chili {perfected}

Holy snow Batman! I thought I’d have to wait until the fall to share this one with y’all, but round three of ‘the vortex’ begged me to reconsider.

Since the beginning of our journey to eliminate processed foods, I’ve had a vice. My ultimate comfort food is my mom’s chili and my mom’s chili is what it is because of the chili seasoning she uses. The chili seasoning she uses comes in a little yellow packet and along with the usual suspects there were lots of extra man-made chemicals and processed corn product in there as well. I pretended they weren’t there.

Of course we couldn’t get it in Germany, but my mom would supply me with packets regularly in the mail and it was like a little taste of home every time. I had to get honest. Deep down I knew that little packet was exactly what we were trying to vanquish from our house and if there was ever a time to learn to make my own it was then.

So we ate chili, lots and lots of chili, and eventually, I nailed it. I know that chili can be a heated topic of debate. Some folks might object to my bean-filled pot, and that is fine—I object to your bean-free concoction. To each his own. If you are in the chili-with-beans camp though, and even if you aren’t {come over to the dark side y’all}, I promise this rezept won’t disappoint.

Every family seems to have their own chili recipe. I’m curious, what kind of chili did you grow up eating? 

{perfected} Three Bean Chili from Kiwi and Peach

Three Bean Chili

{makes about 6 servings}

for the seasoning:
2 Tbsp chili powder
2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp whole wheat flour
2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1/2 tsp cinnamon

for the chili:
1 lb grass-fed ground beef
1 medium white onion
1 clove of garlic
1 can black beans
1 can kidney beans
1 can pinto beans
1 (big) can diced tomatoes
1 can of tomato paste
2 cups of stock {Chicken, veggie, or beef will do. Beer works well too.}

{If you are a dried bean user, measure out about 1/4 cup of each type of bean. Go ahead and soak them overnight and cook them for about an hour before you add them to the chili.}

Mix up your seasoning in a small bowl. This recipe will make about 4 Tbsp of season and you will use all of it in the chili.

Start heating up your skillet on medium heat. While it’s getting hot, dice your onion and get the garlic ready to press. Once the skillet is hot, crumble your ground beef into it and give it a stir. Sprinkle a tablespoon of the seasoning over the meat and work it into the meat. Once a little of the fat has cooked out of the meat, add your onions and press the garlic into the mixture. Stir well and let it cook until the meat is no longer pink and the onions are soft, about 7-8 minutes.

Once the meat and onions are to your liking, transfer them to a 4 qt stock pot on medium heat. Add the beans, the whole can of tomatoes which you’ve crushed by hand—liquid and all, tomato paste, and the rest of the seasoning.

Stir everything in really well making sure that the tomato paste has dissolved and is completely incorporated. Add the stock and bring the whole shebang to a boil. At that point, reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for at least an hour but up to 3 hours. The longer you can leave it, the longer the flavors will have to get to know each other. If you want to leave it for longer than 3 hours, just add a bit more liquid.

The Stinky Burger

A couple of months ago the Kiwi and I were in Zermatt. And while we were in Zermat, we were introduced to the worst smelling, most fantastic burger we had ever put in our mouths.

The, aptly named, stinky burger.

Sound appetizing?

I thought so.

But really, it combines some of the tastiest {and stinkiest} ingredients like garlic, onions, and stinky, gorgonzola cheese into one burger that will blow your mind.

Naturally, once we got home after the trip, I set out to recreate this puppy and now, it’s a staple. {It’s one of the Kiwi’s favorites!} It’s the perfect dinner after a long day of hiking around the Matterhorn or, you know, just playing in these gorgeous, crunchy fall leaves.

The Stinky Burger from Kiwi and Peach

The Stinky Burger

{serves two, inspired by a meal at Brown Cow Pub in Zermatt}

The Toppings
drop of olive oil
1/2 of a medium sized onion, sliced
1 clove of garlic, minced
about 1/2 cup of gorgonzola cheese {or whatever stinky cheese you have on hand}

The Burger
10 ounces {300 grams} grass-fed ground beef
1/4 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
1 tbsp worcestshire sauce
1 tbsp whole grain mustard
1 clove of garlic, minced
salt and pepper

The Buns
2 buns {I like it best with kaiser buns with sesame seeds or with a pretzel roll fresh from the bakery.}
smidge of butter for spreading

Start heating up a pan on medium heat. Slice the onion and mince the garlic {or put it through a garlic press}. Once the pan is hot, drop a bit of olive oil in the pan and add the onions and garlic. Give it a stir then cover and let cook for about 10 minutes or until the onions are nice a soft. Once the onions are finished transfer them to a bowl and set aside. Return the pan to the stove top and turn it up to medium high heat.

While the onions are cooking, roll up your sleeves because we’re going to get a little messy. Add all of your burger ingredients to a bowl and get your hands in there. Mix all of that goodness together well making sure it’s evenly mixed. Divide the meat in half, form two patties, and drop them in the pan. Give it about 4-5 on that side and then flip.

Take about half of the onions and top the burgers with it. Cover each burger with the gorgonzola, put the lid on the pan, and let it cook away for another 4-5 minutes.

