Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Chili with Chocolate (Slow Cooker/Crock Pot)

I am trying to find some slow cooker/crock pot recipes that my family likes. I was going through this little grocery store cookbook with my two girls (7 and 8 years old), asking them which recipe sounded good to them. We got to this recipe and they both thought it sounded wonderful. What could be bad....it has chocolate in it!

I wasn't sure how they would like it. As long as it wasn't too spicy, I knew my 8 year old would like it. She likes chili. My 7 year old has never really eaten chili. Recently she has loved sloppy joes. The recipe only serves 4 so I thought it was pretty safe to try.

THEY LOVED IT!!!! Did you read that? LOVED IT! Both girls went back for seconds! I couldn't believe it. SCORE one for mom! This is a keeper!

Chili with Chocolate
Makes 4 servings

(When I made it, I cut down on the chili powder and did not add the hot pepper sauce.)

1 pound 90% lean ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced and divided
1 can (28 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can (15 1/2 oz) chili beans in mild or spicy sauce, undrained (I used Ranchero Style Chili Beans)
2 tablespoons chili powder (I used 1 tablespoon)
1 tablespoon grated semisweet baking chocolate
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin (I used about 1 teaspoon)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (I did not add this at all)

1. Brown ground beef, onion and 1 clove garlic inlarge nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, stirring to separate meat. Drain and discard fat.

2. Place meat mixture in slow cooker. Add tomatoes with juice, beans with sauce, chili powder, remaining 2 cloves garlic and chocolate; mix well.

3. Cover; cook on LOW 5 to 6 hours. Add cumin, salt, pepper and hot sauce during last hour of cooking.

Meat and Potatoes

Mmmmmmm, roast beef! If you are a meat and potatoes person, this recipe from America's Test Kitchen is for you. You can go online to America's Test Kitchen website to download the full recipe. Which includes why they chose the cut of meat they did, but you will need to register with them to do so. I feel it's worth the trouble of registering because, unless you want to purchase their entire book, it's a great way to get just a few recipes from them. I did type up the basic recipe for you below.

As a side dish America's Test Kitchen made Mashed Potatoes and Root Vegetables. My husband and I love mashed potatoes. Our daughters on the other hand aren't big fans. They did like these. It's a great way to sneak in some vegetables in a meal. You can also go online to America's Test Kitchen to download this recipe (with specifics), but I did type the basic recipe below.

Slow-Roasted Beef
from America's Test Ktichen
from the Episode: Resurrecting the Roast Beef Dinner
(for the FULL recipe, please go to America's Test Kitchen website)

Serves 6 to 8

1 boneless eye-round roast (3 1/2 to 4 1/2 pounds) (see note in online recipe)
4 teaspoons kosher salt or 2 teaspoons table salt
2 teaspoons vegetable oil plus 1 tablespoon
2 teaspoons ground black pepper

1. Sprinkle all sides of roast evenly with salt. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate 18 to 24 hours.

2. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 225 degrees. pat roast dry with paper towels; rub with 2 teaspoons oil and sprinkle al sides evenly with pepper. Heat remaining tablespoon oil in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until starting to smoke. Sear roast until browned on all sides, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer roast to wire rack set in rimmed baking sheet. Roast until meat-probe thermometer or instant-read thermometer inserted into center of roast registers 115 degrees for medium-rare, 1 1/4 to 1 3/4 hours, or 125 degrees for medium, 1 3/4 to 2 1/4 hours.

3. Turn oven OFF; leave roast in oven, without opening door, until meat-probe thermometer or instant-read thermometer inserted into center of roast registers 130 degrees for medium-rare or 140 degrees for medium, 30 to 50 minutes longer. Transfer roast to carving board and let rest for 15 minutes. Slice meat crosswise as thinly as possible and serve.

Mashed Potatoes and Root Vegetables
from America's Test Ktichen
from the Episode: Resurrecting the Roast Beef Dinner
(for the FULL recipe, please go to America's Test Kitchen website)

Serves 4

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

8 ounces carrots, parsnips, turnips, or celery root, peeled; carrots or parsnips cut into 1/4-inch thick half-moons; turnips or celery root cut into 1/2-inch dice (about 1 1/2 cups)

1 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, quartered lengthwise, and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch slices; rinsed well in 3 to 4 changes of cold water and drained well

1/3 cup low-sodium chicken broth

Table salt

3/4 cup half-and-half, warmed

3 tablespoons minced fresh chives

Ground black pepper

1. Melt butter in large saucepan over medium heat. When foaming subsides, add root vegetables and cook, stirring occasionally, until butter is browned and vegetables are dark brown and caramelized, 10 to 12 minutes. (If after 4 minutes vegetables have not started to brown, increase heat to medium-high.)

2. Add potatoes, broth, and 3/4 teaspoon salt and stir to combine. Cook, covered, over low heat (broth simmer gently; do not boil), stirring occasionally, until potatoes fall apart easily when poked with fork and all liquid has been absorbed, 25 to 30 mintues. (If liquid does not gently simmer after a few minutes, increase heat to medium-low.) Remove pan from heat; remove lid and allow steam to escape for 2 minutes.

3. Gently mash potatoes and root vegetables in saucepan with potato masher (do not mash vegorously). Gently fold in warm half-and-half and chives. Season with salt and pepper to taste; serve immediately.