Little Chicago Chili!

Welcome back!  It’s the beginning of Fall here in the Appalachian mountains and that means it’s time for some warm comfort food!  Fall is my favorite season of the year, the mountain air has a crisp freshness to it that you just don’t get the rest of the year.  Plus, it doesn’t hurt that the leaves change into such a beautiful vibrant array of different colors.  I’ve been all over the world, but I can honestly say there’s nowhere else I’d rather be this time of year than right here, tucked away in these majestic mountains.

Anyway, I bet you’re wondering about the name of this recipe, aren’t ya? Well, Is Butter A Carb’s international headquarters is based in Johnson City, Tennessee, which is also lovingly referred to as “Little Chicago”.

Johnson City was a railroad hub and crossroads in the heart of the Appalachian mountains, it had quite the reputation for gambling and bootlegging.  Johnson City was the halfway point (approximately) between Chicago and Miami, it was the ideal location for underground alcohol smuggling and production, notorious gangster Al Capone took full advantage of that.

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Al Capone

Al Capone used Johnson City as a hideout during the prohibition, the Montrose Court Apartment complex (located in the historic Tree Streets District) was the headquarters for his operations. There is said to be secret passages that lead to former speakeasies, underground tunnels, and escape routes used by Capone and other organized crime figures.  I guess you can see why Johnson City was dubbed “Little Chicago”.

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Montrose Court Apartments

Now that you know about the name, let’s get to cooking this delicious chili!

Ingredients: 

1 lb ground beef

1 lb sirloin, cubed (if you want to just use 2 lbs of ground beef…DO IT!)

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup green pepper, diced (I used poblano and green bell pepper)

2 (12 oz) cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed well

1 can crushed tomatoes

2 teaspoons salt

3 tablespoons ancho chile powder

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon cocoa powder, unsweetened

1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 cups water

12.1oz of beer (12.1oz for the chili…11.9oz for you to drink while you make the chili)

 

Instructions: 

Place a heavy pot or dutch oven over high heat. Take your cubed sirloin and coat it in the flour, it helps the beef brown up nicely!  Add the tablespoon of oil to the pot and brown your beef.

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Once the cubed beef is nicely browned remove it from the pot and set it aside.

Now add the diced onion, ground beef, and salt to the pot. Take a wooden spoon and break the ground beef up into little pieces as it browns.

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It’s going to release quite a bit of liquid and usually we would drain it but we don’t want to do that this time.   Just keep stirring until the liquid has evaporated, it should take about 5 minutes.  Grab your spices!

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Reduce the heat to medium-high and add in your garlic, black pepper, cinnamon, paprika, cumin, chili powder, and oregano. Add your cubed beef and any accumulated juices into the pot.

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Stir all those spices in and make sure they are well combined.  You wanna cook the spice and beef mixture for about 4 minutes or until it starts to darken. We want to wake those spices up!

Now let’s stir in the beer!

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It’s going to get really dark, but don’t worry you’re doing great!  Once the beer is stirred in, add your cayenne pepper, cocoa powder, crushed tomatoes, and water.

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Bring it to a simmer, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 35 minutes.

Now, stir in your green peppers!

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You can use any kinda green pepper you want…. Poblano, green bell, anaheim, jalapeno…. It’s up to you,  that’s YOU cookin’!

Lets add in the pinto beans!

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If the consistency gets to thick just add in a little more water.  Make sure everything is mixed together and bring back to a simmer. Let that baby simmer for 30 more minutes to let the peppers soften and the flavors to come together.

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You’re going to see some fat start to accumulate on the surface. You want to skim the fat off, trust me, you and your cardiologist can thank me later.  Once the 30 minute simmer is up, the fat is skimmed from the top, you’ve given it one last stir and tasted for seasoning…..

You’re done and you have one fabulous pot of chili ready to serve! Just grab some sour cream, a block of cheddar cheese, and some crackers and you’re ready to indulge!

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Please don’t use pre-shredded cheese… grate your own, it’s worth it.  I hope to Make America Grate Again! No…. but seriously….. stop buying that crap. 

Beef, beans, and beer what mire could you want? It’s what Al Capone would have eaten…. probably… maybe….i don’t really know.  The point is, you are going to absolutely love this chili, it has such a deep richness to it that you just can’t find in other, lesser, chili recipes.

I really hope you guys give this recipe a try, because it really is super delicious!  Let me know in the comments how it turned out!  Don’t forget to check us out on Facebook (@isbutteracarbblog) for other content I don’t post here. Thanks for stopping by and keep an eye out for more Fall recipes soon!  Until next time, Ciao!

Saffron “Rice”!

How’s it going? Things are busy as always around here.  Tikki took a little trip to the vet for his annual checkup and it went great! We had a massive water leak here at the compound, but thankfully it’s all fixed!

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Look how handsome he is! 

So, as most of you know (since you follow my blog) I’m on a low carb diet and being on a low carb diet there are things I really miss….. like rice!  So I have been making different kids of cauliflower “rice” and this Saffron infused one is my absolute favorite!  Plus, if you want to eat rice, you can make this dish pretty much the exact same way, just replace the cauliflower with cooked rice!  How awesome is that!? Welcome to 2017 people!  Big things are happening over here! Anyway, enough of my ramblings, let’s dive into this recipe!

