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Watch This Space is Moving…

…to a new blogging home!  We’ve packed up for new digs and call this place home now.  Hit me up at jeanne@watchthis-space.com or find me on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Vine or Keep at @jeannepmeyer10407594_308470315991166_6500061047176872920_n

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Secrets of Super Bowl Victory of Another Kind: SOCHILI Gold Medal Chili

For 13 years running, Dr. Jordan Metzl has gathered friends and family on Super Bowl Sunday for parallel competition:  a chili cook off.  1779134_10151812819386377_1287420958_nOn this, the second biggest eating day of the year in America, the good doctor figured he’d add some structure to this annual eat-fest.  And it’s a serious smack down, with a bit of a circus-like atmosphere — those who enter are tasked as much with embellishing their pot of goodness with marketing efforts, that has included the added allure of adorable babies, puppies, entire families dressed in disco garb (Dad as Cher in drag), slick video commercials, Tabasco samples, touts from Sports Illustrated cover girls, and in my case this year, a social media #hashtag.

The past two years, my short rib mole chili — not really a chili, per se, but rather a very rich beef stew — took away 2nd place/honorable mention honors, twice.  I decided to switch things up a bit with a tried and true chili recipe that I’ve tweaked over the years and adapted from the Silver Palate’s Good Times Cookbook’s chicken chili recipe.  My SOCHIli Gold Medal Chili was the crowd pleaser last night and took home the big trophy.  Good things need to be shared!

The magic:  uniform chopping, patience, a very, very big cast iron dutch oven, using very specific and flavorful chili powders, locally brewed chocolate stout beer and locally made secret ingredient.

Warning:  this recipe has HEAT.  Not tongue-scalding hot, but definitely has an undercurrent of spice.  Cut the chili powder back by as much as 50% if you want to dial it back.

Enjoy!

Jeanne’s SOCHILI Gold Medal Chicken Chili (Adapted from the Silver Palate Good Times Cookbook) 

ingredients

6 tablespoons olive oil
1 very large yellow onion
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 sweet red peppers, seeded, cored and diced
4 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
1 1/2 tablespoons chipotle chili powder
1 1/2 tablespoons ancho chili powder
1½ teaspoons cumin seeds

1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
pinch ground cinnamon
3 whole chicken breast (6 halves), skinned, boned and cut into 1 inch cubes (cut them uniformly!)
2 cans (16 ounces each) tomatoes in puree, chopped
8 ounces pitted ripe california olives, sliced
1 bottle of Brooklyn Brewery Black (chocolate stout)
¼ cup grated unsweetened chocolate from Brooklyn’s own Mast Brothers’ chocolate
salt, to taste
garnishes:
Sour cream or greek yogurt
grated Cabot Cellars Vermont cheddar cheese
sliced scallions
diced avocados (ideally, firm and sprinkled with fresh limed juice)

preparation

Chop all the vegetables:

Onion gets a good dice — approx 1/4″ pieces;
Garlic gets a fine mince;
Jalapenos:  important to remove seeds and white membrane from inside; mince;
Red pepper:  good dice in 1/4″ pieces as with onion;
Cook the veg and spices:
Heat half of the olive oil in a dutch oven over high heat (I use a giant cast iron one, any heavy soup pot will do).
Add the onion and garlic and saute for 5 minutes. Add the red and jalapeno pepper and saute over medium heat for 10 minutes. Stir in the chili powder, cumin, coriander and cinnamon and cook for 5 minutes more. Remove from heat and set aside.
Brown the chicken:
Liberally sprinkle salt and pepper over chicken breast that has been cut into 1″ pieces.  Brown the chicken in batches in the remaining olive oil in another large skillet until just cooked through.   Don’t crowd  — each piece of chicken should touch the bottom of the pan — turn with tongs to brown them.
Put it all together:  
Add the chicken, tomatoes with puree, olives and beer to the dutch oven and stir to combine. Simmer over medium heat for 20-30 minutes. Stir in the grated chocolate and season to taste with salt. Serve with garnishes.

#sochili #teamjeanne #thanksforagreatparty!

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It was a star player in the best seller, “Born to Run,” and its magic, thought to be a key to the astonishingly amazing running performance from the Tarahumara Indians from Mexico.  Many of my triathlon friends fell in love … Continue reading

If it’s a January Saturday, it’s Indoor Trainer Time

Nothing can beat an indoor trainer session with a good coach sticking it to you with a challenging skills and drills workout for a couple hours. Being on your own bike, on an indoor trainer, along with my Terrier Tri teammates, packs in more of a workout than being outdoors or on a spin bike.

My biggest challenge is keeping to a super face cadence.  I can mash a big heavy gear with the best of ’em but make me hold 115 for a coupla minutes and I am suffering.

