pan on the range and blast it to high. Pour about 1 Tblspn of olive oil into the pan and let it sit for about 45 seconds. Come back to it, veggies at the ready, and spread the oil evenly over the pan then throw them in. Using a spoon or the flick of your wrist, keep them moving in the pan. Keep this up until the onions start to become translucent and sweat their juices and the tomatoes begin to loose their form....or in other words...for about 5-6 minutes. If you have some drinking wine, red or white, splash some in here while its still on high go for about cup and let it bubble away. Turn the heat down to a medium.

Peel the garlic and cut in half, then slice into thin slivers. Add this to the pan and turn the heat up just a tad. Add that half a jar of pasta sauce and season with salt and pepper...taste it to make sure its right for you. While you let this sauce simmer, cut the green olives in half and put them aside. Put another skillet or saut pan large enough to fit the shrimp in on the range and put it on high. No olive oil this time...its on the shrimp in the fridge. After the pan has sat for about a minute, throw the shrimp in. Theyll cook fast...and shrimp are just one of those foods that you can cook briefly and they taste great or a long time and they taste great, but somewhere in between and they taste chewy. So well let them cook between 5-7 minutes. The outer layer should be a marbled orange/white and slightly firm to the touch. Reduce the heat to medium.

Now that the shrimp are cooked, take the sauce from the other pan and add it to the shrimp. Let that cook for another 2-3 minutes. Right before you serve, throw in the feta and green olives. Spoon the portions into bowls. If you have any fresh herbs like basil, sprigs of rosemary, or parsley you can use this to garnish. As Emeril would say...lol...you can kick this up a notch with a healthy splash of white truffle oil. Enjoy!! This can be served in smaller portions as an appetizer or as light meal with some nice crispy bread for dipping.

So that was using maybe 6-7 things from your list...I can think of a quite few more things you can do some require meat and some dont...If the above recipe sounds good I can keep going with some side dishes or other possibilities.



[Edited on 9/10/2004 by EnronOutrunHomerun]



posted on Sep, 10 2004 @ 03:19 PM
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I'm busy tonight but I will try this tomorrow.

I have always had trouble with shrimp being chewy...probably because they are the pre-cooked frozen kind so I will omit the cooking step in your instructions. I have both fresh garlic and pickled. I assume you meant fresh in your recipe. What can I do with the pickled garlic?

I have four bottles of wine in my rack at the moment, I guess I'll just HAVE to open one
... and then finish it!

BTW that is a typical makeup of food provisions at my place along with fruit and some occasional meats, eggs, milk etc. so any other ideas are welcome.

I cook for myself mostly with the occasional dinner of friends and I always try recipes before I try them on my guests


Question: I heard that it is not proper to put basil in a basilic vinaigrette since they are actually different tates. Your opinion?



posted on Sep, 10 2004 @ 03:51 PM
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I've actually never tried pickled garlic...From what I understand, you usually eat it as is on a relish tray with pickels and onions, etc..foods that are pickeled can usually work well in certain kinds of dips and sauces - I'll have to look into it...

Yeah - I guess being in Canada you may not get the freshest of shrimpa all the time - the frozen shrimp will work fine tho - you can still let them sit in the fridge with the oil and thyme...just cook them long enough to bring to temp...like a minute or so...let me know how it turns out!

As far as balsamic vinaigrette goes...yeah - like everything else there is the classical method of making it...which certainly doesn't involve basil - it's always fun to know the right way to do something b/c then you can makem your way even better - if you like basil in it, go for it...here's how I usually make mine...
1 part balsamic
2 part Canola oil
1 part EV olive oil
2 T dijon
1 T minced shallot
1 T each of tarragon, thyme, oregano
1 t lavender



posted on Sep, 10 2004 @ 06:10 PM
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Want to Swoon Your Next Date Over Dinner?

Here's an easier way ... Don't wash or change your clothes for a month. Then eat a whole garlic clove washed down with Special Brew.

