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    Friday, December 11, 2009

    Vodka, Chili, Beetroot - More Homemade amd Homegrown Treats

    Its been a bit busy.
    I was inspired to make this Chicken and White Bean Chili from Giada de Laurentiis
    My daughter Katie is allergic to products from the nightshade family so this Chili
    will work for her and nice change to have white chili instead of a red one.
    I made some changes mainly because I was missing some ingredients. It still worked
    I cooked for my grandchildren. They filled their burritos with the chili, grated cheese, carrot, lettuce and loved it

    I had chicken breasts and poached them,
    This is the most simple way to do this,

    Bring some chicken stock to the boil
    For extra flavour throw in an chopped onion, a chopped carrot and some fresh herbs
    Parsley, rosemary, oregano perhaps
    Simmer for 10 minutes to extract the flavour from the vege

    Add chicken breasts
    Bring back to the boil.
    Simmer about 2 minutes
    Turn off the heat
    Cover and leave at least 30 minutes.

    Guaranteed moist, flavourful, chicken
    Cook and shred ready for the chili.
    Reserve the stock for the chili
    I also added a chopped red pepper with the onions
    but for the nightshade intolerant leave that out.
    So here we go

    * 2 tablespoons olive oil
    * 1 large onion, chopped
    * 4 garlic cloves, minced
    * 2 chicken breasts (Poached as above)
    * 1 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning
    * 2 tablespoons ground cumin
    * 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
    * 1 tablespoon dried oregano
    * 2 teaspoons chili powder
    * 3 tablespoons flour
    * 1 450gms cannellini or other white beans, rinsed and drained
    * 1 bunch (about 1 pound) Swiss chard, stems removed,
       leaves chopped into 1-inch pieces (optional
    * 1 cup frozen corn, thawed
    * 2 cups reserved chicken stock
    * 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
    * Freshly ground black pepper for seasoning
    * 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
    * 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

    In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan or Dutch oven,
    Heat the oil over medium-high heat.
    Add the onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.
    Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
    Season with 1 teaspoon salt, cumin, fennel seeds, oregano, and chili powder.
    Cook, stirring frequently, for a couple of minutes
    Stir the flour into the mixture.
    Cook a little longer to cook out the flour
    Add the beans, Swiss chard, corn, and chicken stock.
    Bring the mixture to a simmer, scraping up the brown bits
    that cling to the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon.
    Simmer for 15 minutes
    Add shredded chicken simmer another 15 minutes
    until the liquid has reduced by about half
    and the chili has thickened.

    Add the red pepper flakes and simmer for another 10 minutes.
    Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
    Ladle the chili into serving bowls.
    Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese and chopped parsley
    Or  turn into burritos or tacos perhaps.


    Chris loves to garden and grow fresh vegetables
    This year he has experimented with white beetroot as well as the traditional red.
    I made this little salad
    Red beet, white beet and asparagus.
    Delicious and healthy...whats more
    Simmer the beetroot till fork tender
    Simmer the asparagus to your liking
    Peel the beets and cut into chunks
    Ditto with the asparagus.

    Season with sea salt and pepper
    Drizzle a good olive oil and some lemon juice.
    I guarantee it won't last long

    Now I am putting some Vodka down for Christmas Day
    Did some shopping at Duty Free 
    Michael Chiarelli has this recipe it looks great
    It is currently fermenting

    3 bags frozen Cranberries
    2 cups sugar
    1 vanilla bean or 2 teaspoon Vanilla extract

    Peel of 4 oranges
    2 large bottle Vodka
    Put Cranberries, sugar and vanilla bean into pot and over medium heat cook gently till some of the berries pop their skins
    Meanwhile Put the orange peel and vodka into a mason jar or something similar
    Add cooled cranberries
    Put lid on and leave for at least a week
    I believe you are not allowed to touch it till it is done. It is getting darker I am desperate to smell and taste it.
    Bring on Christmas Day.

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