February 23, 2011
Two days into 2011, because we had about two ounces of energy left after the wedding and our South American sojourn and the holidays (I made this, twice — the first time for our office pot luck where it complimented our CFO’s goose-meat tourtiere so well it was like we did it on purpose, and then again on Christmas Day, my first contribution to a Laird Family Dinner) we decided it was time to start house-hunting.
I prepared myself for the worst. We had heard stories. Stories from friends and friends of friends who had purchased homes in downtown Toronto, but not until they had traipsed through 20 houses, 60 houses, 80 houses! And the bidding wars. Oh, the bidding wars. Imagine my delight when we found a house that we loved on our first trip out. So we made an offer, and three excruciating days later we found out that we… didn’t get the house.
I’ll spare you the gory details of what came after we got the call that we had been outbid. Just two days later another unit on the same block of townhouses was listed for sale. We made an offer right away and six hours later, while we were enjoying Jeff’s birthday dinner at Jacobs and Co., we got the call that our offer had been accepted. We bought a house!
The next morning, over my complimentary coffee cake, I got to work on our to-do list. At the top of my list was consider the last supper. I wanted to make a big deal out of a meal to be enjoyed in the condo one last time. The kitchen had been such an important part of my life, it’s where food and I really got to know each other. I’d always known there was something between us, but it wasn’t until I set foot in this kitchen that I realized it was true love. In that kitchen I baked bread, stirred risottos, discovered the joy of the farmer’s market. This blog was born in my very orange kitchen.
I tucked this recipe away long ago, when we were in the thick of wedding planning. I stumbled upon it again just days before our move, when I found myself with a rare, free afternoon and enough time and energy to devote to one last date with my kitchen. I knew it was the perfect last supper — warm and hearty, the kind of meal that leaves you lingering in the kitchen while it simmers on the stove.
I was right, it was perfect. The first night, and three more times before I said good-bye to my very orange kitchen, forever.
Chili on Sour Cream and Cheese Biscuits
Adapted from smitten kitchen
On her post Deb noted that she had lots of left overs. Here I’ve halved the recipe for the chili (the biscuit recipe remains the same), and we got six servings out of it. We had our sandwiches with a simple salad to round out the meal.
1 large white onion
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic
1 carrot, diced
1 1/2 pounds boneless beef chuck (or ground beef)
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon paprika
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
Dried red pepper flakes, to taste (I used about a tablespoon)
1 14 oz can tomato sauce
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons beef broth
1 1/5 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 14 oz can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 green pepper, diced
Sour cream, to garnish
1. In a large pot, head oil over moderately low heat and cook onions until soft and just beginning to colour, 5-10 minutes. Add garlic and carrots and cook for one minute.
2. Turn your heat up to medium and add the beef. Stir and break up the meat until no longer pink, about 10 minutes. Add the chili powder, cumin, paprika, oregano and pepper flakes, stir well and cook for another minute.
3. Add tomato sauce, broth and apple cider vinegar. Still well and cover. Simmer for 35 minutes.
4. Add beans, green pepper and salt (to taste). Cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes, until peppers are tender.
5. Ladle chili onto split biscuits and top with sour cream if desired (I highly recommend you desire this).
Sour Cream and Cheese Biscuits
Adapted from smitten kitchen
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, diced
1/4 pound grated sharp Cheddar cheese (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 jalapeno pepper
1 cup sour cream
1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
2. Whisk together dry ingredients in a large bowl.
3. Using your fingers (or you could use a pastry blender) incorporate butter into the flower mixture until you have a crumbly dough.
4. Stir in cheese, jalapenos and sour cream until the dough is wet and sticky.
5. Form dough into 1/2-inch thick round (be sure to flour your counter). Use a biscuit cutter or a wide mouth glass (my choice) to cut 5-6 biscuits.
6. Bake on a parchment-lined baking sheet for 15 minutes, until golden.