Tag Archives: Cal-Mex cuisine
I used canned beans for quick weekday chili. Cook’s Illustrated has identified Goya as the best brand of canned beans, because they are processed fresh in the fields, instead of laying around in storage for an unknown length of time. This is more of a weekend variation on the theme.
This Sunday is son-in-law Chris’ birthday. We settled on Santa Maria tri-tip and the main course. Santa Maria-Style beans are a required side dish for this main dish.
One thing that son-in-law Chris requested for his birthday meal was corn on the cob. I am making beef and beans, so I though some chili powder would be the spice to use. Since I was making a big pot of Santa Maria beans, I did not want a whole ear per person, cutting them into quarter seemed the solution.
While I like slow cooked chili with tender chunks of beef, I sometimes just want a quick meal for a weekday. While I have been known to simply use a brand name chili, sometimes I like to go just a step further. This may take a few more minutes than simply opening a can, but the flavor is worth the effort.
Chili powder—as a blend of spices—is composed chiefly of chile peppers and mixed with other spices including cumin, oregano, garlic powder, and salt. While there is some agreement about which spices this blend should contain, the amount of each is a matter for debate. This is not improved by the linguistic confusion between “chili powder”—as a blend of spices—and the “chili powder”—as in powdered dried chilies—used in those blends. In addition to the basic ingredients, some add other herbs and spices and still call it “chili powder.”
For weekday meals I sometimes take shortcuts, like buying pre-seasoned meat from an ethnic market. Being Californians, tacos are very popular in my house, but when I take short cuts I usually do not post about it. However, this one has been requested. If you happen to have a Hispanic market near you, like Chavez Market, these tacos are worth a few short cuts.
Jan has asked me to make a chili for a potluck with her new half-brother. The last time I made chili, I made a pot with beans and it was pretty hood, but I knew I could do better. Instead of ground beef I would use beef chuck and some rib meat. Last time, I also used canned broth as my braising liquid, this time I would braise pieces of marinated beef—to tenderness—and then use the braising liquid to re-hydrate and cook the beans.