Thursday, September 23, 2010

Dining With Doc: Walt Disney's Own Chili and Beans

Yesterday marked the first day of Fall. It is time when the mornings and evenings are cooler and our thoughts turn to football, baseball pennant runs and the October classic. It is a time when we clean our fireplaces, stock in the good books and begin to change our wardrobes from Spring and Summer fashions to the treasured sweatshirts and sweaters of the season. We may also begin to relish those warm meals that indicate Fall is upon us. Which leads us to this weeks installment of Dining With Doc.

The week we turn to page 84 in "Cooking with Mickey and the Disney Chefs" and prepare Walt Disney's Own Chili and Beans. Let's start with the ingredients.
2 pounds of pinto beans, dry
2 medium onions, sliced
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 garlic cloves, diced
2 pounds lean ground beef
1 cup chopped celery
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 can (28 ounces) chopped tomatoes
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

To prepare the recipe you,

1. Wash and sort beans and soak overnight in cold water.
2. Drain beans and place in a 2-quart saucepan. Add fresh water to cover by 2 inches. Add sliced onion and simmer, covered, for 2 hours, until tender.
3. Heat oil in a large pan and saute garlic. Add beef and celery and cook until lightly browned. Add chili powder, paprika, and thyme. Mix in chopped tomatoes. Cover and simmer for 1 hour.
4. When beans are tender, combine with meat, stirring gently. Add salt and pepper to taste.

The recipe has a nice flavor but could use a good deal more salt and chili seasoning; at least to be more like how I think chili should taste. Yes, it says to add salt to taste but it is sometimes difficult to tell how much this should be. I was raised with chili carrying bit more spice. Yet, I did find the aroma quite pleasing. It is also quite filling. You'll notice that the recipe did call for 2 pounds of beans and these cook up to what would be a feast of pinto beans. Yet, the recipe says that the whole of the recipe yields 4 servings. Frankly, I am not prepared to, nor do I know many people who, set down to a 1/2 pound of cooked beans in a single setting. Let alone, the other ingredients that accompany such a large quantity of beans. For our family of two, the quantity is enough to enjoy a few evenings of chili and beans and then freeze a couple of containers to thaw and heat later in the season.
As to the seasoning, the recipe does suggest that those who are seeking a more spicy chili may want to consider adding 1/8 teaspoon each of coriander, turmeric, chili seeds, fennel, cloves, cinnamon and ground ginger. Dried hot pepper to taste is also suggested. Though I would prefer more seasoning, I opted to stay with the original recipe for this first sampling. For my future preparations I will spice it up. In fact, once I thaw a container, I may increase the seasoning to see how we like it.

If you're looking for recipe that will provide a few meals, I recommend spending a Saturday or Sunday afternoon preparing Walt Disney's Own Chili and Beans. Eat some once it is ready while watching a favorite Disney film and then save some for an evening when you just don't feel like cooking.

Bon appetite.

And one last thing...
Doc in the Kitchen 09.22.10

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