15 May 2008

A little of this and a little of that and...what the?

I had a craving. Nothing really fancy or weird. Something that helped to stave off the ever so slight dip in temperatures. A nice simple bowl of chilli con carne.

I don't do anything special or unique. I think of chilli as one of those kitchen sink foods that's a great way of using up veggies that are still good, but may not be as supermarket supermodel-ish: the carrots may not be as firm as they were when purchased, the bell peppers a tad wrinkly, the tomatoes squooshier than many would like. The meat is whatever I have on hand--usually beef, but sometimes turkey or chicken. The spicing is from a packet that promises to have a steaming pot of goodness within 20 minutes.

Well, the carrots could have used Viagra, the peppers needed Botox and the tomatoes could have used alternating treatments of ice and Tylenol. I had 500 grams of ground beef and about 300 of ground pork. Add to that some garlic, onions a tin of kidney beans, and some tomato paste and well, I've got chilli.

Umm...except for the seasoning packet.

I suppose if the onions, carrots and peppers weren't sautéing, I could have run to the bigscarymegamart and bought a packet. But alas, they were sautéeing, and I didn't feel like shutting everything down.

Think think think.

My Dear Little Mummy makes a ground beef curry with beef, carrots, peas, ginger, onions and a myriad of spices...I could do that...sort of. No ginger, no peas. Nottaproblem. My chilli con carne morphs into curry con carne.

So I added a tablespoon or two of curry powder to the onion mixture and then added the beef and pork and another tablespoon of curry, along with a little tin of tomato paste and the chopped tomato and a bit of water. I cooked everything together, until the meats were no longer pink, added the rinsed kidney beans and stirred everything until the beans were heated through. Had a taste. Hmmm...something wasn't quite correct (apart from the ginger and the peas and the correct spicing).

Think think think.

Well...the fat can of puréed tomato was in the cupboard. Okay...why not?. In it went, on went the lid and I simmered everything with some salt and pepper for about 30 minutes...just like I would meat sauce for pasta, making this meal in a pot curry con bolognese.

How did it taste? Well, not like chilli, not like my Mum's curry and not like bolognese. It was a combination of all three: spicy, meaty and left me with a nice, happy feeling inside. Two days later, it tasted even better--as such dishes usually do--and colleagues were wondering what was in my bowl because they didn't see it in the caf, and they wanted some (umm...no...when will they learn?). I explained it to them, they looked confused and walked away. I guess fusion cooking doesn't translate well...well, at least not this particular dish.

Fine...more for me.


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glamah16 said...

I get your fusion.Carrots in need of Viagra! Cracks me up.

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

This is my favorite kind of dish, the kind you can never ever duplicate, but for one moment, or a week, or however long it lasts, it is glorious.

K and S said...

I hate it when I run out of something or forgot to buy it! This chili/curry concoction sounds delish!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Imagine: carrots on Viagra, Botox peppers. Must be Jasmine in the fusion kitchen folks.
Wonderful write up. Lydia's right 'for one bright shinning moment you have happiness in your bowl.'

Karen Baking Soda said...

How I know that feeling! Every once in a while I get to believe I can relieve cook. Sub co-workers for family and you find yourself in my situation; can you make that again, it's really good! Well uh no?

Natalie, aka "Sheltie Girl" said...

I love fusion meals. Some of my family's favorite meals developed from working with what was in the pantry. Fabulous job Jasmine...this sounds simply wonderful. Plus it looks scrumptious.

Natalie @ Gluten a Go Go

Jenny said...

Hehe The entire idea makes me smile, and I can picture you protectively holding your bowl while your coworkers try to sneak a peek. :-)

Katerina said...

The carrots needed viagra, hahaha.

jasmine said...

Hello all

I'm still amazed at how well it turned out.

Jenny: Yes...I always have to take on a Gollum-like "my precioussss" when it comes to my food at work. They all eat the *very tasty and expertly prepared "food"* offered in the caf...the sad thing is I will get people coming up to me saying that they couldn't find what I'm having in the queue...