Sunday, February 6, 2011

Bakery Lane Soup Bowl and the Super Bowl

Dinner tonight: Chili, Veggie Tray with ranch dressing, No-knead Bread

In the 80's I ate lunch at a small cafe in Middlebury, Vermont.Bakery Lane Soup Bowl was as charming as the picturesque town it was located in. The shop's specialties included soup, bread and salads, all with home-made appeal. I bought their cookbook, named the same as the restaurant, planning to re-create at home,  some of the delectable  delights we had experienced. Thirty plus years later, it still contains some of my favorite recipes. It is a paper back book, about 130 pages in length, and my copy is tattered and falling apart. Image my surprise when I found that Amazon was offering more recent versions of the book for many more times what I paid, (all out of print). I guess I'll try and take better car of my copy!

Yesterday I made Joan's Peoria Chili, from the cookbook  to serve during the Superbowl. I have made this many times over the years. Sometimes I browned the meat, onions and peppers, added the  the rest of the ingredients to my  crock pot and cooked it on low all day. It always was a great welcome home meal after busy a day at the office.   No matter the cooking method, it has always been well received and can easily be spiced up or down. Yesterday, since my crowd was small (3), I cut the recipe in half. Served with topped with grated pepper jack cheese it made a hearty, filling, eat in front of the TV meal. (Note: tastes even better the next day!)

According to Google, the restaurant is still there: I don't know if it has the same owners or the same menu.

Joan's Peoria Chili 

1 Tablespoon oil
2 cups chopped onion
1 clove chopped garlic
1 cup green pepper
2 pounds of ground beef
4 cans (1 pound each) canned tomatoes
1 can (12 ounces) tomato paste
2 cans (1 pound each) canned kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups water
1 1/2 Tablesppons salt
1/2 t. crushed red pepper (more or less to taste)
3-4 Tablespoons chili powder (more or less to taste)


Heat oil in soup pot. Add onion, garlic and green pepper. Saute until crisp tender. Remove sauteed vegetables with a slotted spoon. Add ground beef and cook until well browned. Stir frequently and break up meat as it browns.

Add sauteed vegetables to browned meet along with remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil. reduce heat and simmer over low heat 3-4 hours. Stir frequently to prevent burning. Taste after 2 hours an season with additional chili, salt and pepper to taste.

Cooks Note: I always add more garlic and if I have it on hand, diced jalapeno peppers which were not readily found in the supper markets 30 years ago.

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