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Saturday, February 13, 2010

Chasen's Chili & Biscuits

Well, Baby and I made buckets of Chasen's incredible, famed chili and froze it as Mr. Chasen himself used to do before serving to his patrons, then reheated our individual parcels, a considerable stash, to accommodate ourselves as well as our guests over the ensuing wintry weeks. The recipe is right below--along with a roadmap for Cheddar, Bacon and Fresh Chive Biscuits to go with. I recommend maple syrup for drizzling over the biscuits, and of course lots of Colby and Monterey Jack cheeses, scallions and sour cream for toppings on the chili!

Individual servings of Haagen Dazs Dulce de Leche are a fun and excellent conclusion--also, if you're game, try scoops of the ice cream in your favorite coffee for a wonderful affogatto dessert.

Chasen's Chili
Adapted from
1/2 pound dried pinto beans
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes in juice
1 large green bell pepper, chopped
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 cups onions, coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
1/2 cup butter
2 pounds beef chuck, coarsely chopped
1 pound pork shoulder, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup Gebhardt's brand chili powder
1 tablespoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
Rinse the beans, picking out the debris. Place beans in a Dutch oven with water to cover. Boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand one hour. Drain off liquid.
Rinse beans again. Add enough fresh water to cover beans. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered for one hour or until tender.
Stir in tomatoes and their juice. Simmer 5 minutes. In a large skillet sauté bell pepper in oil for 5 minutes. Add onion and cook until tender, stirring frequently. Stir in the garlic and parsley. Add mixture to bean mixture. Using the same skillet melt the butter and sauté beef and pork chuck until browned. Drain. Add to bean mixture along with the chili powder, salt, pepper, and cumin.
Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat. Simmer, covered for one hour. Uncover and cook 30 minutes more or to desired consistency. Chili shouldn't be too thick--it should be somewhat liquid but not runny like soup. Skim off excess fat and serve.
Makes 10 cups or 6 main dish servings.

Cheddar, Bacon, and Fresh Chive Biscuits
Adapted from Bon Appetit, February 2010

yield: Makes 12
active time: 25 minutes
total time: 55 minutes

6 thick-cut bacon slices
3 3/4 cups bread flour
1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes, plus melted butter for brushing 2 1/2 cups (packed) coarsely grated sharp cheddar cheese (about 12 ounces)
1/3 cup chopped fresh chives
1 3/4 cups chilled buttermilk
Position rack just above center of oven and preheat to 425°F. Line heavy large baking sheet with parchment paper. Cook bacon in heavy large skillet over medium heat until crisp and brown. Transfer bacon to paper towels to drain, then chop coarsely.
Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in processor; blend 5 seconds. Add butter cubes. Blend until coarse meal forms, about 30 seconds. Transfer flour mixture to large bowl. Add cheddar cheese, fresh chives, and chopped bacon; toss to blend. Gradually add buttermilk, stirring to moisten evenly (batter will feel sticky).
Using lightly floured hands, drop generous 1/2 cup batter for each biscuit onto prepared baking sheet, spacing batter mounds about 2 inches apart.
Bake biscuits until golden and tester inserted into center comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes. Brush biscuits lightly with melted butter. Let cool 10 minutes. Serve biscuits warm or at room temperature with honey, if desired.

Soundtrack: RuPaul, Supermodel of the World; Soho, Goddess; Deee-Lite, Infinity Within; Betty Boo, Boomania; En Vogue, Funky Divas

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