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Cherokee Pork Chili

Friday, February 01, 2013

This recipe is based on one in Pork: The King of the Southern Table, by James Villas. I'm not sure what changes I made to his recipe, other than to use pork shoulder steak instead of butt, and hominy instead of corn. But I think it's fairly closely based on his recipe. His recipe or mine, it turned out very good, though a bit greasier than even I like. And that's saying a lot! I assume that the greasiness has to do with changes that I made to his recipe.

CHEROKEE PORK CHILI – budget version

¼ c drippings
2 lbs cheapest pork, cut into cubes about 1/2" to 1"
1 onion, chopped (100 gr)
1 small green bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped (optional)
1 T garlic powder
2 T chili powder
1 t ground cumin
1 t dried oregano, crumbled
Salt and pepper to taste
Tabasco sauce to taste
1 can diced tomatoes, preferably Mexican, Italian, or stewed
2 c beef broth, preferrably, or chicken broth or water (water would probably work just as well)
1 can Mexican style hominy, drained (3 cups)

In a large, heavy pot, heat the drippings over medium heat, add the pork, and brown on all sides. Add the onions, and bell pepper and stir until lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Sprinkle the garlic powder, chili powder, cumin and oregano over the pork and vegetables and stir well. Add the salt and pepper and Tabasco and continue stirring for 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, broth and hominy and stir well. Bring the liquid to a boil, reduce the heat to a gentle simmer, cover and cook 1 hour. Uncover for the last half hour or so, until reduced to the consistency you want. I sprinkled a bit of guar xanthum (or maybe guar gum, I'm not sure which) over it and stirred it in to thicken the broth a bit.

I used about one pound, twelve ounces of pork shoulder steak, because that's how big the two packages combined happened to be. You could probably use less without making a noticeable difference. I took out a half a cup of juice from the tomatoes to use in a chicken recipe I want to try, and replaced the liquid with a half cup or so of water that I used to rinse out the tomato can. It made about 10 cups of thick, rich chili, or 4 to 6 servings. At four servings, it cost about $1.02 per serving, and didn't need anything to go with it except a carrot to cut the richness and the heat. Lettuce or coleslaw would probably do the same thing. A dollop of sour cream in the chili, or some grated cheddar, or other traditional chili toppers would be good with it. It's a bit high in carbs - I think it has about 12 net carbs per serving, and lots of fiber - but still fits in a low carb diet if the rest of the food for the day is low carb. With the hominy, it's not for Induction. I will probably use about half the drippings (I used lard) next time.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NAYPOOIE 2/2/2013 2:23PM

    What does the hominy bring to the party? I'm inclined to skip it.

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JO88BAKO 2/1/2013 8:28PM

    Sounds good. Thanks for sharing!

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Friday, February 1

Friday, February 01, 2013

And the end of the first week of this challenge! Rather than giving results for this first week, I'll wait and give them for the first 9 days, which will get me back to weeks ending on Sunday.

As I said yesterday, I have a bunch of pork in the freezer that I can use now that pork chops were on sale. Unlike what I said yesterday, I decided to go ahead and use some today. I made Cherokee Pork Chili, which is based on a recipe from Pork: King of the Southern Table. I'm not sure what all changes I made, other than using pork shoulder steaks instead of pork butt, and Juanita's Mexican-style Hominy instead of corn. The recipe is one I have on my computer, and while I try to include where the recipe came from originally, I don't always say what changes I've made. I'll include the recipe in a separate post.

For those who haven't read my old posts, and those who have but have forgotten, Juanita's Mexican Style Hominy is much lower carb than traditional hominy. It has 12 carbs per half cup, but 6 of those are fiber, leaving just 6 net carbs per half cup. It works great to get the texture of beans or grains or corn or something carby like that. I have also run it briefly through a food processor to make "rice" and it turned out very good. Too good, actually. I could easily eat a whole can in one sitting! It's also cheap, by the way. $1.39 for a large can that holds 3 cups. There is also a huge size, like you would use in a restaurant or other institution, or maybe just in a Mexican family. It's probably cheaper per serving in the huge can, but that's way more than I would use.

By the way, DietFriend asked if I cook for just one or for more than one. It's just me. That's why I have so many leftovers.