But man, oh, man, I think high cadence drills are hugely effective.  It helped today that I was in a row flanked by superstar triathlete Christine Kenney, who was the overall Age Group champ (and beat pro triathletes) at Ironman Cozumel with a sub-10 hour finish; and Lucy Danziger, a fun and inspiring training partner, a fierce competitor and Editor-in-Chief of Self Magazine.

We did a brick (bike to run), with a 40 minute run off the bike, in high winds and cold temps.  I’m just coming back off a stress fracture.  Foot felt okay but my cardio fitness has a little to be desired.  It’s quite satisfying to  hit the Garmin at the end of a workout like that, this early in the season.

The GreenEye Express

What a week! Big deals to announce, work-related parties, no sleep, missed workouts and redeye flights back from 36-hour west coast trips. Man, I need a detox and some fuel. This is a job for the mighty Vitamix! I’ll call this the GreenEye Express.

1 banana (ideally, frozen), halved (When I get a bunch of bananas, I peel some and throw ’em right into the freezer for such occasions, or do same for very ripe ones).
1 cup ice cubes
1″ chunk of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
kale with inner stem removed, chopped roughly — about 1.5 cups packed
ripe fresh pineapple — 1.5 Cups cored and cut into chunks
1 green apple, cored
Add fresh basil or parsley if you have it (I didn’t this a.m.)

Put into a blender (ideally a high speed Vitamix) in the order described above: start with the banana, then kale, etc.
you might need to add some water or juice if you’re using a blender.
start the Vitamix on low and gradually increase speed for a minute, then hit the high speed function and let’er rip for a minute.

Enjoy!

Good, Good for You (and others) and Low Cal Gift Idea

I find this is the time of year when I suddenly take my nose off the grindstone for a second to realize that I’m mid-stream in holiday mode and, well, a bit behind in my gift-making, acquiring, wrapping, shipping and giving enterprises.  I'll give to yours if you give to mine.

Just now, on a board of directors call for Mouse.org, I was reminded by a great idea one of my fellow board members suggested last year:  The Charity Swap.

I know I am not alone among friends and colleagues in my lack of need for a) additional calories in the form of yummy, decadent gifts or b) additional ‘stuff,’ no matter how well-meaning or useful or pretty.  What is important, at least to me, this time of year, is remembering what life’s all about.  It’s time to slow down, reconnect with friends and family.  It’s time to direct generosity towards others who might really, really, REALLY need stuff.  Like a good education or a warm bed or nutritious food or a research funds for a cancer cure or a prothesis for a challenged athlete.

Again, this year, I’m asking friends and family to hold the chocolate, perfume and bling and instead, consider giving to a charity I care about.  In addition to mouse.org, I’m also involved with The Grammy Foundation, which among other things, makes sure talented students have resources to develop as artists, at a time when many public schools have had to drastically cut back on arts education.

In return, I’m delighted to make a donation to causes that are near and dear to friends and family.

Why not try it?  If you’re not ready to go cold turkey (and let’s face it, I would not refuse certain beautifully wrapped parcels and their contents), try it in lieu of your office secret santa, or stocking stuffers, or your book club.

Here.  I’ll make it really easy for you, and save you a trip to Barney’s.

Donate to The Grammy Foundation here.

Donate to Mouse.org here.

Also, check out this site for other ideas about causes that might resonate.

A Happy Thanksgiving Playlist

Back by popular demand, my 2011 In-the-Kitchen Thanksgiving playlist, chock fulla turkey, cranberries, pumpkins and even football…

New for 2011, the Spotify version.  Or if you prefer, here’s the iTunes version.  You can also search for it on iTunes as “Jeanne’s Thanksgiving in the kitchen mix.”
The turkey’s brining, the silver’s polished, the cranberries are done, but I’ll be listening to this as I chop, mince, blend, whip and roast up Thanksgiving dinner.

Enjoy!

Sweet Billy Pilgrim – Here It Begins
Massive Attack – Be Thankful For What You’ve Got
The Rolling Stones – Brown Sugar
Daft Punk – Burnin’ / Too Long
Wilco – Heavy metal drummer
Dido – Thank You
Hank Williams – Hey Good Looking
The Rolling Stones – Gimme Shelter
Smashing Pumpkins – Today
Sia – Sweet Potato
The Sugarhill Gang – Rapper’s Delight [Long Version]
James Taylor – Sweet Potato Pie
Robert Johnson – Come On In My Kitchen
The Cranberries – Dreams
Squeeze – Pulling Mussels (From The Shell)
The Mighty Mighty Bosstones – Simmer Down
Sufjan Stevens – All The Trees Of The Field Will Clap Their Hands
Mumford & Sons – Sigh No More
Wilco – Heavy metal drummer
Norah Jones – Creepin’ In (feat. Dolly Parton)
Sound Masters – University of Missouri (Missouri Fight Song)
Fred Astaire – The Yam
Ohio Players – Jive Turkey
Johnny Cash – Thanks a Lot
Daft Punk – Burnin’ / Too Long
Bing Crosby with Jimmie Grier and His Orchestra – Thanks
The Plastic Ono Band – Cold Turkey (Live)
Booker T. & The MG’s – Green Onions
X – Soul Kitchen
Oasis – Champagne Supernova
Ike & Tina Turner – Come Together
Blur – Coffee And TV
Belle And Sebastian – I Don’t Want To Play Football
Darius Rucker – Kick Off
Iggy Pop – I’m Bored
Hot Chip – Hold On
Seu Jorge – Queen Bitch
Elton John – Tiny Dancer
Tom Waits – Chocolate Jesus
Arlo Guthrie – Alice’s Restaurant Massacre
Waring’s Pennsylvanians – Let’s Have Another Cup Of Coffee
Don McLean – American Pie
Wilco – The Thanks I Get
Bob Marley & The Wailers – Give Thanks & Praises

