Last week’s report on 2012 being the hottest year on record should make us sweat on a lot of levels, at the very least to question what is going on.
All I know is, I don’t want to live in Florida; did that one summer, working as a waitress in Kissimmee.
You think Charleston is hot? Trust me, ocean breezes don’t kiss Kissimmee like they do here.
Now, I know some months in Florida can get pretty pleasant, but it is warm year-round. Charleston is far enough north to get a super-nice fall and a short taste of winter. Normally, that’s a few days cold enough to build a nice fire and suppress the population of those creepy Palmetto bugs. (Well, maybe just a little, but something is better than nothing).
Hey, I love warm weather, but I’m ready for a break by the end of August. Besides, the change of seasons means a refreshing change in what we eat, too. In fall, here comes the winter squashes, the apples, the oysters, the stews, and maybe best of all ... chili.
I know, people in hot climates eat chili, and the spice of hot pepper actually is supposed to have a chilling effect on the body. Nevertheless, the association of chili with cold weather is pretty strong.
Most chili recipes in these parts call for beef, but we have a West Ashley reader interested in ones that are exclusively pork or include pork.
So here goes:
We haven’t heard from Cecil Wilson of Charleston for a long while. He says this recipe from a pork producers’ group is “dee-lish.”
Easy Pork Chili
1 tablespoon vegetable or olive oil
11/2 pounds boneless loin cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 quart V8 tomato juice
1 (14-ounce) can Italian diced tomatoes
1 (16-ounce) can chili beans, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Grated cheese to taste
Heat oil in 4-quart Dutch oven over medium heat on stovetop.
Add pork, onion and garlic. Stir until all is browned nicely.
Stir in flour. Add remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 1 hour. Serve. Top with grated cheese.
Alysia Lucas of Goose Creek recommends this recipe she clipped from this newspaper a couple of years ago. It appears in “Good Meat: The Complete Guide to Sourcing and Cooking Sustainable Meat” (Stewart, Tabori & Chang) by Deborah Krasner.
She writes, “It’s savory rather than spicy. I sometimes add a couple of tablespoons of water to make a little more broth. The fresh lime juice added when serving is essential.”
The linchpin to its flavor is the smoked Spanish paprika, which makes the stew taste as if it cooked for hours.
If you want more heat, add a chopped canned chipotle chile.
Smoky White Bean Chili With Pork
Makes: 6 servings
1 pound ground pork
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, chopped
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons sweet smoked Spanish paprika
1/2 teaspoon each: chili powder, salt
Freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup red wine
1 can (14 ounces) diced tomatoes
2 cans (14 ounces each) cannellini beans, drained, rinsed
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
Sour cream, lime wedges
Heat a Dutch oven over medium heat; add pork. Brown the meat, breaking up into pieces, until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Remove meat with slotted spoon to a bowl.
Reduce heat to low; add garlic and onion. Cook, stirring, until onion wilts, about 3 minutes.
Add the cumin, paprika, chili powder, salt and pepper to taste. Cook, stirring, 1 minute.
Pour in wine, stirring up browned bits; cook 5 minutes. Add cooked meat, tomatoes and beans; cover. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes. Season to taste.
Serve in large bowls topped with cilantro and a spoonful of sour cream. Serve lime wedges on the side.
Who’s got the recipe
Ireacindia Frazier of Moncks Corner requests recipes for cupcakes and butter cakes.
Still looking: Sharon Cook of Charleston writes, “I would love to get recipes for hot drinks other than the usual hot chocolate or hot toddies made with lemon, honey, and tea, with or without alcohol.”
Have a recipe you’ve lost or simply desire? Email food@postandcourier or call Food and Features Editor Teresa Taylor at 937-4886.