Greek Chili for a Chilly Night

Chili and Pineapple Coconut Rum Cake 085I used to Belly Dance in Greek and Middle Eastern restaurants back in the 80s. My favorite “taste” of Greek food included Gyros (with Feta and Lamb), Kabobs (with Sumac), Tzatziki (with Cucumbers), Hummus (from Garbanzo Beans AKA Chickpeas) and Spanakopita (with Spinach). So why not mix those flavors with my favorite dish: Chili?

My original chili was Beef Chili. My family loved it! It was thick, meaty and spicy! Using a slow cooker, instead of a stock pot, allowed all of the ingredients time to meld together. Next came CMcCormick Fiery Tastyhicken Chili made with Butter Beans, White Kidney Beans, Ground Turkey, Italian Sausage and chopped Polish Sausage.

To save calories, but keep the bold and spicy flavors intact, my next chili creation used Ground Turkey, Italian Sausage, Turkey Polish Sausage and Pork Chorizo. In fact, I liked it better than my “Slap Ya Momma” Beef Chili. None of the flavor was missing. And in fact, it was even spicier by using Diced Tomatoes with Jalapeno and Habanero peppers and the McCormick Tasty Fiery Seasoning Mix of Sriracha, Lime and Garlic!

The chili seasoning can make or break your chili. It makes all of the difference in the world. Back when I first started making chili, I would buy the cheapest chili seasoning. You know the one that is Chili and Pineapple Coconut Rum Cake 003the store brand or 50 cents or less. Then I discovered Williams Chili Seasoning. And I will admit: they are the best. They are the reason why my Chili brings so many compliments.

I have to admit that McCormick Seasonings are stepping up their game. They released the “Tasty” blends, that bump up the flavor using Sriracha, Lime, Garlic, Lemon Zest, Basil, Oregano, etc. I love using the Lemon Zest to season my Tuna and Catfish Nuggets. And when you mix Williams and McCormick together, get ready for a spicy flavor bomb!

Chili and Pineapple Coconut Rum Cake 042I had 3 hours of sleep and my Dishwasher is broken. Which means, I am mixing the meats in the skillet, instead of washing a bowl by hand. I have the slow cooker set for 4 hours, just enough time for a catnap before my Chili dinner on a chilly (19 degree) day!

INGREDIENTS:

  1. Ground Lamb, recommended: Marketside Superior Farms, 2 lb.
  2. Pork Chorizo, recommended: Cacique, 10 ozChili and Pineapple Coconut Rum Cake 040.
  3. Italian Sausage Mild, recommended: Great Value, 1 lb
  4. Spinach, frozen chopped, recommended Great Value, 12 oz
  5. Garbanzo Beans, Chick Peas, recommended: Bush’s Best, two 15.5 oz. cans
  6. Kidney Beans, Dark Red, recommended: Great Value, 15.5 oz.
  7. Diced Tomatoes with Jalapeno and Habanero, recommended: Del Monte, two 14.5 oz. cans
  8. Diced Tomatoes with Zesty Chili Style, recommended: Del Monte, 14.5 oz.Chili and Pineapple Coconut Rum Cake 046
  9. Jalapeno Peppers, diced, recommended: Great Value, 4 oz.
  10. Chili Seasoning, Tex-Mex style, recommended: Williams, 1 oz.
  11. Chili Seasoning, Original style, recommended: Williams, 1 oz.
  12. Fiery Tasty Seasoning Mix with Sriracha, Lime and Garlic, recommended: McCormick, 1 oz.
  13. Mirepoix with diced Yellow Onion, Carrot and Celery, 8 oz.
  14. Garlic, smashed, 10-11 cloves
  15. Sumac, recommended: Zamouri Spices, ½ teaspoonChili and Pineapple Coconut Rum Cake 052
  16. Cabernet Sauvignon, recommended: Yosemite Road, 1 cup
  17. Balsamic Vinegar, 2-3 teaspoons
  18. Liquid to thin it out, such as Cola, Chicken Broth, Water or Ice Cubes (as needed, depending on how thick or thin you prefer your chili to be), ½ to 1 can.
  19. Plastic Gloves, disposal will do
  20. Slow Cooker Liners, recommended: Reynolds

