Slow Food...

Alright already! So it has been a while since my last post, and I know I have been lax about it...not mentioning the issues with getting into my sight of course. But oh well, carry on. The wind, rain and dreariness of a typical Seattle "still winter" day, conjures up the notion and need to fulfill a sense of warmth. An urge to create comfort and something of substance. A bounty of ingredients; simple in nature, yet through careful nurturing, time, love and passion- it is transformed into the sublime. Not fancy or sophisticated. Not trendy or en vogue- just hearty and soothing! A one-pot cookery(except for the rice in this case) made phenomenal, meant to relax and reconfirm all is not lost or hopeless. To remind us that it is times like these, that are sacred and special and to not forget to make time to cook, eat and enjoy life and good food with those you hold dear. Our world's problems and discomforts, our job's headaches and dilemmas, our personal lives' issues all seem to fade to black and become meaningless at the onset of a good, slow cooked meal. Today was no exception for me! There are many similar styles of this dish, found in many different cultures and customs...pho, lasagna, osso bucco, pot au feu, or cassoulet, sheppards pie and mom's meatloaf(actually mine made moussaka, but same theory). Any way you decide to go and no matter which path you decide to embark on-cook from your heart. Use good ingredients and make sure it tastes good! With this philosophy~you are already miles ahead of the game.

The dish...a slow cooked New Mexican Chili, or at least that is what I am calling it. Pure and simple, a warm comfort dish. Here is the recipe:

8 pods Tamarind, shelled. Place into 3/4-1 cup hot water. Bring to a simmer. Cook gently, stirring and agitating slightly to release the paste. Pour into bowl and set aside. When cool, rub pods with fingers to thoroughly remove paste. Discard seeds and pods. Reserve paste for dish.

3-4lb. Pork Shoulder, boneless, diced into 3/4 in. chunks
Marinade/Spice Rub: cayenne, chipotle, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, bay, paprika, thyme, oregano, chili oil, salt and black pepper. (Note: amounts are based upon preference)
2 cp. Yellow Onions; peeled, diced small
8 cloves garlic, trimmed of stem, crushed, minced
1 ea. Poblano Chili, seeded, chopped small
1-1 1/2 cp. Red Wine-south american blend
1-1 1/2 cp. Chicken or Veal Stock
1/4 cp. Balsamic Vinegar
3-4 Tbl. Honey
All of the Tamarind Puree from above
1 ea. Large Shallot, peeled, sliced fine
2 ea. Red Jalepenos, seeded, minced
To Taste Salt and Pepper

Method: Marinate pork in spices for preferable 4 hours or so. Heat some corn oil in large brazier. Add meat and brown on all sides. Remove and set aside. Add onions and brown. Add garlic and allow to glaze. Add poblano chili and sweat. Add a bit more spices as in marinade to taste...again, use your judgement. Deglaze with wine and reduce by half. Add pork back into dish. Add stock, balsamic vinegar, honey and tamarind paste and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer, cover and place into a 350 degree oven for approximately 1 hour, then reduce heat to 300 degrees for 2 hours or so, or until very tender. Sweat shallots and jalepenos in a bit of butter until caramelized and fold into chili right before serving. Check seasoning. Serve with Spanish rice or slow cooked grits, grilled tortillas and grated Oaxacan cheese. As an option for those of you accustomed to beans in your chili~ go ahead...knock yourself out!


Anonymous angelchef said...

Sounds delish! Gonna try this next weekend. Missed you. Glad your back. Sorry you've some personal/ professional issues that have kept you away. I hope that you have been able to resolve them. Question. I was wondering.. some writers write like they talk, other writers have a different style. Which is yours? I mean do you talk to your employees like this? Do they see this side of you? If not how do you converse with them? In what manner do you use vocabulary to inspire them?
Reading you blog gives a very personal impression of you. Are you this intimate with your employees? I know this is sounding more like an interrogation than a conversion. Thanks for the recipe I'll let you know how it goes. Ciao! (chow)

12:25:00 AM  
Blogger cuisinier said...

actually, all's good in the hood! I have been cooking and doing some awesome food. New thoughts, ideas and working with our team. No issues other than the normal life's curves. As to your question...I think I am inbetween both the way I talk and the way I write. I usually talk to my employees ina way that suits me and them both. Much more directly and personal. It depends on each person individually. There are sommany different employee charachteristic and personalities that one way does not suffice. They actually do see this side of me, once they get to know me and also allow themselves to come out of the dark. Some others however, just seem to keep to themselves and harbor some sort of private life and do not care to be part of the team. Oh well. Their loss. The vocab that I use to inspire is also one that suits each one best. Education level and personality determines that as well. I write what I feel and typically say what I feel. I try to be honest and up front iwth everyone. Not everyone enjoys that though. Hope this helps. cuisinier

8:12:00 PM  

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