This is virtually guaranteed to make your date
... or more likely





posted on Sep, 10 2004 @ 10:20 PM
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Originally posted by notsogullible
That's awesome. Good for you on being a personal chef. It's one of the many ideas I've been thinking about for my next "professional" life.

Currently doing HR Consulting, but I'm in Wisconsin and the people of this state are very frugal. Cheap, ok?

I just don't think a PC would go over here, either. It seems the more money people make around here, the cheaper they are. Or, they think they know more than everyone else.
EnronOutrunHomerun , great portfolio !!! I was on the hot side of the line for 10 years and tip my hat to young bucks like yourself . Way to go !!!

I have a couple friends , one is a PC and makes 40K a year for 4 days a week labor , she gets to travel (all expenses paid and still gets 3 days off wherever she is .. they eat out Fri, Sat ,Sun) but she only cooks for 2 people (rich folks of course)
. The other works 3 days a week and makes 60K a year by cooking for 7 families .
7x4=28 meals a day x 6 = 168 (Sundays excluded) Being in the business , you guys and gals know this is a small #

He uses their frugality to his advantage , and here is how you can do the same :

He pursues families with children and convinces them that the quality time they can spend with their family is what he can help increase for a slight increase in their food bill . He does all the shopping (they pay for ingredients at cost), cooks in bulk , vacume packs a weeks worth of food for each family dinners , and delivers 3 times a week .

The total works out to less than $180 a week for labor plus the actual food cost (which would be spent regardless)

He saves them all the planning time , shopping time , prep and cooking time (just heat and eat) and sells them on all these saved hours by telling them :" If you each make $18 dollars an hour (hopefully better) and work 45 hours a week each (as opposed to 40) , then your 10 hours paid to me can save you at least 20 that you can spend with your family .

Small startup investment for food packing equipment , health certification , a 200 dollar increase in his utility bills and FOUR DAYS OFF !!!!

I now pound nails for a living and envy him every time I see him .....



posted on Sep, 10 2004 @ 11:27 PM
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Originaly posted by Pisky
Here's an easier way ... Don't wash or change your clothes for a month. Then eat a whole garlic clove washed down with Special Brew.

This is virtually guaranteed to make your date ... or more likely


lmao!!


Originally posted by oddtodd
He pursues families with children and convinces them that the quality time they can spend with their family is what he can help increase for a slight increase in their food bill . He does all the shopping (they pay for ingredients at cost), cooks in bulk , vacume packs a weeks worth of food for each family dinners , and delivers 3 times a week .

I had the same thing going for about two months with three families of four who's wives worked together and just decided they were tired of cooking meals and wnated to spend more time with their family...They thought I charged too much...but when they asked for an expense report, I generated one using excel being faithful and honest - my hoursly rate worked out to $15 an hour and they thought that was way too much....


Now I focus mainly on working small parties of anywhere b/w 2-25 for really nice and elogant dinners with a cooking show for the guests and tips I throw out here and there as I cook....my more regular clientelle are just these mega-wealthy people who blow money left and right and don't give a damn...the kitchens I cook in man...oh my god....lol - but there's a lull right now and business is slow...it's a side job at the moment...

That's awesome that you were a line cook as well oddtod...I miss working on the line....My cuz has a restaurant now that was remodeled from an old steak & ale, and I swear they jerry-rigged that a/c so well there I don't think there's anyplace that could top the comfort of working there...

Even at my young age tho - I've blown a lot of opportunities to be somwhere better than I am right now - like chances to work with a master chef here in Tally...or Charlie Trotter....Thomas Keller...:bnghd: Oh well....I'll show those guys whose boss in the kitchen some day when I own my own place



posted on Sep, 11 2004 @ 12:12 AM
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Originally posted by EnronOutrunHomerun

Originaly posted by Pisky
Here's an easier way ... Don't wash or change your clothes for a month. Then eat a whole garlic clove washed down with Special Brew.

This is virtually guaranteed to make your date ... or more likely


lmao!!