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Gloves oChili and Pineapple Coconut Rum Cake 083n and ready to cut off the Garlic heads. Add them to the slow cooker liner and smash them with a small bowl.
  2. Mix ground Lamb, Italian Sausage and Pork Chorizo in the skillet and then brown in skillet for about 20 to 25 minutes. Add half of the Wine and Mirepoix. Cook on low for 5 minutes and then drain. I use an empty bean or diced tomato can for the grease.
  3. Drain and rinse beans. I top the beans with a dash of Sumac!
  4. Top the smashed Garlic with the remaining Mirepoix and Spinach. Then add the Tex-Mex Chili seasoning, Wine and Balsamic Vinegar. Chili and Pineapple Coconut Rum Cake 049
  5. Add the Meats and then the Fiery Tasty Seasoning packet.
  6. Add the drained beans and then the Original Chili seasoning
  7. Add the 3 cans of Diced Tomatoes.
  8. Thin out with Liquids, if you want thinner Chili. I used a half can of Cola for a “sweet” touch.
  9. Add the Jalapeno Peppers and Sumac during the last 30 minutes of cook time.
  10. Cook on high 4 hours or low 8 hours, stir halfway through.

Chili and Pineapple Coconut Rum Cake 086I like to top mine with Feta & Cheddar Cheese, Diced Cucumbers, Lime Juice and a dollop of Daisy Sour Cream.

 

Check out the sample and get your copy here:  Audible.com The Vampire Dancer Saga Part 4 Audiobook

The Vampire Dancer Saga Parts 1, 2, 3 and 4 are all Audiobooks now available at  Audible.com and iTunes (click the word Audible or iTunes to open link to store).

PAPERBACK BOOKS BY SHALIMAR ALI:

SHALIMAR ALI BOOKS AT AMAZON

clip_image001

The Vampire Dancer Saga Part 4 @ Amazon Kindle (June 13, 2016)

clip_image002

The Vampire Dancer Saga Part 3 by Shalimar Ali (Apr 13, 2014)

clip_image003

Report this ad

Report this ad

The Vampire Dancer Saga Part 2 by Shalimar Ali (Dec 11, 2012)

clip_image004

The Vampire Dancer Saga by Shalimar Ali, Shalimarali and N/A (Jul 25, 2012)

clip_image005

Learn to Belly Dance Textbook & Certification Program: Dance Lessons & Choreographies For Students, Troupes, Performers… by Shalimar Ali (Aug 17, 2011)Chili and Pineapple Coconut Rum Cake 005

SOCIAL MEDIA

TWITTER:
https://twitter.com/Shalimaral

FACEBOOK:
http://www.facebook.com/shalimar.ali.9

YOUTUBE:
https://www.youtube.com/user/ShalimaraliChili and Pineapple Coconut Rum Cake 058

BLOG:
https://learnbellydancewithshalimarali.com/

LINKEDIN:
www.linkedin.com/pub/shalimar-ali/3a/5a9/8a4/

What’s for dinner tonight? Meatloaf!

WP_000378Growing up, my Mom always baked meatloaf in the oven.  It was a traditional meatloaf with ground beef and cubed toast.  My Aunt Forestine kicked it up a notch by adding cheese or using sausage with beef.

So for many years I baked my meatloaf like my Mom in the oven.  As I began collecting slow cookers, I had the courage to try meatloaf in a slow cooker.

Meatloaf April 11 2015 008It was a good choice.  Even though I miss the “brown” edges from an oven, the slow cooker has an advantage to where you can cook the entire meal in one pot.

So I put the veggies on the bottom of the crock pot.  Use whatever your family likes, for example carrots and potatoes diced, frozen vegetables, etc.  The veggies end up with so much flavor and sometimes steal the show from the meatloaf.  The veggies are a bit greasy from the meat on top, but still very tasty.  Optional, you Meatloaf April 11 2015 017can also use the slow cooker lifting pan as pictures below left, for separation.

