Nothing better for a game weekend than a big pot of this chili, with our signature cornbread
Fall’s here and so is all that comforting, warming food we love to love.
Everyone at EuroCAST who loves sports is locked in on weekends for basketball, football, soccer … all the sports, enjoyed with all the friends. And those of us who just haven’t had time to track a sport since Bart Starr coached the Green Bay Packers … we’re also locked in on weekend with all the friends.
Speaking of getting together
What to cook? Here are two dishes perfect when eaten together.
My vegan chili and the EuroCAST signature corn bread. We’re deploying the Dutch oven for the chili (although you can use the double roaster — on crazy special! — if you have lots of friends over, or want to make-head for the week). And the corn bread can also be made in a second Dutch oven at the same time. You do have two EuroCAST Dutch ovens, right? If not, here’s a link to save you a bit.
But if you decide the double roaster is good for a bigger batch of chili, you can just make the cornbread in the double roaster’s most awesome lid. See below for tips on how to use the lid for the cornbread, and details on the crazy-awesome double roaster special. (Hint: Get the double roaster, get our Starter Set free.)
We’re all about friends (sports or no), lots of good food, and making your cooking and cleaning so easy you’ll be with friends and family in no time, with awesome food.
Chili when it’s chilly
Vegan chili might seem to meat-eaters like a compromise. But, as chef/writer Anthony Bourdain might say to someone who disses vegan chili, “What’s your major malfunction?”
Think about Fall, and the number one seasonal ingredient is the pumpkin, or squash (any one of a dozen varieties). It’s delicious, plentiful, inexpensive, beautiful, easy to cook with ... why not make a big one-pot dish out of it? And what better set of ingredients than what we put into chili?
All that said ... we love meat in our chili, too, and when we're in that mood, we cook up some tri-tip separately and put it in the bowl first as a layer of seared, savory surprise. Read about that below the main recipe.
Spice is beyond nice
Chili needs spice. And most people use chili powder as part of their own chili recipe. Chili spice recipes aren't as jealously guarded as, say, mole or curry mixes -- but I've got one that's special. Just special enough that your guests will love its mystery. And it's super simple.
2 t. ground chili powder
1 t. ground cumin
1 t. ground Harissa powder
1/2 t. smoky (aka Spanish) paprika
Not all paprika is made the same. Most paprika is related to Hungarian paprika (although we love Hungarian paprika fresh off the plane from Hungary -- it has a bigger, sweeter flavor than you normally get even in Hungarian paprika in the US). You're looking for a paprika that would be labeled "smoky", "smoked", "Spanish" -- sometimes using the Spanish word pimenton. Any paprika can quickly lose its personality ... so find a good, smoky paprika fresh from its container to make sure it puts its lovely, seductive arms around the chili spice.
1 large red onion diced
3 cloves garlic diced fine
2 cups mushrooms sliced into chunks
2 cups hearty squash - kabocha, butternut, acorn - cut into chunks
4 cups veggie stock or water
1/2 head of cauliflower
1 cup summer squash in chunks
4 ripe tomatoes, quartered
1 can low sodium black beans (do not drain -- the liquid has beautiful flavor and texture)
In your EuroCAST high sided fryer or medium sized Dutch oven:
Sauté the onion in 3 T. olive oil until soft
Add the garlic and sauté another minute
Add diced squash over low and sauté till the edges begin to caramelize
Add 1/2 cup of the veggie stock or water and let simmer over low heat
Add the cauliflower, mushrooms, and summer squash.
Simmer low and slow for 10 minutes (or a little more)
Add the beans and their liquid, cook another 5 minutes
Add tomatoes and spice blend
Remove from heat when the mushrooms are cooked through but the squash still has a "tooth" to it, and cover with lid to let the ingredients bask in the steam
BUT WHAT ABOUT MEAT?
We love the vegan chili as it is. And we bet you will, too.
But if you have meat-eaters to please, or if you just want to treat yourself to something special, here's a great way to please the inner carnivore while keeping the personality of the vegan chili: Make up some special, beautifully seared steak and, with a generous slice of the steak in the bottom of the bowl, cover it with the vegan chili before you cook it.
Yes, the steak braises in the chili. The slow braising makes the steak cut like butter, and makes the experience a new kind of chili con carne.