While the cheese is busy melting, slice your buns and butter each side. Turn the broiler in your oven on pop the buns in the oven on the top rack for about 3-4 minutes or until their lightly toasted. They should be done about the same time as your burger and then we can get started with the assembly.

Here’s how I layer it. Bottom bun, rest of the onions, burger, top bun. Done!

Take a big wiff and enjoy!

Oh, you might want to make sure your significant other eats it too.

What about you? Do you have any home adaptations of a favorite vacation meal? I want to hear about them!

Sautéed Tomato and Garlic Fried Egg with Gorgonzola

If you’re thinking posting this week has been sporadic then you’d be right. Remember when I said that I thought we were on the mend? Well that only appears to have been half correct. I am much better. The Kiwi on the other hand got much, much worse. Between doctor’s appointments, pharmacy runs, working on the re-design that I really want to go live before Oktoberfest begins and trying to convince the Kiwi that he really must eat something, I’ve been on the struggle bus.

Something that makes all of this easier? Eggs. The Kiwi won’t eat much, but he’ll eat eggs. Needless to say, there have been a number of different egg combos whipped up in the kitchen this week, but the favorite has been this one.

Sautéed Tomato and Garlic Fried Egg with Gorgonzola | kiwi+peach

Sautéed Tomato and Garlic Fried Egg with Gorgonzola

olive oil
1 tomato, cubed
1 clove of garlic, pressed or minced
2 eggs
2 ounces gorgonzola, crumbled
2 large crackers or a piece of toast
basil optional

Start heating your pan on medium high heat. When it’s starting to get hot, add your oil and wait a quick minute for it to heat up too. Cube your tomato and prep your clove of garlic to press. When the oil is hot, add the tomatoes and press your garlic. Give it all a stir and leave it to cook for a couple minutes.

Push the tomatoes to the side and crack your eggs into the pan. Sprinkle them with a bit of salt and pepper then let them cook on one side for about 2-3 minutes or until the whites are looking pretty firm. Very carefully {you don’t want to break the yolk!} flip them. I’m a runny yolk fan, so I tend to only leave it on this side for 45 seconds to a minute, but you be the judge.

Transfer the egg to the cracker then top with the sautéed tomato and garlic, gorgonzola crumbles, and, if you’re so inclined, a bit of basil.

Sautéed Tomato and Garlic Fried Egg with Gorgonzola | kiwi+peach

The White

Remember last week when I told y’all all about my awful luck with restaurants staying in business and I shared one of my favorite places to eat in Athens {Georgia not Greece}? Well wouldn’t you know it…

Just kidding. They didn’t close. {Freaked you out there didn’t I, Mama?}

Oh man, now I’ve really jinxed it.

But really how could they with all the delicious things that have going on. Today’s recipe was inspired by my Mama’s favorite, the White Pizza. Being the queen of neutrals that she is, it really isn’t surprising that she’d go for the most monochromatic option, but what is surprising is how flavorful that sucker is! It’s strong on the garlic and has the perfect blend of melty cheeses and crisp, buttery focaccia.

Kiwi+Peach: The White

The White

The Mix
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1-2 cloves of roasted garlic
1/2 tsp salt

The Assembly
2 large wedges of focaccia
4-5 fresh basil leaves, sliced
1/2 ball fresh buffalo mozzarella

In a medium sized bowl, mix the cheese, garlic, and salt together well.

Split your focaccia wedges down the middle to make two slices. {You know like for a sandwich.} Liberally spread the mix on both slices. Sprinkle the bottom slice with the basil strips and then cover with chunks of your mozzarella.

Pop everything in the oven on broil {or grill for y’all Kiwis} for about 5 minutes or until the mozzarella has melted. When its finished top it off and enjoy!

Tuscan Salad with Homemade Roasted Garlic Croutons

Happy Friday friends! Sorry for the blog silence yesterday. It was a holiday here in Bavaria {these wonderful Catholics seem to have a holiday for everything!} and, while it was not my intention to take the day off, sometimes spending quality time with the Kiwi just trumps.

During our day off yesterday, I started reading Inferno. While the Kiwi has some strange hatred for Dan Brown books {despite having never picked up a singe one}, I quite like them, so I’m pretty excited to read this new one. I knew it was set in Florence, but man, its like I’m there again, except for the whole being on the run from an assassin. {That’s not a spoiler it’s on like page 2. Plus what else is Robert Langdon going to be doing? Sightseeing?} Really though, its making me miss Florence, Italian food, and wine. Mostly the wine…and the truffles.

Obviously this Tuscan salad was happening. I was inspired by a recipe one of my absolute favorite bloggers {seriously, Emily’s blog was what introduced me to this wonderful world of blogging} posted a long time ago.  We tweaked it a bit based on what we had on hand and some of the salads we had in Florence, but either way it is a phenomenal salad.

