You might think he's doing something else. But in reality, he's learning how to sit/stay, and not doing a very good job of it (he eventually learned how to do so beautifully ... sort of ).

domenica 31 ottobre 2010

You'll Be Good Little Dogs II

We’re not picking olives today because it’s raining cats and dogs.[1] The Scallion’s been picking all week by his lonesome; yesterday we were joined by friends from Florence. We lunched (roasted red pepper/caper crostini, mackerel crostini, linguine al pesto, and salad with pomegranate and pumpkin seeds – the latter to mark Halloween). Australian friend brought little sweet delicacies from a pasticceria in Florence, many of them almond-paste filled, which were devoured. We then proceeded to pick.

The two young boys among the group decided very quickly that doing almost anything else was preferable to picking olives, and so absented themselves. Dear German Chum went at it with zeal (she will definitely be getting a big bottle of oil once it’s pressed); the Scallion and Samantha were assiduous. We had some help from two Australians, new to this kind of thing, and Florentine Sister, who like me, preferred to uncork a bottle of vino sfuso and serve the workers.

The dogs, of course, were totally in the way.

It was Rosie’s first foray into the olive orchard, and she acquitted herself well. She managed to sit on a lot of olives, and generally get in the way. She discovered the joys of yet another of Lulu’s Archives – in this case, a pile of logs teeming with furtive lizards. Both of them were oblivious to the rest of the world.

Soon such pastimes will become just that: a thing of the past. Rosie will remain a youngster, sure, but she will also become a mother. Like in about 4 days’ time, or maybe a little longer. Just last Thursday, the Splendid Veterinarian confirmed what we’d suspected: those Neapolitan folks pulled a fast one on us. You might note the photo of Rosie from a couple of blogs ago. You might note that the woman’s hand covers a good part of Rosie’s little chest. Said Neapolitan woman did this to cover up the fact that Rosie is all ready to start feeding her youngsters as soon as they arrive. Rescue one dog, get three free.

Rosie had a sonogram confirming the fact that she was up the spout/up the duff/knocked up; then she had an X-ray which showed three little critters. The fact that she’s constantly lying on her back, paws extended, shows that she’s just about had it with this condition. We spend a lot of time on the couch, and it’s fun to feel the heartbeats of the pups.

But back to food. This gem, truly, of a chili recipe from Larry, a high school pal, who has lived many places in the United States, and picks up marvelous recipes and makes them his own wherever he goes. If you read his Facebook page (as I do, regularly), I often wish I were in Florida sitting at his dinner table. As it turns out, we didn’t serve it to the olive pickers, as a strict vegetarian lurked among us. (An especially nice touch is the mandatory bourbon sipping about midway through the recipe.)

Larry’s Big Pot of Kitchen Sink Chile

1 lb. bacon – chopped
1.5-2 lb. stew beef cut to dime sized pieces
1 lb. hot Italian sausage
1 lb. sweet Italian sausage
1 lb. ground pork
1 lb. ground turkey
2 16. oz Guinness Stout (or other stout)
8 oz. Kentucky Bourbon
8 oz. strong black coffee (I like day-old)
3 large white onions
3 large red onions
2 large cloves garlic – minced
6 serrano or jalapeno peppers
2 banana peppers
1 – 12 oz bottle chili sauce
1.5 lbs. sliced mushrooms (white button (Champignon) are fine, I prefer a combination of cremini and Portobello mushrooms that have been given a rough dice)
8 oz. beef base (can substitute 4 beef bouillon cubes)
2 28 oz. cans crushed tomatoes (or homemade tomato puree)
5 14.5 oz. cans diced tomatoes
3 10 oz. cans Rotelle tomatoes
5 4.5 oz. cans chopped green chilies
1 10 oz. can tomato paste
3 16 oz. cans black beans (drained & rinsed)
3 16 oz. cans pinto beans (drained & rinsed)
2 28 oz. red kidney beans (drained & rinsed)
4 large cans black olives pitted and chopped
1 T. Sazon Completa
2 T. Spanish paprika
1 T. black pepper
1/2 -3/4 lb chili powder
1 T. garlic powder
2 T. flour
Liquid Smoke

I use a Dutch oven to cook each layer and then “dump” the contents into my 42 quart pot. Realistically, you need about a 6 quart pot if you make the entire recipe. It freezes extremely well and the flavors seem to intensify while frozen. If you do not want to make this much go ahead and do the math to reduce the size of the batch.

