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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Chili Con Carne

For most "normal" people, today would have seemed like judgement day.  Today I was given an ultimatum by facebook into turning my private account into a public page with no privacy control.  If I didn't do this, I would lose everything.. my history, photos, friends, comments, likes.. everything I've basically clicked on since I opened my account.
I wouldn't say I define myself by what I post, but since I've had lovely puppy pictures I wanted to share, Facebook has sort of been a weekly or even daily checkpoint.  It's something I like to scroll through to look at bull terrier pictures or as a feed for any cooking blogs I follow but don't want emails letting me know something is new.  It's also the only place I easily connect with my family long distance and closest friends.  The ones that know me best and judge me the least.  The family that wants to see my photos but doesn't want a backed up inbox.. and I don't want to have to pick and choose who to send which pics depending on who may be interested.  All the advantages of having an account are reduced to nothing once identity conditions become mandatory.  I liked having my surname on there and at least feeling falsely secure that if anyone really googled me, they wouldn't find anything too personal.. the only public face photo of me being on this blog, which I am obviously proud of, but which doesn't mean everybody needs to know where I work or who my friends are and what I look like in a bikini (especially here in France where it's not standard summer attire to even chill in short shorts when it's blazing hot unless you're at the beach).
I chose to give that up... for now.  We'll see how long that lasts.  If I come back, I won't come back as my true name or as my dog's name.. because apparently, they don't appreciate that at Facebook.  The worst part is that is seems like part of a sneaky governmental scheme I read about in a book called "The Circle" which completely gave me the creeps about technology and confidentiality.  I don't even have a personal cell phone by the way.
Anyway, all these WTF emotions were a perfect transition to my mega beef chunk Chili Con Carne.  This time, I made it closer to the Texan style than the Ohio style.. meaning more chiles and meat.
Yes!  By pure translation, Chile con Carne means chiles with meat.. not beans with adornments as I've been naming my chiles as of now.  I'm not saying my other versions aren't the bomb.. I'm just saying that the Tex-Mex Chili resembles that I have portrayed here.  It's the first time I make it this way, but I think this recipe is going to stick.  It has tons of flavor and is sooo meaty with the chunks of beef instead of ground beef.  The flavor is so much fuller and less superficial this way.  I approve!
Serves 7-8
10 oz dried kidney beans, rinsed and soaked overnight
450g (1lb) stew beef, cut into 1 1/2"x1 1/2" cubes
4 dried chiles de arboles
1 dried ancho chile
2 bay leaves
1 tsp sea salt
2 large onions, chopped
1 jalapeno, chopped
1 large bell pepper, chopped (I used red for the theme)
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and grated
1 Tbsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp five-spice or allspice
lots of freshly ground pepper
5 cloves garlic, grated
water to cover (4 or more cups)
sliced avocado
grated red cabbage
chopped cilantro
chopped green onions (I used shallots)
dollop sour cream (I used plain yogurt)
grated gruyere cheese
Place everything but the garnish in the slow cooker and cook on low for 7-9 hours.
Remove the bay leaves and discard.  Remove the ancho chile, chop, and stir back in.  Remove the chiles de arable and reserve for the ones who appreciate the heat.
Serve neatly with the garnish and then quickly unmake the bed..

If you keep all the chiles de arboles for yourself.. don't be bashful when the heat starts to resonate from within you.. to be seen by all who will never understand the Innuendos...
This chili is the non-superficial, true to self version.

It is even better the next day.  I should know.. today is the next day, and I've never felt so tasteful as to proudly announce I'm quitting the worldly social drug of the 21st century... 
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