Originally posted by oddtodd
He pursues families with children and convinces them that the quality time they can spend with their family is what he can help increase for a slight increase in their food bill . He does all the shopping (they pay for ingredients at cost), cooks in bulk , vacume packs a weeks worth of food for each family dinners , and delivers 3 times a week .

Even at my young age tho - I've blown a lot of opportunities to be somwhere better than I am right now - like chances to work with a master chef here in Tally...or Charlie Trotter....Thomas Keller...:bnghd: Oh well....I'll show those guys whose boss in the kitchen some day when I own my own place
I got to meet a master chef in Boston who wandered into a little 30 seat place Iwas working at and had no idea who he was (until 8 months later when I went to a demo) as he asked me about my fish-cake recipie . Don't sweat the lost opportunities , if you are any good and dedicated they will find you !! I have a buddy who cooked for Gordon Hamersley in Boston who now re-constitutes sauces from powder . Wait it out , it will come .
I got out of the business after realizing I was not going to be an well known chef , or a restaurant owner (Thats where the $$ be hiding....) . Settled for kitchen manager of a 400 cover a day restaurant that made my ears ring !

The school of hard knocks has alot more to offer than peeling asparagus for Mr. Trotter .

And the waitresses ...... OMG !!

Enjoy your youth , and let's trade recipies sometime !



posted on Sep, 11 2004 @ 12:17 AM
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Enron, please have a look at my blog entitled "a positive dining experience."

blogs.abovetopsecret.com...

One of the wife's favorite dishes is the stuffed mushrooms they serve at her fave restaurant. She has tried to mimic the recipe, but can't get it right. Her birthday comes this week, and I'd like to try.

These ones seemed to be stuffed with a white cheese? possibly mozerella? and to have some kind of a vinegar tone, like maybe a hollandaise sauce or something?

What can you suggest, mainly as an ours d'ouvre, for a main steak (t-bone or sirloin) course?

Any input at all is welcome.

[Edited on 11-9-2004 by dr_strangecraft]



posted on Sep, 11 2004 @ 12:34 AM
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Originally posted by dr_strangecraft
Enron, please have a look at my blog entitled "a positive dining experience."

blogs.abovetopsecret.com...

Wow...sounds like an incredible place - I love it when you can go to a nice restaurant and they know your name and take care of you far beyond their needed capacity...that's what I want to strive for if I own one some day...that tip will no doubt make your next trip equally pleasurable



One of the wife's favorite dishes is the stuffed mushrooms they serve at her fave restaurant. She has tried to mimic the recipe, but can't get it right. Her birthday comes this week, and I'd like to try.

These ones seemed to be stuffed with a white cheese? possibly mozerella? and to have some kind of a vinegar tone, like maybe a hollandaise sauce or something?

What can you suggest, mainly as an ours d'ouvre, for a main steak (t-bone or sirloin) course?

Any input at all is welcome.

I'll be happy to sit down tomorrow and think of some possible ingredients...Right now I'm too upset over FSU's loss to Miami


Originally posted by oddtod
let's trade recipes

Sounds like a plan! I don't write down too many of my recipes, so at times I may take a while to post them just b/c I'm scratching my head
I'd be more than happy to share my award-winning apple pie recipe tho
- Kahlua and Praline Apple Pie

[Edited on 9/11/2004 by EnronOutrunHomerun]



posted on Sep, 11 2004 @ 01:03 AM
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i hear ya ! Other than baking , recipies are open to " adjusting" .
I posted a brine recipie in the food section here that will give your pie a little introduction . I do this every 2 years at my family reunion with grilled summer veggies and a nice sweet balsamic reduction and some garlic smashed reds #2 . : www.belowtopsecret.com... 11:12 Pm here and my mouth is watering .....all I have is froot loops til the stores open .



posted on Sep, 11 2004 @ 06:21 PM
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Originally posted by oddtodd
i hear ya ! Other than baking , recipies are open to " adjusting" .
I posted a brine recipie in the food section here that will give your pie a little introduction . I do this every 2 years at my family reunion with grilled summer veggies and a nice sweet balsamic reduction and some garlic smashed reds #2 .

