Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Little Dickie Granholm's Cucumber and Mango Salad

I just tasted this today, coworker Jen just tempted me with it for a tasty lunch treat. I totally dug it and now, to share it with the world!

Little Dickie Granholm's Cucumber and Mango Salad
  • 1 or 2 Cucumbers (diced)
  • 1 or 2 Mangoes (diced)
  • 1 Onion (diced) (sweet or white)
  • 1 or 2TBSP of chopped Cilantro
  • 1TBSP Cumin
  • 1 or 2 Other fun veggies that need to be eaten before they go bad (diced)
  • Salad Vinaigrette of choice
Mix, eat.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Praise: Allen & Cowley Spice Dust

I can really only speak for the Taco Dust and Fajita Dust, however these are amazing spice combinations. We make tacos all the time and used to use McCormick or Lowery beef taco seasoning. I've never been a big fan of the "just add water" nature to either of those mixes and preferred adding much less water than suggested. I liked the results but it was still a bit gooey and over salty.

At one of our most frequented hippie stores, Natural Pantry, I found a single serving packet of the Taco Dust product and checked the back. Hmm, no water needed just drain fat and mix in with browned beef. I noticed that the spices are roasted quite a bit more than the other seasonings I had used, this could mean that the chili powder they used was dark roasted (yup, you can get your chili powder like you get your coffee) or that they added a hint of roasting to the entire spice pack - minus a few of the more fragile spices which they add later. I am convinced I can create a mix similar to this using Frontier products.

Just coat browned ground beef in the spices, sautee a bit more and your done and ready to have totally Americanized tacos with a hint of citrus. Not sticky, not drippy, just yummy.

Note: Image of Taco Dust tin Copyright Allen & Cowley

Monday, August 6, 2007

Recipe: Woota! Chili

I hate to deviate from a good thing, but I did.

Growing up I was used to great beef chili which my family prepared using the Wick Fowlers 2-alarm chili kit available in most Safeway/Carrs stores. My dad used a large double burner pot to mix together browned beef hamburger with the famous kits spices and dried herbs and slow cooked it for half a day or so. Just before The smell was intoxicating to everybody in the family and we were quite happy when we sat down to the table and enjoyed a full bowl. I would invite my buddy down the street and he would dig in to a bowl or two. The rest of the chili would be freezebagged using a FoodSaver and kept frozen for a later date.

Recently I starting cooking more in-depth meals for dinner and discovered great spices at a few of the local stores. I know a few grocers have also started carring Fronteir Natural Products Spices in bulk, these spices are amazing and I highly recommend them. Because I loved them so much my first thought was to figure out a recipe for chili that would be similar to what I was used to, however richer due to more flaverful spices being used in the mix. I came up with the following recipe and instructions and hope you all enjoy it. When I first got a whiff of the chili after a few hours of slow cooking I was taken back by the hot and spicy aroma.

Woota! Chili

* Can be substituted with less spicy alternative

** Amazing quality!

Most of these ingredents can be substituted, the beans can be left out. I love to smell, I may require you to sniff the food quite a bit during the cooking process :)

Start heating up 10oz of water in a crock pot or in a large pot on a medium-low burner.

I use my Cuisinart with the cutting blade and combine the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, chili powder, paprika, cumin, garlic and onion flakes, oregano, and salt. You can just dump all the ingredients into the food processor and blend for a few seconds to simply blend everything together and mince some of the diced tomatoes. Making the diced tomatoes a bit smaller, in my mind, allows them to mix into the spices more effectively without sacrificing the peices tomato skin that keeps the chili a bit chunky in texture. Move the mixture into the crockpot and stir into the hot water.

Brown the hamburger, add salt and pepper to taste. Often I let the hamburger sit in the pan on medium-high heat for several minutes until the fat drips out and rises a bit to cook the meat, I drain the fat then continue to brown the meat in the same pan. I also add a dash of oregano to the meat just before its totally browned, probably just to make the kitchen smell nice. Drain again if its still greasy then add it to the crock pot. Mix well. Set crock pot to high (or equal heat for the stovetop) and let it simmer for several hours.

Remember to always wash your cooking utinsils between uses - its important to not mix cooked meat with raw ingredients that may still be on your spatula or mixing spoon.

I typically make a corn flour roue and add that about 1-2 hours into the cooking. Heat up a clean sauce pot on the stove with an ounce or so of water in it. Add the corn flour and cook over medium-high heat. Continously stir, slowly, until the mixture leaves long trails behind the mixing spoon. Slowly mix into the chili.

Let the chili cook for another few hours, stirring occasionaly. There should be a wonderfully dark liquid sitting on the top of the chili and it should smell quite different than it did when it first started to simmer. 15-20 minutes before you serve the chili you should add the black and chili beans, be sure to strain them (do not wash) before adding them to the crock pot.

Tada! You just made Woota! Chili. This chili looks lovely with a little shredded cheese on top.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Yay, Stuff!

In a world of Slashfood, CuteOverload, ICanHazCheezburger and other eHumor the likes the universe never saw coming - comes a fantastic new food and cuisine blog written by whardier and his loving girlfriend (I hope I get brownie points for publishing that) living in Anchorage, Alaska (that large chunk of real estate on the west side of Canada belonging to the United States of America).

We don't travel around Alaska as much as we like - We moved here from Fort Collins, Colorado and came in on the Alaska/Canada Highway. That was a very rich experience in itself, not to mention a heck of a drive. We travelled to Fairbanks, Anchorage, Seward, Hope and Homer. We visit the towns on the highways between those locations. Typically we find some amazing diners or food as we hop from town to little town and hope to write about the eats we encounter, as well as whats found in the big cities, in this blog. I personally have also been to St. Paul Island and Dutch Harbor for my previous job and I have to say, there is great food wherever you go in Alaska as long as you know where to look. We live in Eagle River currently , not much variety if you go out and it encourages us to cook some great food at home.

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whardier, OUT!