Saturday, April 18, 2009

Playing With The Camera, Or How I Made Chili on Tuesday, Part 1

Yay, I found the camera and all parts necessary for charging the camera and uploading my pictures! Now it's time to find my photography groove in the new place. I took a few jewelry pics at the same time I took these food pics, but they were immediately deleted.
I've been doing a lot of cooking lately, and I decided to photograph my latest foray into chili making for you and me.

I never make chili the same way twice. I change up the type of meat, the amount of the tomatoes, I just make whatever I'm feeling at the time. It's a fun way to cook. I recommend that anyone who is tied to a cookbook and their measuring spoons take one meal and cook without using either item. Nothing terrible is going to happen, I promise.
I'll list my ingredients if you really want to try to replicate my amazingly easy (and pretty cheap) chili, though.
I used two cans each of stewed tomatoes and chili beans, one can of fire roasted diced tomatoes, a medium onion, three cloves of garlic, some chili powder, a sprinkle of cayenne, some olive oil, and salt and pepper.
For the meat, I used a pound of stew meat. I had intended to use ground beef, but I had thrown the stew meat into my cart at the grocery store without a real purpose for the meat. I like to avoid ground meats most of the time, mostly because I'm not a fan of the texture. I love to use venison for chili, but if you or someone you love is a hunter, I highly recommend using some of those really gamey meats in a chili of your own. They elevate chili into something really delicious.
Okay, I had to take the rest of these pictures near the stove, where the lighting isn't all that great, and I'm taking most of the pictures with one shaky hand. I'll bust out the tripod next time, but please bear with me. Here's where I seasoned the stew meat with salt and pepper, a little cayenne, and a lot of chili powder. This is really the only place I usually introduce chili powder, because I'm so ingrained by years of making chili for sissies, er people who like their food "less spicy". Those same people would freak at the mere mention of cayenne, so I'm getting bolder.

After I thoroughly coated the stew meat in seasoning, I seared it in a big pot that had already been heated on medium high heat. I threw some olive oil in there before searing, too. Stew meat is usually quite lean, and I didn't want to deal with it sticking to the bottom of the pot.
You will also notice that my pot looks pretty rough, too. That's 'cause I use it to cook a lot. That is the look of love. My cooking isn't always pretty, but it's usually pretty honest.

After all the meat is seared on all sides, but not cooked all the way through, I remove it from the pot. Now the pot is ready for step 2. I'll put up step 2 tomorrow. Blame the wait on my limited computer skills. Meanwhile, I think I'm going to check out Goodwill today and scope out other area thrift stores. Yay thrift stores!

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