THat sounds good! I bet if you splashed in "a little" whiskey or even come tequilla that would make a nice addition...I'll have to try that tho - I usually use a salt brine without any liquids...My favorite is to use a citrus zester and get the zest from oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruits, and fresh dill...then mix that in with some kosher salt - pat a nice big slamon filet down with some EV Oil and then throw the brine on - plastic wrap it a few times - weigh it down in a shallow pan and let that baby sit for about 3 days....*drools*....


Originally posted by dr_strangecraft
One of the wife's favorite dishes is the stuffed mushrooms they serve at her fave restaurant. She has tried to mimic the recipe, but can't get it right. Her birthday comes this week, and I'd like to try.

These ones seemed to be stuffed with a white cheese? possibly mozerella? and to have some kind of a vinegar tone, like maybe a hollandaise sauce or something?

What can you suggest, mainly as an ours d'ouvre, for a main steak (t-bone or sirloin) course?

Okay...here's what I came up with Herr Doktor
...I'm not sure if you mean that the mushrooms actually came with a sauce over them...in them...or for dipping - but I've provided a possible sauce you can use as a side below...I hope this comes close - but I do know it will be damn good
- I've made this for recipe for two:

8 Large crimini mushroom caps
1 T Olive oil
2-3 T Champagne vinegar (If you can't find this you can substitute it with white wine or rice vinegar)
2 Garlic cloves, minced
2 Shallots, mined
2 T Tarragon, chopped
1/4 lb lump crab meat, carefully picked through
3.5 oz Mascarpone
1/2 cup Parmesan Reggiano, freshly grated
8 cap size 1/4 inch slices of Buffalo Mozzarela...or next best available mozzarela
S&P


Preheat the oven to 375F. Place a pan over a high fire and add the olive oil. Let it heat for about a minute and then add your caps, cavity side up. Salt and pepper to taste. Hit the pan with a few good splashes of the champagne vinegar. Flip carefully after one minute. Allow to cook another minute on the other side, then transfer to paper towels and allow to cool and dry.

Meanwhile...Throw the crab meat into a medium sized bowl. Add the remaining ingredients, except for the mozzarela, and mix thoroughly. Don't foget to salt and pepper to taste. Now stuff your mushrooms, being sure to compact the sutffing into the cavity. Place a disc of Mozzarerla on each cap. Spray a sheet pan covered with foil and set your mushrooms up into two rows of four. Place in the oven and cook for 12-15 minutes, or until the cheese begins to turn slighlty golden.

For the sauce
I'm thinking that maybe this was a bearnaise sauce...which is a hollandaise with a slight twist:

4 egg yolks
1 T Fresh lemon juice
1 T White whine
1/2 Cup of clarified butter**
1 T Minced shallot
2 t Tarragon, chopped
2 t Chervil, chopped (this may be hard to find...if you can't find it, don't worry about it)


You're going to need to use a double-boiler here...One large pot filled about 2-3 inches with water, so as to not touch the second smaller pot or stainless steal bowl, which is going to rest on top of the one with the water. Crank the heat up to high and allow the water to come to a boil.

While that's coming to a boil, you'll want to be whisking the white wine, lemon juice, and egg yolks with a vengence
...You can use a electric mixer for this task if it gets tiresome...you're looking for the mixture to thicken by about twice it's usualy consistancy.

Turn the heat down to a medium high...place your mixture on top of the pot of steaming/simmering water and you're going to have to use a real whisk here and keep that action going strong...Carefully raise the pot off the heat every 30-45 seconds to prevent your sauce from turning into scrambeled eggs.

Here's the tricky part...while whisking-with-intent-to-kill you'll also want to start slowly drizzling in the butter. You may want a second set of hands for this. Drizzle a small amount in...make sure it's fully incorporated, then repeat. By the time you've added all your butter, your sauce should have doubled in volume.

To finish...remove from the heat while continuing to stir...you may want to place the hollandaise pot/bowl into a large bowl with ice to bring the temp down a bit...add the remaining ingredients and finish with salt and pepper.

