“Chili” takes the “chilly” out of your evening

Just when I thought Winter was on the run we get  this nice little rain storm, and Kris Kuyper says more next week! Ooo-la-la! Maybe this  trend will last over into Spring.

The temperatures have taken a dip, but I’m resisting the heater. Yesterday I kept  the apartment warm with a recipe I got off a refrigerator magnet from a local realtor. It looked temptingly easy, and meat free, so I had to give it a whack.

For one thing, it called for canned beans, that’s a load off. I like to cook dry beans but it’s not my forte. Canned beans are quicker and more of a sure thing. Don’t you hate cooking all day just to have the family all look among themselves and somebody suggests a trip to In and Out?

Thanks Kimberly Tonge, for that free recipe calendar.

Thanks Kimberly Tonge, for that free recipe calendar.

I know the “chili” aficionado is all picky about how that word is tossed around. They scoff at the very idea of “vegetarian chili,” saying it doesn’t exist. Some people say, “chili” is either a pepper fruit, or the powder ground from it, or the mixture of ground beef and that same powder, all spiced up with magical ingredients that will talk to you deep into the night from the nether regions of your bowels.

Apparently, it is correct to say, “chili with beans.”

Okay, there’s the disclaimer, now lets get on with the recipe.

I had beans on hand, but didn’t have frozen corn, so I chopped some carrots. That worked. This recipe took me less than an hour from start to finish.

I don't know if you could properly call this "chili," but it's delicious.

I don’t know if you could properly call this “chili,” but it’s delicious.

So I made some tortilla dough.

Flour tortillas are not hard to make, they just take timing.

Flour tortillas are not hard to make, they just take timing.

Wheat flour tortilla dough is a simple mixture of flour, shortening, warm water and salt. Lately I found if I weigh the flour and shortening on my handy-dandy mail scale, these come out better. The author of the recipe says weighing is the way to go with flour, it settles differently in different weather, etc. She even says, don’t weigh the shortening cold, let it sit to room temperature. She seems to be right, my tortillas have really been good since I started doing it her way.  It’s no biggie – I have a digital mail scale, I set a small plastic container on it and spoon the flour in until I get the desired amount. To weigh shortening, I put a produce bag on the scale, and spoon the shortening on the same way. 

I rub these together in the bowl with my fingers.  Then I add the warm (not hot!) water (with salt dissolved in it) to the mixture of flour and shortening, and you can feel the dough almost coming to life – the warm water makes it rubbery and nice. It’s a 3-minute knead, and then I roll it into a ball and let it sit, bowl covered with a produce bag, for two hours – she says, a minimum of two hours. There must be some chemical magic going on in there.

 

I split my dough into 12 greasy little balls.

I split my dough into 12 greasy little balls.

I divide  the dough into little balls and then roll them into little disks with a rolling pin on my bread board.  You just work them like little pie doughs, rolling from the center out and turning the dough as you go, until it just won’t stretch anymore. I keep my cakes small cause they cook better. 

I very seldom get a perfectly round tortilla, but it doesn't matter once they hit the skillet.

I very seldom get a perfectly round tortilla, but it doesn’t matter once they hit the skillet.

Remember, they don’t need to be perfectly shaped, the skillet will turn them into a finished work of art. 

Ah, perfectamente!

Ah, perfectamente!

Don’t pop the bubbles, btw, they will deflate after you take the cake off the iron.

Yes, you can dress a tortilla up, but you can't take it out, because somebody has already ate it.

Yes, you can dress a tortilla up, but you can’t take it out, because somebody has already ate it.

 

These beans are going to a better place.

I topped off my meal with some cheese and sour cream, and a very nice salad with a dressing made from leftover bacon, red onions, olive oil, honey, and apple cider vinegar. 

And of course there’s a perfect movie for every meal:

I'm sorry, no sniper can touch this.

I’m sorry, no sniper can touch this.

 There’s still about a half a pot of “chili” in my fridge, I think I’ll make a “tamale pie” for dinner tonight, get at least one more meal. 

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