Ingredients:

1 head of cauliflower, riced

1/2 yellow onion, diced

1 tsp saffron threads

4 cloves of garlic, minced

3 tablespoons chicken broth/stock

1 tablespoon butter

Salt and Pepper to taste

 

Instructions: 

Ok, first we need to “rice” the cauliflower.  You can buy cauliflower that’s already riced (about 7-8 cups) or just cut the cauliflower up into manageable pieces and put it in a food processor.  Hit the pulse button until it resembles the size of rice.  You will need to scrape down the sides of the food processor at least once, just to make sure everything is getting thoroughly processed.  I didn’t take pictures of me processing the cauliflower to save some on production costs (I forgot to do it).

Now take your saffron threads, mix them in you warm chicken stock/broth and set aside. 20170525_215523

Next melt your butter on medium heat in a large pan.

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Once the butter is melted and foamy, add in the diced onions. You want to cook those onions until they are soft and translucent, about 5-6 minutes.

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Once the onions are cooked add in your minced garlic and continuously stir.  Cook the garlic for about 1 minute, we don’t want it to burn.  When that minute is up add in the riced cauliflower.

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You are going to want to cook the cauliflower to your liking, I cooked mine for about 9-10 minutes. Obviously if you use rice here instead of cauliflower you’ll want to just make sure the rice is heated through. Now let’s add in the saffron mixture!

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Once that mixture is added just stir everything together, making sure it’s well combined!  Salt and pepper to taste and after that….YOU’RE DONE!  Wasn’t that super easy?! Just put it in your favorite serving dish and take it to the table!

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Saffron really is such a fun and aromatic spice to use, it adds such a beautiful golden color to almost anything you put it in.  It has a subtle and beautiful floral flavor, I just know you’re going to love it!

Ok, now that you have a kick ass “rice” dish head over to our Facebook page (@isbutteracarbblog) and check out our recent “Happy Fall Y’all” post and leave soon feedback!  As always if you make this dish let me know in the comments how it turned out!  Help us reach more lovely folks such as yourself by sharing the recipes and other content!  Until next time, Ciao!

Banana Cream Pie Ice Cream!

I know, I know, I’m a little behind on posts, but it’s just been so busy around here! Lots of weddings going on, engagement parties, dinner parties, birthday parties…. You name a party and I bet I’ve been to it in the last month or so!  In fact, I’m supposed to be going to my friend Chelseas today for a pool party, I know, be jealous.  However, I wanted to take some time and check on and post this recipe!

I posted a poll type thing on our Facebook page (@isbutteracarbblog) to see which ice cream recipe people wanted the most and (not surprisingly) this is the winner!  Hopefully We can do more things like this in the future and possibly some giveaways and things like that as well!

So with that being said let’s jump in to this delicious ice cream recipe!

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cup heavy cream

1 3/4 cup whole milk

1 1/2 Tablespoons cornstarch

2 Tablespoons corn syrup

3/4 cup brown sugar

2 egg yolks

1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups of bananas, mashed

 

Instructions: 

Grab yourself a saucepan and add in your milk, 2 egg yolks, heavy cream, corn syrup, cornstarch, brown sugar, and salt.

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Now that you have all that in the saucepan, whisk it up! Whisk it up real good!  I’m not joking, WHISK! Well, whisk until everything is well combined and make sure you don’t have any lumps of cornstarch floatin’ around.

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Put your pan on the stove on medium to medium-high heat. While that concoction is heating up, let’s mash-up those nanners (bananas)! I think I ended up using about 4 medium bananas for mine, but as long as you have 2 cups of mashed bananas you’re good to go!

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Just use a fork to mash these suckers up!

Stir your mixture on the stove frequently.  Continue whisking it until it reaches a boil. Once it reaches a boil take it off the heat and pass it through a sieve or strainer.  We are doing this just incase some of the egg yolk got cooked and we don’t want little chunks of egg in our ice cream.

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Let’s add that vanilla extract and those mashed bananas to the mixture!

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Make sure you mix those bananas in really well.

Let the mixture cool down for about 15 mins, then put it in an airtight container and pop it in the refrigerator.

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You’re going to want to let this hang out in the fridge for about 10 hours.  We really want to give those flavors time to meld together and thoroughly chill.  Plus, if it isn’t chilled well, it won’t freeze well.

Ok, 10 hours is up!  Now let’s add our ice cream to our ice cream maker.  You’ll need to follow your ice cream makers manufacturers instructions on times and things like that, because they all vary and I haven’t a clue as to what type you’re using. My Kitchen Aid mixer usually takes about 20 minutes.

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So churn away until it looks something like this….

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All that’s left to do now is scrape all that ice cream goodness into an airtight container and put it in the freezer for 4-6 hours.  If you’re impatient like me you can always eat a little bit straight out of the mixer…. it’s like soft serve.

After that 4-6 hours though your going to have a beautifully decadent Banana Cream Pie Ice Cream!

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Man is this ice cream good! The brown sugar lends a delicious caramel flavor to it and the egg and cream give it such a rich and luscious texture. Plus there’s banana in it so that makes it healthy….. right? RIGHT?!

Anyway, I hope y’all give this ice cream a try, you won’t regret it!  Let me knew how it turns out in the comment section! Don’t forget to check out our Facebook page (@isbutteracarbblog) for polls, giveaways, Q&A’s, and whatever else I can think of!  Thanks for stopping by, until next time! Ciao!

P.S.- Speaking of parties…. Check out this deer party in my yard!