Coffee-braised Tri-tip steak strips
1 well-trimmed tri tip, 3-4 pounds
1 large can whole San Marzano tomatoes in sauce
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups strongly-brewed coffee
Salt the tri-tip generously and then pepper evenly.
Put 4 T. olive oil in your largest EuroCAST Dutch oven and bring to medium heat (the oil should not be smoking).
Add the seasoned tri-tip.
Sear the steak to a hard crust, 6-8 minutes per side.
Add one large can of whole San Marzano tomatoes and 2 cups of strong brewed coffee, then add the minced garlic.
Bring to a low, bubbling boil.
Reduce heat to low and cover to braise 90 minutes. Check every once in a while for the liquid level and to break up the tomatoes. Add water as needed, but you want to keep the sauce on the dense side to capture the beef's richness and to keep the tomato acidity popping.
Remove from heat and keep covered with the Dutch oven's lid until ready to server.
You could refrigerate at this point and reheat slightly before slicing and serving.
Check seasoning (hey, one slice is always reserved for chef's testing).
In each diner's bowl, lay a big, warm tri-tip slice in the bottom. (It's fall-apart tender at this point, so each place setting will only need a butter knife -- if that.)
Cover the beef with the hot vegan chili.
And, to make it truly amazing, top with sour cream and, if you have some on hand, garlic confit. Yes, we feature that beautiful confit from time to time. Because. It. Is. Awesome.
This cornbread can be made in the lid of the double roaster. Just line it with parchment paper before pouring in the batter. The parchment makes for nifty handles to pull it out to slice it up outside of the pan. Cutting the cornbread in the pan is not an option, since the grill ridges will get in your way.
When you do this in the double roaster lid, double the recipe. (No one will complain.)
Cornbread done right is extraordinary. Choose best-quality cornmeal.
Mixed in a bowl:
1-3/4 cups flour
1 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1-1/4 cups milk
1 large egg
For the pan:
1/4 cup corn oil
Preheat your oven to 350F.
Mix all the dry ingredients plus the egg above. Blend well.
Heat your EuroCAST Dutch oven over medium heat.
Add 1/4 cup of corn oil to pan.
Working quickly, pour the batter into the pan and smooth out the top.
Let this cook for 2-3 minutes on the stove top to create a crisp top.
Remove that handle of your EuroCAST skillet.
Move to the preheated oven to finish cooking.
Cook 20 minutes or until the top is set.
Remove from oven and pour 1 cup maple syrup over the top. The syrup will sink into the cake, much to the delight of everyone.
What’s the deal on our deals this week?
EuroCAST continues to support my whims and desires when it comes to giving you (at least temporary) deals on the products I use for a Recipe of the Week.
So, below find a few nice ones: Our 8” sauté pan (what would I do without lots of these?), plus our double roaster special, with which you get a terrific price on the double roaster ($399, comes with lid, both pieces have the induction plate, and it’s HUGE for holiday cooking) plus EuroCAST throws in a FREE Starter Set. Yes, seriously.
And last but not least, we’ve got a good price on our 5 quart Dutch oven. Just a beautiful piece. Comes with a lid. PRO TIP: I store in with the lid upside down so it takes up just a little space in my cabinets.
Double Roaster plus FREE Starter Set! Expires Friday, October 12
This one is fantastic. If you’re cooking a lot this holiday, or want to get the double roaster AND a gift for family or friends, this is the deal.
But hurry! This deal expires Friday, October 12, 2018! Click to get it! To get the savings, use the promo code GREATFALLDEAL when checking out. Free shipping in the Continental US.
The 5-quart Dutch Oven
Save $130 on this beautiful, useful, mid-sized Dutch oven. Perfect for the chili recipe, or the cornbread recipe, or for a fifteen other things you’re cooking this holiday season on a busy stovetop.
The cook-anything-anywere, cooking machine: The EuroCAST 8” sauté pan, only $89.99
Seriously, this is the go-to pan at EuroCAST. Every single demo we do is done on this baby. In fact, our EVP of Sales and Marketing, Jay Laisné, will be broadcast to 100 million viewers on WeTV next week showing this baby off. (And the Executive Set.) We’ll be tuned in! In the meantime, pick one up at this limited time price, because you always need another sauté pan. Always.