Irene Spared Plenty: How I Played This Week’s Veg-n-Fruit Roulette

Meant to post this last week!  Hurricane Irene had plenty of real bluster, and unfortunately, she hammered the main farm that supplies all of the veg and some of the fruit in my organic farm share (aka the Williamsburg Greenpoint CSA).  But the fine folks at Garden of Eve out in Long Island managed to salvage quite a bit.  I think the tomato plants got hit hard, but this week’s Wednesday night haul included more gorgeous baby eggplant, peppers, jalapenos, sweet corn, kale, squash, red onion and the seasons’s first potatos.  Amazing fresh eggs and a batch of cheery gerber daisies rounded things out.

Here’s what this week’s haul rendered:

A kale chicken caesar, corn salsa, a great fennel and pear salad, hard boiled eggs filled with hummus, eggplant marinated with mirin and soy and then sauteed, roasted rosemary potatoes, and the peppers and jalapenos became acoutrements for fish tacos.  Thought about making some sort of crumble or upside-down cake with the plums or peaches, but they were so good on their own they didn’t need embellishment.

Recipe for Kale Chicken Caesar – -hastily improvised.

One large or two small head of kale, with large stems cut out of the center, washed and spun very very dry and cut, chiffonade-style, into 1/2″ strips.

Homemade croutons (cubed day old baguette, sauteed in 1 tabls olive oil and garlic at medium high heat til golden brown, drained on paper towels)

1/2 C grated parmesan

Dressing:  using immersion blender or food processor, combine 2 gloves garlic, 6-9 anchovy filets, 1/2 c olive oil, juice of 1 lemon and blend.

1 cooked chicken breast, skin removed, shredded

Assemble kale, parmesan, chicken, croutons in a big (preferably wooden) bowl.

Just before serving, coddle 2 eggs (put whole shelled eggs in boiling water for about 90-120 seconds),

Dress the salad and crack the coddled eggs over the greens.  Wash your hands really well and then toss everything with your hands.

makes 2 main course portions or 4 appetizer portions.

The All Clear


Gorgeous day in NYC. Thoughts go out to those north of us who are flooded or dealing with home damage.

NYC to Irene: We’re Not Scared of You!

Irene was coming.  Saturday was my birthday, and one I wouldn’t soon forget.  Friday, I weathered Armeggedon-like lines and chaos at Whole Foods to stock up on water, produce and other comustables for a potential long weekend shut indoors.  The mood of the crowd there was panicky and grumpy.  

Saturday, various businesses started boarding up, as patrons kept streaming in and out.  No more Smartwater, flashlights or duct tape to be had.   Tarps werehard to come by.   Bread?  forget it.  Sold out.  I had to visit 3 different Williamsburg liquor stores before I found one with *any* bourbon or tequilla.

We were gonna greet Irene in style, with steely resolve.

I was all set to celebrate with duct tape, booze, batteries, and a headlamp.  Both the BF and I were in Zone B — across the street from the “you must evacuate” Zone A areas.  Since the BF’s building has been flooding with recent heavy rains, we elected to ride out Irene at his place in Greenpoint, so we could monitor the effectiveness of the sandbags, tarps and drains in his flood-prone basement.

The blender got busy with some Patron Reposada, fresh lime juice, splash of oj and crushed ice.  Ay yi yi!

We hunkered down, prerused interactive maps, watched local news, listened to the howling winds, followed by eerie silence.  The sandbags held up.  We napped but didn’t really sleep.  I opened presents;)

And then…morning.  The high tide was due at around 8 a.m., when storm surges were expected.  Anxiety.  Silence.  The storm surge wasn’t that bad.  Another was to hit in about an hour so we took the dog out for a walk. All, it seemed, appeared to be clear.  One deli had stayed open.

We got through it.

And Irene was downgraded to a tropical storm.  Let’s face it, much of NY was disappointed as much as they were relieved.