Render the bacon until crispy. Remove the bacon to your chili pot.

In the bacon fat sauté the rough chopped onions and the minced garlic on medium high heat. Sautee until translucent and then dump entire contents into chili pot. Turn on the heat under the chili pot to low.

Remove both Italian sausages from casings and cook thoroughly chopping sausage into very small pieces. When cooked, remove sausage to the chili pot preserving the fat.

In the fat from the sausage add the ground pork and ground turkey. Season the meats with some of the chili powder, garlic powder, paprika, and the Sazon Completa . Chop into very fine pieces and cook thoroughly. Remove to chili pot preserving the oil.

At this point increase the heat beneath the chili pot to medium. Add the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, bourbon, and coffee to the pot and give it a good stir. Add the chili sauce and stir through again. Add approximately .25 lb of the chili powder, stir and let this mixture heat through.

Chop the serrano/jalapeno and banana peppers finely after removing seeds and ribs. Add to the fat from the pork and turkey. If necessary add a little olive oil. Place the thoroughly sautéed peppers into the chili pot. If desired add a few finely chopped pickled jalapenos to the mix. Remove peppers to chili pot.

Spread the stew beef pieces on your cutting board. Sprinkle with flour, black pepper, paprika and garlic powder and using a tenderizing hammer pound the beef until tender but not flattened. Add beef. the oil in your prep pot(there should be a little oil left after you sautéed the peppers). Add Guinness, beef base, mushrooms, a couple of dashes of liquid smoke, more of the chili powder, reducing heat and simmering for 15-20 minutes until the beef is tender. WARNING! This is so good you’ll be tempted to drag a piece of bread through it for a snack! When done, “dump” into chili pot.

Add the coffee and 6 oz. of bourbon to the chili pot. Stir until completely incorporated. Pour the remaining bourbon into a glass over ice and take a short break while the mixture heats through. This is an essential step!

From here it is “everyone into the pool." Add all remaining ingredients to the chili pot and bring up to temperature. (If you are a “no beans” person you can leave them out.) You may want to add the chili powder gradually to ensure that the heat is not too much for you and your guests.

Once up to a simmer cook on low heat for 1-2 hours until chili is a deep red color and has thickened. Taste and season with chili powder and/or cayenne pepper to reach desired level of heat.

Ed. Note: Obviously, Larry’s chili could feed an army. But it does freeze well, as he says, and if you already have an army at hand (i.e., olive pickers) freezing shouldn’t be too much of a problem. (Larry and family eat this wonderful concoction with either beer or a nice spicy Zinfandel.)

Myrtle, at left, all dressed up for Halloween funkiness -- any ideas about her costume?


[1] Wondering about the origin of this phrase, I went to and got the following: “This is an interesting phrase in that, although there is no definitive origin, there is a likely derivation.” It continues: "The much more probable source of 'raining cats and dogs' is the prosaic fact that, in the filthy streets of 17th/18th century England, heavy rain would occasionally carry along dead animals and other debris. The animals didn't fall from the sky, but the sight of dead cats and dogs floating by in storms could well have caused the coining of this colourful phrase. Jonathan Swift described such an event in his satirical poem 'A Description of a City Shower', first published in the 1710 collection of the Tatler magazine. The poem was a denunciation of contemporary London society and its meaning has been much debated. While the poem is metaphorical and doesn't describe a specific flood, it seems that, in describing water-borne animal corpses, Swift was referring to an occurrence that his readers would have been well familiar with: Now in contiguous/Drops the Flood comes down,/Threat'ning with Deluge this devoted Town..../Now from all Parts the swelling Kennels flow, /And bear their Trophies with them as they go:/Filth of all Hues and Odours seem to tell/What Street they sail'd from, by their Sight and Smell./They, as each Torrent drives, with rapid Force,/From Smithfield or St. Pulchre's shape their Course,/And in huge Confluent join'd at Snow-Hill Ridge,/Fall from the Conduit, prone to Holbourn-Bridge./Sweeping from Butchers Stalls, Dung, Guts, and Blood,Drown'd Puppies, stinking Sprats, all drench'd in Mud,/Dead Cats and Turnip-Tops come tumbling down the Flood." Oh, what perfect images for Halloween.

2 commenti:

  1. I want to see more pics of Rosie! good luck with the pups.

  2. Why don't you come back and take some, Sweetie? Will be posting photos of pups once they hit the Big Time.