Mostly Treats

November 2, 2009

11444_1256391416604_1434157761_30751615_7280379_nCan’t we have Halloween on Saturday night every year??!?!?! My black cat costume attempt wasn’t very ambitious I know. As the night wore on, and my makeup wore off, I resembled more just an OC dumbass too stupid to put her makeup on properly. Most neighbors assumed I just didn’t dress up again.

I always make chili on Halloween. This is the first year though that HH and I are non-meat eaters. It made for many pre-spookfest go rounds; after which both of us are so sick of chili I’m glad we only have it once a year. After much error I came up with the following recipe which taste best made days in advance (just sayin.)

Vegetarian Chili

1/4 cup olive oil

2 cups chopped onions

1 2/3 cups coarsely chopped red bell peppers (about 2 medium)

6 garlic cloves, chopped

2 tablespoons chili powder

2 tablespoons dried basil

2 teaspoons dried oregano

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 15- to 16-ounce cans kidney beans, drained, 1/2 cup liquid reserved

1 15-to 16-ounce can black beans, drained

1 16-ounce can tomato sauce with basil and garlic

1 bottle dark beer (negro modelo is what i used)

Chopped fresh cilantro

Sour cream

Grated Monterey Jack cheese

Chopped green onions

Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add onions, bell peppers, and garlic; saut├ę until onions soften, about 10 minutes. Mix in chili powder, oregano, cumin, basil, and cayenne; stir 2 minutes. Mix in beans, 1/2 cup reserved bean liquid, beer and tomato sauce. Bring chili to boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until flavors blend and chili thickens, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Like I said best made days in advance. Makes about 4 portions.

Ladle chili into bowls. Pass chopped cilantro, sour cream, grated cheese, and green onions separately.

IMG_0483I also made what could be the EASIEST salad EVER. I got it from Sunset’s November issue, and it’s perfect for this time of year. The sweet of the pears and maple syrup with the sharp mustard and frisee’ is delicious!! I would also use arugula, but we had some friends who aren’t arugula fans (still evaluating this friendship for that fact alone.) I like using the Asian Pears, and not just because I’m half Japanese (although…….it’s the least you can do, i mean, hello? Hiroshima? Nagasaki? use an effing Japanese pear please,) but they do taste better in this salad. The recipe calls for champagne vinegar, but I didn’t have any so I used white wine vinegar. It also calls for Kosher salt; I didn’t have that either so I wore a Yarmulke while I added sea salt.

Pear Gorgonzola Salad

1/4 cup Champagne Vinegar

1/2 Cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 tbsp maple syrup

1tsp dijon mustard

1tsp kosher salt

2-3 heads frisee, trimmed and leaves separated

2 pears halved and thinly sliced

1 cup pecans toasted

3/4 c crumbled gorgonzola cheese

Whisk together first 5 ingredients. In a large serving bowl, combine lettuce, pears and pecans. Drizzle dressing over salad and toss well to coat. Sprinkle cheese on top and give another quick toss.

Serves 12

IMG_0529Happy Monday! Love, Katie

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