I hope this isn't too involved of a recipe...I had fun thinking it up so it should be equally fun to make and twice as delicious


As far as ors d'oeuvres for a steak dinner...these would work perfect...other options...try the salmon recipe I posted at the top of this message - it can sit for just one day and be perfectly ready to eat - you'll want to slice it very thin at a 45 degree angle. Get some capers, salmon roe, sour cream and water crackers....BAM!


EDIT: Oops...I forgot to add the "**"

** Clarified butter is butter that is melted at a low temperature and skimmed of the white milk solids that rise to the surface when it is finished melting. Also be careful of the white solids that will remain at the bottom - it's okay if you get a little in it tho....

[Edited on 9/11/2004 by EnronOutrunHomerun]



posted on Sep, 12 2004 @ 04:06 AM
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Originally posted by Pisky
Want to Swoon Your Next Date Over Dinner?

Here's an easier way ... Don't wash or change your clothes for a month. Then eat a whole garlic clove washed down with Special Brew.

This is virtually guaranteed to make your date
... or more likely




Ugh !!! ... Thud !!!



posted on Sep, 12 2004 @ 03:45 PM
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Yes, yes! Obviously a bernase rather than hollandaise sauce. You have placed the grail firmly within my grasp. Thanks in advance. Will let you know how the evening transpires . . .

Now, how can I repay thee? Hmm.



posted on Sep, 12 2004 @ 05:24 PM
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Originally posted by dr_strangecraft
Now, how can I repay thee? Hmm.

With a full stomach and a big smile



posted on Sep, 22 2004 @ 02:21 PM
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Okay...here's my recipe for chili - I love to see how hot I can make it each time (I LOVE spicy food!)...but this is the mild version...I'll tell you what to add if you want to burn the house down while also making it a pleasant hot - I know some people hate that sensation that there tongue is on fire...the additions are very hot, but it fades quickly and compliments the flavor...

1 T olive oil
2 lb ground beef
1.5 lb chuck roast, fat trimmed and cut into bite-size cubes
1 large onion, diced
1/4 can goya recaito (found in ethnic food aisle - green and white label in tall glass jar)
4 jalapeos, seeded, cut in half and sliced
1 can of chipotle peppers in adobe sauce (should be near the Goya products...it will be in a short can similar to canned tuna)
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 T freshly chopped oregano
1 16 oz can kidney beans (I think these are the right "oz" for the cans...just regular can size)
1 16 oz can black beans
1 16 oz can pinto beans
2 16 oz cans diced tomatoes
2 29 oz. cans tomato sauce
2 T cumin
4 T chili powder
1 habenero, with 3 slits cut into the sides
s&p to taste


Turn up the heat to medium-high. Add the olive oil and allow the pot to heat up for about a minute. While it's heating, work the ground beef as though you are going to make hamburger patties so as to remove the coils from the grinder. Add both meats to the pot. Stir frequently and allow the meat to being the browning process. Give it about 3-4 minutes, then add the onion and the recaito and salt and pepper. Stir and reduce the heat to medium. In a small blender, put the jalapeos in and puree until they are very finely minced. Add to the pot, along with the chipotles peppers. Let this cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. You might want to use this time to go ahead and open the canned food. Add the garlic and oregano. Bring the heat to high and cook for another two minutes. Add the remaining items, including salt and pepper to taste. Bring the chili to a boil, being careful to stir often, and then reduce the heat to a medium-low and allow to simmer uncovered for anywhere between 1-3 hours. When you're ready to serve, it also goes great with a bit of little sour cream, some cheddar cheese and a few healthy splashes of Tabasco.


Ok...so you want to
your taste buds up? lol

Add 3 more jalapeos and two habeneros in the food processor. Get a bottle of Dave's Ultimate Insanity (Special Reserve if you can find it!) and very very carefully pour two drops in the chili...toss in another 2 whole habeneros as it cooks and there should be little complaint in the "this isn't hot enough" department...





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