Jan Norris: Food and Florida

Food, Restaurants, Recipes and Pre-Disney Florida

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Welcome New Sun-Sentinel Readers! Chili for You

January 7th, 2010 · 4 Comments

A warm welcome on this record cold day to those of you just joining me through my new job as columnist at the Sun-Sentinel in Fort Lauderdale.

Today kicks off my first “You Asked for It” column with the Sentinel. Every week I’ll be tracking down recipes from Broward and Palm Beach restaurants, or will try to find lost recipes and help solve cooking dilemmas. I take over from Suzanne Jones, who has retired after 15 years of writing the columnn. She will be missed, but I’m sure we’ll see her in print again.

My site: A quick overview

My own food web site is a year and five months old. You can read more about me here. It’s just me here working at it, though occasionally you’ll read several other columnists and guest blog writers. I talk about recipes, new restaurants, chefs, new foods and old ones, growing your own foods, and travel – especially if it’s Florida based.

I try to write at least once a day, though I recently took a vacation in the Keys for a needed respite. Noodle around in my archives, or check out stories by categories to see what I’ve been writing about lately. Search topics or restaurants on the site using the search bar on the left.

Talk to me – or with all the readers

You do not need to register here to leave a comment, so feel free to offer your opinion on my stories — anonymously if you wish. You will be asked for an email address merely to filter out spam. We have a No Spam Guarantee! in place and safeguard our site.

If you do want to register for the occasional Appeteaser email from me,  you will get a crazy password that you will need to cut and paste – then change. Just follow the instructions at the link on the left of the web site for doing that.

My help line is always open

Thanks to the Florida Culinary Institute in West Palm Beach, I  have a phone line you can call to talk to me in person, since cooking questions are frequently involved and too long to type. The number is always up on the top left of the web site: 561-340-0820. Print it out and keep it on your fridge – I’ll do my best to talk you out of trouble at the stove.

I enjoy talking to my readers about all things food. Call anytime! Leave a voice mail with your number if you don’t get me immediately; I’ll call you back as soon as possible.

Rather use email?

To contact me via email or send in a recipe, click to the CONTACT page on the site and drop me a line. I’m very good at responding to questions via email and you may just end up in one of my columns, too.

I’m definitely open to suggestions for topics, so do keep in touch and check back often.

For today: A chili recipe for very chilly days

Chili must be on everyone’s mind in this weather: My local grocery store was very low on canned tomatoes, and I noted that the envelopes of chili mix and bottles of chili powder were flying off the shelves.

I’ve published other chili recipes that are local winners. Here’s a real Texas chili contest winner for you cooks. Chili is easy – it’s a good dish to use for Random Acts of Sharing Food: make enough to take to a neighbor.

 This recipe for Buzzard’s Breath Chili is from Tom Griffin of Houston; he won an award for it in the famous Terlingua, Texas, contest.

The bean-less chili makes enough to feed a chuckwagon crew; divide ingredients in half to make a normal pot full. Chili cooked in a lesser amount is just, well, sad. It freezes so well, make a full batch to have on hand for all our cold snaps. Cook it in a slow cooker once you have it put together if you prefer.

Buzzard’s Breath Chili

  • 8 pounds boneless chuck beef
  • 3 8-ounce cans tomato sauce
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, crushed, chopped
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, cleaned, wrapped in cheesecloth
  • 1/2 cup chili powder (or twice label recommendation)
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • salt to taste
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons paprika
  • cayenne pepper to taste
  • masa harina for thickening
  • 1 quart beef stock

Chop meat into 3/8-inch cube, removing all gristle and fat. Brown in an iron skillet in batches, 2 pounds in each batch, until no pink remains. Put meat in a large, cast-iron chili pot, adding tomato sauce and equal amounts of water. Add chopped onion, garlic, jalapeno peppers and chili powder.

Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, then add cumin, oregano, salt and cayenne to taste. As moisture is required, add homemade beef stock until amount used, then add water if more is needed.

Simmer, covered, until meat is tender (about 2 hours), stirring occasionally. Add masa harina to achieve desired thicknesses as needed. Add paprika for color. Cook 10 more minutes; correct seasoning, discard jalapenos and serve.

A small sprinkle of oregano added at the last 10 minutes enhances cooking aroma.

Makes 12 to 16 servings.

(Recipe from Chili-Lovers Cook Book, compiled by Al and Mildred Fischer, Golden West Publishers, 2001.

Tags: On Site · Recipes: What's Cooking!

4 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Nathan // Jan 7, 2010 at 10:08 am

    Congrats on the new column Jan!

  • 2 Jan Norris // Jan 7, 2010 at 10:18 am

    Thanks, Nathan! I have big shoes to fill, but love the challenge. Getting to work with even more chefs and readers is just great.

  • 3 ksteinhoff // Jan 7, 2010 at 10:08 pm

    Congrats on expanding your readership to south of the border.

    It seems like yesterday that you were cleaning out your office and getting ready to start your new life.


  • 4 Jan Norris // Jan 8, 2010 at 8:50 am

    My new life is up and running just swell – thanks to long-time supporters like the Steinhoff family.

    Ironically, I’m about to clean out/paint/design my home office and set it up to work much more efficiently. It’s almost to the level the old one was, but with 2 people in it rather than one.
    Not to mention the books, various printers, monitors, etc. I didn’t have to store in my other office.

    It also shares space with my vintage button collection and all the buttons that didn’t make it but are too good to get rid of.

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