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Traveling, Cooking, Reading, and Trains

Cooking Date: February 3, 2019

We held our annual Super Bowl party last Sunday. In addition to my traditional chili I made some roasted chick peas. I found the recipe on Dad Cooks Dinner and loved the idea of making them from dried garbanzo beans. Check out his site for the complete recipe.

Dried Garbanzo Beans

I cooked a cup of the garbanzo beans in the pressure cooker with water and a bit of salt for 40 minutes with a 20 minute natural pressure release. While they were cooking I made up the spice ingredients for roasting.

Roasted chick peas spices
Roasted chick peas spices combined.

After draining and patting dry the chickpeas between some sheets of paper towels I tossed them in olive oil and the spice mixture.

Chick peas being prepared for roasting.
Spiced chick peas ready for roasting.

I roasted them just a smidge too long – by the time you can smell them they are over roasted. I had to toss a few but was able to rescue most of them,

Roasted chick peas ready for munching.

These were good but I don’t think the spices were assertive enough. Next time I’ll use a bit more salt. The process is definitely worth trying again but I have a different spice profile in mind for that.

They were out on the coffee table ready to go up against the Cheetos.

Cheetos and roasted chick peas go head-to-head on the snack table.

And of course I made the annual El Cid Chili. I found this recipe on the Sunset Magazine web site years ago. It has now made its way to the Food Network and other places. My recipe has changed slightly over the years but the meats are still the original: hamburger, sirloin steak, and chorizo.

This year I made beef stock for this dish instead of relying on chicken stock. Chicken stock is great but I’ve been wanting to try making beef broth for a while. I used the same recipe as chicken stock but substituted 1.5 pounds of beef shank and 1.5 pounds of ox tails for the chicken. I got that ratio from Alton Brown. But I wasn’t a fan of his spice set – which seemed to be geared to making Phó – a Vietnamese soup. I decided to stay basic and add the necessary spices for whatever dish the stock will be in.

I browned the beef shanks in a couple of batches and set aside. After putting the meat back into the pressure cooker, I added a large onion, 2 carrots, and a celery stalk – all very roughly chopped. To that I added 1 teaspoon of salt, a teaspoon of peppercorns, 2 bay leaves. I then added enough water to cover but keeping below the max fill line on the pressure cooker. I cooked under high pressure for 1 hour with a 1 hour natural release. This makes a very low-salt stock. Recipes calling for canned broth will typically not add salt to the high-sodium canned product. So, be prepared to add more salt to the dish you are making with the stock.

I took another tip from Alton Brown by using 2 large fine mesh strainers nested one inside the other with a few layers of cheese cloth in between. This allowed me to just make one pass of straining the stock. It came out clearer than when using my old method of passing the stock through one fine mesh strainer a few times.

It takes a while to get everything together at first but it is totally worth it once you start cooking and adding ingredients.

Spice Set 1 for El Cid Chili
Spice Set 1
El Cid Chili Ingredients (With 2 spice sets).

After trimming the fat from the sirloin it is cut into 1″ cubes. The casing is removed from the chorizo, it is cut in half length wise and then cut into 1/2″ pieces.

The “secret” ingredient of this dish is the cinnamon stick. For heat we slice the jalapeño vertically three times but keep it together on the stem. The recipe calls for two; but some in the group don’t like it that hot so I cut down to one and did not add the chipotle en adobo.

Cinnamon stick, jalapeño, and bay leaves for the chili

After sautéing then simmering for 2 hours, you get a rich red chili.

El Cid Chili just about ready to eat.

In the past I started the chili so it would be ready for half time; this year I had it ready at cook off. Add some cheddar cheese and sour cream and you’ve got a nice bowl of red.

A delicious bowl of red.

This group really brings their “A” game each year. We had so much good food – but maybe not for for you.

Super Bowl Buffet

We had a great time -as usual – even though the L.A. Rams lost. It marked the second time in just under 100 days that a Boston team beat a Los Angeles team for a championship. Back in October the Red Sox beat My Los Angeles Dodgers. That was a kick in the shorts.

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