With some recipes, I don’t like to experiment.  For example, I try to cook my Fritters the same way, instead of adding too many variations.  When I cook scrambled eggs, I get bored and sometimes like to try a a different cheese or use buttermilk or sour cream.

The meatloaf that I am cooking for dinner tonight has some new WP_000368ingredients.  I did not have any fresh or canned carrots, so I used frozen mixed vegetables instead.  I used 5 potatoes, diced and added some jalapeno peppers to the veggies and meat mixture for some heat.

Did you notice the gloves in the photos?  The gloves are less than $2 for 5 sets and are really handy for chopping onions or mixing meatloaf.  Garlic, put cloves in a plastic bag and crush them with a hammer.

Meatloaf April 11 2015 021It’s nice to kick it up a notch like Aunt Forestine and try something new with a recipe.  I how this one inspires you for the next time you desire Meatloaf.

Meatloaf

INGREDIENTS:
Ground Beef, 1 lb
Sausage, 1 lb
2 Eggs, large or jumbo
Meatloaf Seasoning (Williams, recommended), 2 packages 1.25 oz. each, divided
Meatloaf April 11 2015 020Diced Onions, frozen, ½ cup
Stove Top Stuffing Mix (Kraft, recommended), 6 oz.
Beef Bouillon Cube (Knorr, recommended), 1 cube
Stewed Tomatoes Original Recipe with Onions, Celery & Green Peppers (Del Monte, recommended), 14.5 oz
Petite Cut Diced Tomatoes with Garlic & Olive Oil, 14.5 oz.
Fresh Cut Diced New Potatoes (Del Monte, recommended), 14.5 oz.
Carrots Sliced, 14.5 oz.
Tomato Soup (Campbell’s, recommended), 10 ¾ oz., or Tomato Paste, 12 oz.
WP_000351 - CopyWorcestershire Sauce, 1 tablespoon
Garlic 1-5 cloves
Celery Seed, ¼ teaspoon

INSTRUCTIONS:
Beat 2 eggs in large mixing bowl
Add 1 package Meatloaf Seasoning, Diced Onions and Stove Top Stuffing and mix well.
Put Bouillon Cube in bottom of 6-7 Quart Slow Cooker, add Sliced Carrots and Diced Potatoes, top with Worcestershire Sauce, WP_000380 - CopyMinced Garlic and Celery Seed
Add Ground Beef, Sausage, Stewed & Diced Tomatoes and remaining Meatloaf package to large bowl and mix well. This is a good time to use disposable gloves for mixing!
Add Beef & Sausage mix on top of Carrots/Potatoes. Cook on High for 4-4.5 Hours
Top with Tomato Soup or Tomato Paste during last 30 minutes of cooking time

The Vampire Dancer Saga Parts 1, 2 and 3 are all Audiobooks now available at  Audible.com and iTunes (click the word Audible or iTunes to open link to store).

PAPERBACK BOOKS BY SHALIMAR ALI:

SHALIMAR ALI BOOKS AT AMAZON

Product Details

Learn to Belly Dance Textbook & Certification Program: Dance Lessons & Choreographies For Students, Troupes, Performers… by Shalimar Ali (Aug 17, 2011)

Product Details

The Vampire Dancer Saga Part 2 by Shalimar Ali (Dec 11, 2012)

Product Details

The Vampire Dancer Saga by Shalimar Ali, Shalimarali and N/A (Jul 25, 2012)

TVDS3 Front Cover JPEG

The Vampire Dancer Saga Part 3 by Shalimar Ali (Apr 13, 2014)

SOCIAL MEDIA

TWITTER:
https://twitter.com/Shalimaral

FACEBOOK:
http://www.facebook.com/shalimar.ali.9

YOUTUBE:
https://www.youtube.com/user/Shalimarali

BLOG:
https://learnbellydancewithshalimarali.com/

LINKEDIN:
www.linkedin.com/pub/shalimar-ali/3a/5a9/8a4/