Friday, January 21, 2011

Rosemary Harris' Chili from the Desperate Measures Cookbook

Between her awesome charity work (look at her bio below - she's building a library!!), her gardening, and her writing, I was delighted that Molly and I could get Rosemarry Harris to blog for us today. Rosemary has given me several special items for my collections, including the famous banana cookbook from last year that included a scary meatloaf recipe. I picked up a truly wonderful item from her at ALA Midwinter that will be featured here in Februray. Her Dirty Business series is funny and intelligent just as Rosemary is. I know you'll enjoy this post!-AA 

Pete #2 the cook at Babe Chinnery’s Paradise Diner is more famous for his desserts these days than he is for spicy food, (in fact…the yummy almond olive oil cake in Dead Head is something we both fell in love with after watching Giada make it on television!) But Amy did ask for something to keep us warm during this long cold January and this recipe is one of my favorites from an 18 year old cookbook that I’m betting not even she has heard of –

Desperate Measures: 90 Unintimidating Recipes for the Domestically Inept.

It’s called Patsy Cline Memorial Chili because apparently the writer was listening to a lot of her music when he was creating the dish (and I’m guessing a fair amount of beer was consumed while he was cooking, too.)

1 lb. chorizo sausage

1 tbs minced garlic

½ c. coarsely chopped celery

1 lrg. Yellow onion, coarsely chopped

1 lrg. Red bell pepper, seeds, removed, then diced

2 jalapeno peppers, finely minced

1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes

1 6 oz can tomato paste

1 14 ½ can chicken stock

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp dried sage

½ -1 tsp cayenne pepper (or more if you dare!)

1 tsp red pepper flakes (see above)

3 tbs chili powder

1 15 ½ oz can kidney beans, drained and rinsed well

1 lb cooked, peeled shrimp

In a large stockpot, sauté the sausage over a medium heat until browned. Drain on paper towel and set aside.

Remove all but 1 tbs of the remaining fat in the stockpot. Stir in the garlic and sauté until golden. Add the celery, onion, bell pepper, and jalapeno and sauté until the onion is browned and the celery is wilted. Stir in the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste and chicken stock. Simmer over a low to medium heat, stirring often until thickened and well-blended about 25-30 minutes.

Cut the sausage into ½ inch pieces and add them to the sauce. Stir in the cumin, sage, cayenne, red pepper flakes and chili powder and simmer for another 30 minutes. Fold in the beans and shrimp and heat through. Keep warm until ready to serve.

The author serves this with Scallion and Gorgonzola corn bread which I am generally too tired to make by this time, but I have cheated and thrown scallions and gorgonzola into a Jiffy mix and it worked out just fine. Enjoy! Rosemary

Rosemary Harris was born in Brooklyn New York and now she, her husband and their golden retriever Max, split their time between Manhattan’s East Side and Fairfield County, Connecticut. After several careers in book retailing , direct marketing, and video/television/public television she traded in her pumps for a yellow legal pad and a stack of pencils and started writing. A small item in the New York Times about a mummified body piqued her interest and subsequent research led to her first book, the Agatha and Anthony-nominated, Pushing Up Daisies, the first title in the Dirty Business mystery series from Minotaur Books. Daisies was followed by The Big Dirt Nap and Dead Head. In 2011, Slugfest will join the series.  Rosemary is a Master Gardener, and is very active also with Habitat for Humanity. Inspired by her Habitat experiences, Rosemary and her husband Bruce have undertaken another very exciting project, building a library in central Tanzania. Visit the Chalula Library Page on her website to learn more about it.

Rosemary is a member of Sisters In Crime, Mystery Writers of America, Garden Writers of America and CMGA (Connecticut Master Gardeners Association), and is President of MWA/NY and past president of Sisters in Crime, New England.

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