It appears that Mrs. Chili365 is growing tired of my ceaseless fascination with the pie pan. I believe this to be the impetus behind her recipe “epiphany”. A divination that we “really should” make another fish chili. Knowing very well that I’ve already hatched a fish chili pie recipe (March 14th), she recognized that I would not tread over the same chili ground. It would thus follow, in her keen and conniving intellect, I’d spend the night away from the pie pan. Jealousy does not become her, but as a muse, envy has piqued an artistic sensibility in Mrs. Chili365 that ultimately choreographed a great chili.
While counting is not a skill I managed to fully master, I’m pretty sound on my ABCs. The alphabet has a finite number of symbols (26 in English). Numbers? Sky’s the limit. Who needs that aggravation? Not this chili chef- I’m a sworn math agnostic. To the point- I do not know the total number if ingredients in this recipe but I did not fail to notice the first 3 ingredients begin letter A- Alaskan Cod, asparagus, and artichoke hearts. Look for a “B” themed chili in the coming days.
1 pound Alaskan Cod
1 can artichoke hearts (13.75 oz), chopped, juice reserved.
12 oz asparagus, chopped into small pieces
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomato
2 C tomato juice
1 C chicken bullion
2 t onion flakes
1 T chili powder
1 t coriander
½ t crushed red pepper
1 t Mexican oregano
1 t paprika
½ t Mural of Flavor (Penzey’s)
3 cloves of garlic Smashed
1 t garlic pepper seasoning
½ celery salt
Add ingredients (including reserved artichoke juice) to a pot.
Heat to a boil.
Turn down heat and simmer 45 minutes.
Serve with crackers and lime wedges.
The aroma of this delicacy was enough to induce salivation. (Pretty visual, eh?) We had no clean bowls in the house as this chili simmered. At the end of the 45 minutes, three of us lined up at the dishwasher waiting for a freshly washed basin as the dishwasher finally sputtered to a moist, screeching halt. The ITP and Mrs. Chili365 gave this chili very high marks. It was elegant enough with cod, asparagus, and artichokes while maintaining its other-side-of-the-tracks chili roots. I loved it too. (Maybe not as much as I love my pie pan.) No, I won’t go there. I enjoyed tonight’s chili to the extent that I ate 4 bowls. This made for a sloshy post-meal run. It also explains why, post-run, I was sitting on the wet ground.
As I sat on the solid earth with the moisture from the thawing ground slowly seeping through my running pants, I focused on a wad of three $1 bills that had taken up residence in a rear pocket. I couldn’t recall how long the money had been there, but it had been some time, through countless miles and several launderings. An emergency fund, the wad seemed represent. On the chance that I was out running in the middle of somewhere and suddenly began craving Snickers or a Coke. This was an absurd security blanket or contingency plan for a situation that was highly unlikely to arise. In a moment my attention turned to the chickens. There appeared to be nothing new with the brood of hens. They were loose in the yard digging up dead leaves in a pulsing rhythm 1-2-3-4 swipes with clawed feet, pause, scan the ground, neck craning; back, forth, back. Repeat. A few feet away, I lazily daydreamed about candy and soft drinks that I’ll likely never purchase. It then occurred to me. I looked at the chickens again and I realized it was true. The chickens couldn’t have been happier. They were doing exactly that which contented their crazy little chicken hearts. Unconsciously, they were making art. No filters, no overthinking the process, the product, the outcome. Only freedom. Art.