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Smoky Chipotle Chili

25 Nov

chiliiconI love chili, but for my whole life I’d only ever been exposed to chili that’s packed full of beans. When I went paleo, I thought that good chili would have to be relegated to a sometimes food. But then, on a whim, I did a search for recipes for bean-less chili….

…And I discovered that I’ve been doing it wrong my whole damn life.

According to the prestigious historical source of Wikipedia, chili’s ancient origins in the American Southwest began as just spicy meat in a thick sauce. No beans in sight. Beans were probably added later as a cheap way to make the stew stretch further. Somehow, that method became the norm, and chili without beans became reclassified as “Texas-style Chili,” an obscure suborder to the family tree. Once I knew what to look for, recipes started flooding in from across the interwebs. The ones that jumped out at me were the ones that used real stew meat as well as ground meat. I felt like some sort of culinary archaeologist, reverse-engineering the glorious past this food had strayed too far away from.

Anyway, starting with those Texas-style recipes, I soon started fiddling around putting my own spin on things. This recipe uses one of my favorite “secret ingredients:” chipotle chilis in adobo sauce. For those whose experience with chipotles starts and ends with the fast-food logo, basically chipotle chilis are smoked red jalapeno chilis and adobo sauce is a richly flavored sauce that they are often packed with in cans. I’ve been playing around with tossing these things into burgers and other things for a while now, but I really made an evolutionary leap ahead when I came up with the idea of tossing the whole shebang into a food processor and using that as a spicy base for things.

This recipe takes all the wonders of an all-meat, paleo friendly chili, and elevates it with some extra smokiness for a unique kick.

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Tools of the Trade: Crockpots, aka Slow Cookers

22 Oct

Well, summer is finally over, even here in San Francisco. I’ve been seeing the signs for weeks now, but in the last few days I’ve finally accepted that fall/winter is finally here. For example, this morning I was greeted by this sight from my porch:

"Computer, what is the nature of the universe?"

“Computer, what is the nature of the universe?”

With this turn of the weather, my mind (and stomach) has started craving hearty harvest meals like stews, squashes, and rich soups. All of these foods are made imminently more accessible by one of the staples of the paleo kitchen, the crock pot.

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