Kiwi+Peach: Tuscan Salad with Homemade Roasted Garlic Croutons

Tuscan Salad with Homemade Roasted Garlic Croutons

{inspired by Emily from Jones Design Company}

The Prep
10-12 cherry tomatoes
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 sprig of fresh rosemary
salt and pepper
1 bulb of garlic
1 Tbsp olive oil

The Salad
150-200 grams {2 cups or so} of mixed greens, washed
8-10 fresh basil leaves, sliced
10 fresh black olives, pitted
1/2 cup pecorino cheese, crumbled
1/4 of a small red onion, sliced

The Croutons
4 thick slices of ciabatta bread
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 cloves of roasted garlic, pureed
1/4 cup pine nuts

The Dressing
2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 tsp. spicy dijon mustard
1/4 of a small red onion
1 clove of roasted garlic
3-4 leaves of fresh oregano
salt and pepper
1/4 cup of olive oil

First thing we have to do is put the tomatoes and the garlic on to roast. Preheat the oven to 300°F/150°C. For the roasted tomatoes, slice the tomatoes in half and in a large mixing bowl combine with olive oil, chopped rosemary, salt, and pepper. Mix well and then put them on a lined baking tray.  For the roasted garlic, cut the garlic bulb straight across on the stem end. Set it root side down on a piece of tin foil and pour the olive over the top. Wrap it up in  the tin foil and place on the tray with the tomatoes. Pop them in the oven for an hour.

Go chill out for 45 minutes. Read Inferno, or I guess you could be productive. Anyway…

About 15 minutes before the tomatoes and garlic are finished, come on back to the kitchen and combine all of the salad ingredients in that large bowl you were using before. Also, go ahead and slice your ciabatta bread and brush on the olive oil.

When the tomatoes and garlic are finished take them out and put the oven on broil {or grill for y’all Kiwis}. Toss the roasted tomatoes in with your salad mix.

Pop out 2 cloves from the garlic bulb and puree them in the food processor. Then spread the puree on your ciabatta bread. Place the slices on the baking sheet along with your pine nuts and put it in the oven for about 5 minutes. Keep an eye on the pine nuts. You just want them to be a bit toasted, not charred. If they are toasted before the bread, just take them out, add it to the salad mix, and put the bread back in the oven.

While the bread is a toasting, let’s make that dressing. Put all of your dressing ingredients in the food processor and pulse until you’re happy with the consistency.

When the bread is toasted, take it out, chop into bite sized cubes, and add it to your salad mix. Pour the dressing over to whole thing and toss well.

Kiwi+Peach: Tuscan Salad with Homemade Roasted Garlic Croutons

Veggie Drawer Pasta

A big part of cooking for two is planning your meals so that you can use leftover ingredients before they go bad. For the most part, I’d say that the Kiwi and I do pretty well on that front, but we certainly aren’t perfect. Veggies are the hardest for us. We always end up with random halves just hanging out on the veggie shelf.

It’s always handy to have a couple super flexible recipes up your sleeve so you can just use up anything that is about to go off. This is one of my favorites for using up leftover veggies. You can throw just about any veggie in this and it’s going to taste great.

Veggie Drawer Pasta

{heavily adapted for two from Goddess of Scrumptiousness}

The Marinade
2 chicken breasts
1 Tbsp olive oil
juice from 1/2 of a lemon
zest from 1/2 of a lemon
salt and pepper

The Tomatoes
15 cherry tomatoes
1 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped
1 Tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper

The Pasta
4 oz whole wheat pasta

The Veggies
1 Tbsp olive oil
whatever you have on hand {I’ve had success with zucchini and bell peppers, but spinach would be great too.}

The Garlic Sauce
2 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp whole wheat flour
2 cloves of garlic
1 cup chicken stock

Preheat the oven to 300F/150C.

First we need to put our chicken in to marinate. Cut your chicken breasts in to bite sized pieces. In a small bowl mix your marinade ingredients together and toss the chicken in. Coat well with the marinade and put it in the fridge until you’re ready for it.

Slice your cherry tomatoes lengthwise and scatter them on a lined baking pan. Drizzle with olive oil and toss on your rosemary, salt, and pepper. Give it a stir so that all the tomatoes are covered and pop it in the oven for 45 minutes.

Take a break. Have a nice glass of tea and peruse Pinterest for a bit.

When the tomatoes have about 20 minutes left start heating a large pan on medium high heat. Boil your jug and start heating a large pot on medium high heat too.

When the jug finishes boiling put your pasta on. Cook according to the directions in the package {usually 11-13 minutes for whole wheat}. When the pasta is finished drain the water and set it to the side.

Chop the veggies you’re using into bite sized pieces and grab your chicken from the fridge. When your pan is nice and hot, pour in the olive oil and add your chicken and veggies. Let cook them cook for about 3 minutes on each side.

Now we’re going to get fancy with the sauce. Push the chicken and veggies to the edges of the pan making a whole in the middle like a donut. Drop in the butter and when it’s melted sprinkle with flour. Add your minced garlic. Slowly add your chicken stock whisking while you pour to avoid clumps. Stir your chicken and veggies in with the sauce and then let it simmer away for about 5 minutes our until the sauce is thick enough for your liking. Add the pasta to the pan and mix well. Plate up and top with the roasted tomatoes and some yummy parmesan cheese.