I thought I'd throw this one out there for something besides straight politics, and coincidentally something that goes really good with politics....
I'm making chili tomorrow for the foundation dig for my shop on Thursday, so I made a batch of chili sauce up ahead of time so I can toss everything together in the crockpot and let it cook while we dig. The chili is for lunch, and the chili sauce is an ingredient...
I get the chilis by the bagful at Winco in the Mexican food section. A whole bag looks like a lot, but once you start cooking with them, they go quickly. This one batch of chili sauce yielded about 2 cups, used about 1/3 of a bag of chilis, and I pulled out the 8 biggest pods in the bag. 6-8 in a batch of chili is not too many and the burn level is very consistent, and flavorful without being overpowering.
6-8 large dried Ancho chili pods, seeded, and broken into small pieces
2-3 large dried New Mexican style chilis, seeded and cut into small pieces
2 small cans V-8 juice
1 cup good Agave tequila
Its important to break the hard Anchos into small pieces; the smaller the better because they will swell. Put all of the chili pieces in a 4 cup measure, and pour the V-8 and tequila over it all. Cover the cup with wrap and chill.
As the chilis rehydrate, the liquid will turn from tomato red to a nice deep brown and the aroma will bloom; the smell is just amazing. Stir the cup occasionally, and add some water if it gets too thick. The chili pieces swell up as they absorb the liquid, and the more they swell the better. Use a hand blender (boat motor) and blend the mix to shred the pieces of chili even more.
In portions, work the puree through the finest strainer or sieve you have. I use a rubber spatula (from Spatula City, of course...) and really work the puree through the mesh and leave just the skins behind. What you get is a perfectly smooth, deep rich chili sauce that is perfect for a lot of things.
Tonight I took some of that chili sauce and buttered up a pair of plain chicken breasts, dusted them with salt and pepper and baked them at 350 for 40 minutes, and they were done perfectly. The chili sauce gives the chicken a great flavor with just a hint of a burn....they were pretty simple to make with the chili sauce already made and ready to go. I even put a bit of the straight sauce on the chicken as a bit of dressing and its a great condiment all by itself....the tequila adds a lot of flavor in the uncooked sauce so don't cheap out! Use a good quality tequila in the sauce, and you'll have an excellent marinade.
I'm going to grab some limes and fresh garlic and experiment with the chili sauce & some beef on the grill later this summer.....