Recipes for the Virtual Annual Dinner

Thanks to Tim Helming for sharing some recipes. Make one of these and you can share a meal virtually with others at the Dinner.

WT1IM Chili

I love a good bowl of red. This recipe is con carne, but if you’re not a meat eater, you can substitute your favorite umami-ful protein. Portobello mushroom might be nice.

As written, this makes fairly spicy chili. The * marks ingredients that add heat, and can be omitted or toned down if you prefer it milder. The Ancho peppers have a mild flavor that imparts a lot of the character to this chili.

Ingredients:

  • -2 lbs (ish) beef (or a mix of beef and chicken), cubed. Flank steak is nice, but I’ve made respectable chili using canned roast beef from Costco!)
  • -Dried Ancho chilies (around 6 pods)
  • -*2 small cans chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • -*1 fresh jalapeno, chopped fine
  • -**½ fresh habanero, chopped super fine
  • -1 large onion, diced
  • -4 cans diced or crushed tomatoes
  • -4-6 cans beans (black, kidney, or mix. I like a mix personally)
  • -*Chili powder
  • -Cumin
  • -Oregano
  • -Garlic, minced or powdered
  • -Smoked or regular paprika
  • -Salt and pepper
  • -1 beer (a standard-ish lager works well)
  • -Masa (corn flour)

Equipment (besides standard stuff like cutting boards, knives, etc)

  • -Large stock pot (a couple gallons anyway)
  • -Blender
  • -Clean rubber gloves for handling/chopping chili peppers (except the Ancho ones which are pretty tame)

Directions:

  1. Fill a large-ish pot (not the stock pot) ¾ with water. This is to boil the Ancho chili peppers. Toss them in the cold water, bring them to a boil, and keep them boiling while you do the next few steps. They will need at least an hour.

-OPTION: if it’s not pouring rain and if you have a grill and if you’re a carnivore, don’t cube up the meat(s) before the next step of seasoning. 

  1. Mix the cubed proteins with the seasonings in a bowl (or just mix the seasonings if you’re going to grill the proteins):
    • About a tablespoon each of cumin, oregano, chili powder, minced or powdered garlic
    • About a teaspoon each of salt, black pepper, smoked paprika
  1. In a large stockpot, add some oil, bring to medium-high heat, and add the diced onion. (if you’re grilling the protein, don’t start this step until the grilling is underway)
  2. When the onion is translucent, add the protein. Keep the heat relatively high to brown it. I make a well in the middle of the onion for this. If you grilled the protein, use less heat at this point and start stirring together the protein and onion.
  3. While the protein+onion is cooking, start opening and draining your cans of beans and your tomatoes.
  4. When all the protein is browned, *add a little of the adobo sauce from the chipotle peppers (approx half of the sauce from one of the cans)
  5. Add half of the beer to the onion+protein mixture in the stock pot
  6. *Add the chopped jalapeno and **habanero (don’t touch these with unprotected hands if you can help it. Ask me how I know)
  7. In a blender, blend 2 of the 4 cans of tomatoes and *all of the remaining chipotle peppers and adobo sauce. Add to the stock pot
  8. Check the boiling Ancho peppers. If they are soft, they’re ready for the next step:
  9. Remove the seeds and stems from the pods. With a spoon, scrape the flesh of the peppers off the skins, and put the flesh into the blender. (NOTE: this bit can be really tedious. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Every batch of my chili has a bit of ancho skin and a few seeds in it. No big deal. Just try to get relatively more flesh than skin/seeds) (NOTE 2: Don’t throw out the water you boiled the peppers in!)
  10. Blend the Ancho peppers. You’ll probably need to add a little of the water they boiled in.
  11. Add the blended Ancho into the stock pot.
  12. Add the beans and the tomatoes that you didn’t blend
  13. Add the other half of the beer if you didn’t already drink it
  14. Stir it all up. Taste to see if it needs salt. It probably does, at least a little.

From this point on, it just needs time…the more the better. 2 hours is good, 4 hours is better, 6 hours is awesome. It’ll be phenomenal the next day.

If you want to thicken it, add some of the masa. You’ll get a lot of liquid on the top as it cooks, but some of this will evaporate and some will be reabsorbed into the chili (especially when it cools later on).

Salmon

A nice chunk of salmon doesn’t need a whole lot to be delicious. This is a pretty standard preparation, but that doesn’t make it less delicious.

Ingredients:

  • -Slab o’ salmon
  • -Dill
  • -Lemon juice
  • -Butter
  • -Salt and pepper (or a salt blend like Jane’s is good too)

Directions:

  1. In a ramekin or a small bowl, melt a couple tablespoons of butter
  2. Add about a tablespoon of dried dill (possibly a little less if your slab o’ salmon is small)
  3. Add about a tablespoon of lemon juice
  4. Lay the salmon on a piece of foil large enough to enclose it when you’re done. Sprinkle salt (or salt blend) over the salmon
  5. Brush or drizzle the butter/dill/lemon mixture onto the salmon

Now–you can broil, bake (350), or grill the salmon. If you grill or bake it, lightly close the foil over it. If you broil it, keep the foil open for the first couple minutes, then pull it out, close the foil, and change the oven to bake at 350.

Cooking time: ~8-10 minutes.

WT1IM Halibut Pile

I made this up a little while ago and found it to be quite agreeable. It has a couple of Asian ingredients that may not be available at mainstream supermarkets.

Ingredients:

  • -Halibut (this recipe is for around 8-10 oz)
  • -Mirin rice wine
  • -Mushroom sauce (it’s a soy sauce with mushroom flavor)
  • -Enoki mushrooms
  • -Herbes de Provence
  • -Basil
  • -Butter -Garlic (minced)
  • -Yams
  • -Potatoes (russet, Yukon gold, whatever)

Directions:

  1. In a ramekin, melt (just barely) a cube of butter. (About 3 tablespoons)
  2. To this ramekin, add
    • -1 teaspoon basil
    • -1 teaspoon herbes de Provence
    • -Dash of mushroom sauce (GENTLE!)
  1. Reserve about ⅓ of this mixture in another ramekin. Then add a tablespoon of Mirin to the remaining mixture.
  2. The reserved sauce: put it in a pan with a little minced garlic. Heat over medium heat until the garlic is well warmed, but don’t let it come close to burning.
  3. Add the enoki mushrooms to this and gently sauté. Once they are thoroughly heated, reduce to a very low simmer. (If you are cooking on an electric range, you might need one of those thingies that goes on the burner to keep the temp low)
  4. Make mashed spuds (I’m skipping the details about how to do it. It’s on google if you need it). A 50/50 yam/russet blend is nice. If you have truffle salt, that makes a tasty seasoning. I typically add a little minced garlic to my mashed spuds. You can use dairy or non-dairy milk, plus a little butter, to taste.
  5. When the potatoes are close to done, sauté the halibut (medium heat) in the remaining sauce from the ramekin (this should be the portion that has the Mirin in it). Use a bit of the sauce at a time so you have some to pour on when you turn the fish over. Cooking time depends on the thickness of the halibut. I like my fish on the medium-rare side, which usually seems to be about 3-4 minutes per side.
  6. It’s good to have a helper at this point, since the potatoes will need to be mashed around the time the halibut is getting done.
  7. When the halibut and potatoes are done, shut the heat off on the enoki mushrooms.

Serve it up in a pile: spuds, enokis. fish.