Kurt's "Championship" Chili

I've had plenty of people ask me for my chili recipe, so I figured now was the perfect time to post it as we make the transition from summer to fall. So here it is! try it out and let me know what you think!

Kurt's "Championship" Chili
makes 5-6 servings

1 lb pork belly cubed and trimmed of large chunks of fat

1/4 cup seeded and diced poblano peppers
2 Tbsp diced red onion
2 Tbsp diced yellow onion
1-1/4 Tbsp diced jalapeño
1-1/2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 Tbsp white flour

1-1/2 oz canned chipotle
3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp honey
3/4 Tbsp Maximus/Minimus seasoning blend
3/4 Tbsp chili powder
1/4 Tbsp cumin
1/4 Tbsp salt
dash black pepper

13 oz canned tomato purée
6-1/2 oz beer 
6-1/2 oz water
1 lb brisket, cubed and trimmed
1.2 oz dark unsweetened chocolate

Place the pork cubes in a large pot over medium high heat, stirring occasionally until fully rendered, then reduce the heat to low.

Toss the poblanos, onions, jalapeños, and garlic with the flour in a large bowl and add to the pot with the pork.  Return the heat to medium high.  Cook until all of the vegetables are fully softened and just starting to brown.

In a food processor, combine the chipotle, apple cider vinegar, and honey with the remaining seasonings and purée together.

Add the puréed ingredients to the pot with the pork along with the rest of the ingredients:  tomato purée, beer, water, brisket, and chocolate.

Stir together and lower the heat to simmer.  Cook for two hours or until beef start to loosen.  Cover and refrigerate, preferably overnight. Reheat and taste for seasoning, adding more salt as needed. Serve hot.

I hope you like this recipe! What are your secrets when you're making chili?

Roasted Hatch Chile Relish

How do you feel about chiles? Are bell peppers your bane? Or can you never say no to a jalapeño? 

I fall pretty squarely in the latter category. I love how many different species of chiles there are and the variety of flavor and heat is constantly inspiring me with new dishes and different twists.

This week, the wide wheel of chiles fell on the Hatch variety, so named because they hail from the New Mexico town, Hatch. The farmers in Hatch cultivated their own subspecies of green chile for so many years that it eventually assumed the name of its hometown. They can be very mild as well as quite hot, so you can modify this recipe to your taste, depending on the types of chiles you use.

Roasted Green Hatch Chile Relish
(makes about 3 cups)

2 cloves of garlic
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 cup roughly chopped white onion
2-1/2 Tbsps  extra-virgin olive oil
6 Hatch chiles
1/3 cup corn
1 Tbsp roughly chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 Tbsps diced purple onion
1 Tbsp honey
1 tsp kosher salt

Using a food processor, pulse the garlic with the red wine vinegar until the mixture is the size of a medium chop.

In a small pan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over low heat. Add the white onions and sauté until they are heavily caramelized, about 25 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set aside.
Meanwhile, grill the Hatch chiles over medium heat for 6 to 8 minutes, or until about a quarter charred. If you don’t have a grill, well, bummer. I guess you could broil them in the oven, but it just won’t be the same. 

Once the chiles have finished grilling, remove them from the heat, cut in half lengthwise - discarding the stems and seeds, and set aside the chile.

Add the onions and the chiles to the mixture in the processor along with the corn, parsley, and purple onion and pulse 25 to 30 times to achieve the consistency of relish.

Transfer the mixture to a bowl and mix in the honey, salt, and the remaining olive oil. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

At Bennett's, we served this relish with a quasi-caprese (heirloom tomatoes and Beecher's Smoked Flagship) and crispy rockfish. What would you serve it with? Tell me in the comments!

Peachy and Peachier

Late August in Washington is known for a big boom in stonefruit. Peaches, nectarines, and pluots are stacked in mountains around the markets. Farmers' stands look like exaggerated versions of still life paintings and it can be a little overwhelming. I mean, how much fruit salad can a person really stand?

Which brings us to explore all the other ways we can employ all this summer abundance. My fruit of choice this last week at Bennett's was the peach, from which we made two different accompaniments fora grilled pork chop seasoned with a ras-al-hanout blend and some other spices.

Peach Salsa

6 peaches
10 mint leaves
1/3 cup red onion, diced
1/4 cup honey

Remove the skin and pits from the peaches and cut them into half-inch pieces. Chop the mint leaves finely. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and softly mix them together so as not to injure the peaches. Keep chilled until service.

Peach Gastrique

5 peaches
1 cup sugar
3 Tablespoons water
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
6 Tablespoons white balsamic vinegar

2-1/4 cups Bonne Maman peach preserves
pinch of salt
dash of black pepper
dash of lemon juice

Remove the skin and pits from the peaches and chop them into quarter-inch pieces and set them aside.

Combine the sugar and water in a pan over high heat, constantly stirring until just when it begins to caramelize (about 4-5 minutes). Stir in the two vinegars, lower the heat to medium and reduce it all by half.

Add the peaches and the peach preserves, stir together and cook over the medium heat until they have dissolved into the mixture. Press the contents of the pan through a chinois and reduce the sauce again, this time by one third. Just before finished, add the salt, pepper, and lemon.

These are both really versatile recipes. I paired them with pork, but there are plenty of other places you could use these. Got any ideas? Share them in the comments!
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Lover of big ideas and bold flavors. Food should be like family and friends: honest, fun, and fulfilling.

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