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Archive for October, 2011|Monthly archive page

Chasen’s Chili

In Film, Food, Recipes on October 29, 2011 at 8:36 am

Few women—if any—have been as glamorous as Liz Taylor, and her favorite food was Chasen’s chili. Pictured above with Rock Hudson at the Suddenly, Last Summer premiere at Chasen’s in 1959, Taylor was so smitten with the stuff that she had it flown to the set of Cleopatra in Rome. Until now, my own favorite chili has been this recipe for Texas Beef Brisket Chili. But this year for Halloween, we’re going glam with Chasen’s. My husband made a test pot last week—and paired with a Dogfish Head Punkin Ale and a drizzle of crème fraîche, it’s a glam slam. The chili is even better the following day, so if you’re planning to serve on Halloween best to make it tomorrow afternoon. And if you live in LA, you can still find some of the Dogfish Punkin at the Whole Foods on Third and Fairfax. I’m not one for pumpkin flavored beers, but Dogfish’s version is perfectly spicy with a hint of sweet and totally delicious with the heat of the chili!


1/2 lb dried pinto bean

1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes, with juice

2 tablespoons oil

1 large green bell pepper, chopped

3 cups onions, coarsley chopped

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1/2 cup parsley, chopped

1/2 cup butter (1 stick)

2 lbs center cut beef chuck, trimmed of fat, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces

1 lb pork shoulder, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces

1/3 cup gebhardt chili powder

1 tablespoon salt

black pepper, to taste

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin

Rinse the beans, picking out the debris. Place beans in a Dutch oven with water to cover. Boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand one hour. Drain off liquid.

Rinse beans again. Add enough fresh water to cover beans. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered for one hour or until tender.

Stir the tomatoes with juice into the cooked beans, and simmer 5 minutes over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally.

Heat the oil in a large skillet and saute the bell pepper for 5 minutes. Add the onion, reduce the heat to low, and cook about 15 minutes until tender, stirring frequently. Stir in the garlic and parsley; add this mixture to the beans.

Using the same skillet, melt the butter and saute the beef and pork, in two batches, if necessary, until browned. Drain. Add meat to the bean mixture along with the chili powder, salt, pepper to taste and cumin.

Simmer mixture, covered, for about an hour. Uncover and cook to the desired consistency, about 5 minutes. The chili should not be too thick. Skim off excess fat and serve.

Pasta with Swiss Chard & Bacon

In Food, Recipes on October 23, 2011 at 5:28 pm

If you haven’t already checked out Los Angeles Magazine‘s Farmers Market issue, get thee to the newsstands immediately! I have a short item in there about my weekly CSA bag on page 143! While the headline is a bit provocative (“Why I Skip the Market”—I don’t. I go religiously every week), the piece mentions my very favorite part of participating in a CSA, which is a friendly neighborhood challenge I have with a few friends to use everything in the bag each week. This week we were handed an exorbitant amount of Swiss chard.

I remembered a super comforting recipe we ran in Bon Appétit several years ago for Bacon and Swiss Chard Pasta. You sauté some bacon, then sauté onions in bacon fat (do I have your attention yet?) and add Swiss chard until it wilts, then sprinkle with parm and drizzle with balsamic vinegar. Toss in fresh fettuccine or linguine. That simple, that delicious. And bye-bye, chard, for this week anyway. For recipe, click HERE.

Zucchini Soup

In Food, Recipes on October 10, 2011 at 7:25 pm

Los Angeles can’t decide if it’s autumn or summer—this past week has seen everything from torrential downpour to 90-degree weather. The farmers markets are clearly in the summer camp. We’re still getting tomatoes, zucchini, strawberries and corn. Even peaches! I had quite a bit of zucchini left over from my CSA farm bag this week and remembered a soup I used to make from a recipe I pulled from the San Francisco Chronicle over a decade ago. It is quite simply delicious—the perfect amount of tangy-savory with a little hit of cinnamon sweet. I hope you enjoy, too, whether it’s rain or shine.

Zucchini Soup

1 lb zucchini, chopped in large pieces

2 cups of low sodium chicken stock

2/3 cup chopped yellow onion

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 tablespoon olive oil

2/3 cup lowfat buttermilk

Salt, to taste

Garnish with chopped cilantro (optional)

In a pot, bring zucchini and chicken stock to boil. Allow to simmer, covered, for 6-8 minutes, or until zucchini is soft. Meanwhile, in a frying pan, sauté onion, cumin and cinnamon in  olive oil until onions are soft. In a blender, puree zucchini and stock with onions. Return to pot and stir in buttermilk. Garnish with cilantro