Some of you who may have seen how tickled I was a few weeks ago when I realized that Andrew Zimmern started following me on Twitter. Fine, tickled may be an understatement. I about peed myself. The only thing that prevented that was the fact that my other pair of clean jeans was the washer. Mind you, he follows about 24 thousand other people too but considering that over half a million follow HIM, that still made me about one in 20 or so whom he follows back. That means we’re bff’s right? Yes, I realize that maybe it was an underling who followed me or that Mr. Zimmern said one day “Hey, underling, go find some really really bad food blog and follow it. I need something to make me laugh.” The underling then found me, followed for him, then got promptly fired when he realized that Mr. Zimmern didn’t mean to follow one quite THIS bad.
But in the spirit of hope, I prefer to believe that somehow, my wit and pithy sense of humor (oh God, I’m killing myself here *snorts and laughs*) brought me to his attention one night
when he’d had too much to drink and he decided I was a cool person to keep up with. So, in that spirit, I am writing him a short letter here.
Dear Mr. Zimmern-
Can I call you Andrew? How about Andy? Ooo, ooo, I know! I can call you Ang just like Barney Fife called Andy Griffith. It’s what bff’s do, right? Come up with nicknames? So maybe now you can call me “Cool J”. *Does the “Cool J” gangsta finger thing* Owowowowowowwwww… finger cramp.
No, no, no, it’s ok Ang, I’m cool. Cancel the plane flight. Just a minor *sobs* finger cramp. So, how’s it going? I almost asked “how;’s it hangin'” but then thought that maybe a female bff shouldn’t ask that of a male bff. Wait… does typing it out anyway mean I still asked it anyway? Crap. Sorry.
I can’t help but wonder how you came to follow me on twitter
and probably come to my blog a few times a day hoping for updates.? Was it the fancy cooking? Maybe the Blueberry Cornmeal pancakes? Or the video of the Monty Python intro!? I know! It was my world class photography! I feel like I need to make some cockroach (hehe..like my play on words here??Huh huh huh?) testicles to make sure I keep you happy. But I didn’t have that on the menu until next month. It takes a while to stockpile enough of those bad boys to make a meal. Plus, if you don’t wrap them in something bright, the bag is too small to find in the freezer.
But whatever the reason, I just wanted to let you know how pleased I am that we will now be lifelong buddies. I’ve always admired you, love your show(s) and recipes and had always thought that you were the kind of guy I’d love to invite over (and Mrs. Ang of course) for a beer and some roach testicles. But in the meantime, I made one of your recipes today. It got a unanimous thumbs up even though I accidentally used too much chipotle pepper and none of us have any taste buds left.
Sincerely- your twitter bff- ~Janet~
Now if I could only get Eric Ripert and Anthony Bourdain to follow me, I’d be in Heaven. Yes, I know Mr. Bourdain can be an ass, but he can’t stand Sandra Lee or Rachael Ray… so how bad can he really be? We think alike 😀
(P.S.- On a serious note, I was truly totally tickled by Mr. Zimmern following me.)
Pork & Black Bean Chili
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 slices bacon, chopped (I may have “accidentally” used about 6)
- 2 pounds pork shoulder, cubed (I used a 3 pound loin because it’s what I had plus I feed teenagers)
- salt and pepper
- 2 poblano chiles, stemmed, seeded and diced
- 1 large onion, diced
- 4 chipotle chiles in adobo, minced (make sure to NOT twitch & add about twice that unless you hate your taste buds)
- 8 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/3 cup ancho chile powder
- 3 tablespoons cumin (I used about half this; not a huge cumin fan)
- 1 tablespoon oregano
- 1/4 cup minced cilantro
- 1 28 ounce can whole tomatoes (I chopped them up. It wasn’t in the original instructions but I couldn’t leave them whole)
- 1 lb dried black beans, soaked overnight
- 5 cups chicken stock (or good quality canned broth)
- 3 cups dark beer (I used Becks)
- 3 tablespoons corn flour
- 3 tablespoons water
- zest of one lime & juice of half a lime (my own addition)
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar (also my addition)
- In a large non stick pot, heat the oil until shimmering.
- Add the bacon and cook until the fat has rendered out. Using a slotted spoon, put the bacon aside for now. Eat the 90 extra pieces you accidentally tossed in the pot.
- Season the pork to taste with salt and pepper.
- Add it in batches (you want to sear the meat, not steam it in it’s own juices and grease) to the pot and cook until browned, about 7 minutes. Set aside as you get it browned. Add the poblanos, onions, chipotles and garlic to the pot and cook over medium heat until the onion has softened.
- Add the chile powder, cumin, oregano and cilantro and cook until fragrant, about one minute. Add the tomatoes, beans, chicken stock, beer, brown sugar and bacon and bring to a boil.
- Cover, reduce heat and simmer until the beans are just tender, about 90 minutes. Uncover and continue to simmer until the beans are totally cooked, about another 45 minutes.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the corn flour (please don’t sub regular flour. You can get the corn flour in the Hispanic aisle of the grocery and it adds a flavor regular flour won’t) and the water. Slowly whisk the mixture into the chili. Add the lime juice and zest, season with salt and pepper and serve with sides of tortillas, cheese, onions, whatever you love with chili. JustÂ stay away from the leftover chipotles… trust me.