Sunday, January 17, 2016

I really need to clean out my spice rack

On Sundays, we like to do a lot of cooking.  Chili, Gumbo, Jambalaya, Muffins, Cinnamon Buns, Pancakes, Lasagna, Casseroles (although calling them that makes me feel 100 years old).

The reason is that during the week we have no time. Whether it be running to hockey or school events or me working late, there isn't always time to make a good hot dinner for the boys.   The last thing I want is them having frozen pizza or worse, drive thru.

Cue Sunday Big cooks.

A little bit of a backstory.  Back in the fall Brad and Zach went hunting; some quality father/son time while dressed in camo while sitting in damp leaves.  Good times.

It was on that trip that they got a couple ducks and a goose.  We put it into the freezer knowing that we would make something with it later.  Cue later....

Brad decided to make two batches of gumbo.  One duck and one goose.  What we didn't realize is that gumbo is so much more involved than jambalaya.  You have to boil the duck/goose for hours in water/garlic/bay leaves and celery.  After that, you have to make a dark roux and add a whole mess of other things and simmer it for another couple hours.

While Brad was doing that, I was working on the chili.    The chili is my friend Erin's recipe.  It amazing.  The beauty of it is, the recipe makes a great base and then you can shake things up.  This time we went with a three meat chili.

In a nutshell... add red kidney beans, those small beans (like the ones you find in pork and beans), tomato soup with some spices, namely salt, pepper, onion powder, molasses, parsley, chili power and garlic.  Add in bacon, vension sausage and ground beef.

I know I could probably use one of the Old El Paso powdered chili mixes, but this versions tastes great, so why bother.  I was at my spice cupboard gathering up all of the spices, had my arms full and dropped them all on the counter.

I never measure any of these things, just kind of dump the spices in until it looks about enough.  It drives Brad bonkers because he is very much a follow the recipe to the tee kind of guy.   He always asks me how much to put in and I say "some".. that's about when the vein on his head starts to throb.

Anyways back to the chili.  I was dropping in the spices to this giant vat of chili.   I was just about to start stirring, but for whatever reason, I moved in close and took a big sniff.

It smelled like pumpkin pie.











Totally confused  I looked at the spices on the counter.  Glaring back at me was this obnoxious package of Nutmeg.

NUTMEG!

Generally speaking, I have not come across many chili recipe's that call for nutmeg.

Sh*t.

I immediately started looking around for something that I could use to skim off the spices from the top of the chili without mixing them in too much.  Thankfully, I had put the nutmeg in last, so it was sitting on a but of an onion powder-garlic-parsley-buffer.


Trouble was the that big giant soup pot was only half full, which made it kind of awkward to skim the top without mixing the spices in.

I did the best I could and added some Sriracha in a feeble attempt to mask any pumpkin pie flavoring.

I let all of the remaining spices mix in and simmer for an hour or so before giving it a tentative taste test.   It tasted pretty good, if not a little on the spicy side from the Sriracha, which isn't a bad thing.

Mental note to separate the baking spices from the savory ones in the near future.

**********************UPDATE**********************

Apparently nutmeg in chili is a thing!

See here: http://www.foodiewithfamily.com/cincinnati-chili/
and here http://southernfood.about.com/od/crockpotchili/r/bl32c1.htm

Who knew??




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