Today's food -

Breakfast - eggs scrambled in drippings, tea w/splenda, coconut milk and gelatin
Lunch - Pumpkin, Cabbage and Chicken Stew
Snack - tea with splenda
Supper - Cherokee Pork Chili, carrot
Evening tea - tea w/ splenda and gelatin.

Cost of food eaten today - $2.99. And I am stuffed!

I realized just after I did it that I put coconut milk in my evening tea instead of gelatin. Not a big deal, but it added 10 cents to the cost of the day's food. So it should be $3.09 instead of $2.99.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NAYPOOIE 2/2/2013 2:24PM

    Well, that answers the question about the hominy.

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SEEINGCLEARLY53 2/2/2013 1:19PM

    Thanks for sharing!

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DIET_FRIEND 2/2/2013 11:51AM

    I am a cooking enthusiast too.

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Thursday, January 31

Thursday, January 31, 2013

One of our grocery stores had a great deal on pork chops last week - 99 cents a pound! I was really glad to see that because 1) I love pork - it's my favorite meat; 2) I have a whole bunch of pork in the freezer that I want to use; and 3) I didn't want to "spend" my budget on pork at the regular prices. So seeing that it was on sale was a pleasant surprise. Unfortunately, I've done enough cooking this week and have enough leftovers that I won't be able to get to the pork for a few more days. I've been freezing a lot of leftovers, but now my inside freezer is full so I need to work on that and on the leftovers I haven't frozen yet. (I mostly left one serving in the fridge and froze the rest.)

I've been having fun looking through my cookbooks for budget recipes. I have about 30 linear feet of cookbooks, and that's after taking several big boxes of them to the library for their book sale.

Here's what I ate today -

Breakfast - eggs scrambled in drippings; tea w/splenda, coconut milk, and gelatin
Lunch - Emerald Soup (cabbage, spinach and coconut milk)
Supper - pork shoulder steak, broccoli sauteed in the drippings, salad (romaine, tomatoes, and dressing)
Evening tea - tea w/splenda and gelatin (haven't had this yet but expect to)

Total cost of food eaten today - $2.83. Not bad, huh?

I did a dairy-free challenge in January, which is one reason for all the coconut milk. I will be so glad to be able to have dairy again starting tomorrow! I'm especially eager to fix a quiche or two. And whipping cream is a good way to increase the day's calories. I usually have fewer calories than I'd like, even though I'm eating lots.

ps - Rats! I forgot to include the broccoli in the cost of supper. The real cost of food eaten today is $3.33.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DIET_FRIEND 1/31/2013 11:01PM

    Do you cook for one person or more? Your cooking on a budget is very inspiring.

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CHICKEN TCHAKHOKBELLI (aka Prince Mdivani Special)

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Here's another recipe I found in the same cookbook from Sunset Magazine. I haven't made it yet, but will soon. Use the juice from a can of tomatoes, and then use the tomatoes for something else. It's a lot cheaper that way than either buying a whole can of tomato juice or paying the outrageous price for little bitty cans. I priced it at about $4.50 for the whole batch, and it should serve anywhere from 4 to 10 people. I assumed I would use 5 pounds of chicken leg quarters that I get for $5.90 for a 10 pound bag, or 59 cents per pound.

CHICKEN TCHAKHOKBELLI (aka Prince Mdivani Special)
(adapted from a recipe from G.W. of Monmouth, OR, and published in Sunset’s Kitchen Cabinet, 1995)

4 – 5 pounds chicken parts
1/2 c butter
1 onion, sliced (100 gr)
1/3 c sherry or white wine
1/2 c tomato juice (use the juice from a can of tomatoes and use the tomatoes for something else)
1 c water
1 t paprika
1 t salt
Pepper to taste

Rinse the chicken parts and pat them dry. Melt the butter in a frying pan, add the chicken parts, and fry until a light brown. Remove the chicken to a baking pan, leaving the drippings in the frying pan. Fry the onion in the drippings until limp and golden, then pour over the chicken. Add the remaining ingredients.

Bake, uncovered, in a 400 degree oven for one hour, turning after the first half hour. Check to be sure that the chicken is done – the original recipe calls for 2 small chickens of about 2 pounds each, and parts from larger birds may take longer.

Serve the juices in the pan as a sauce.



Thursday, January 31, 2013

I was looking through some of my cookbooks last night for some new budget recipes, and found one for A Bit o' Emerald Soup in Sunset's "Kitchen Cabinet: Real food for real people: More than 500 favorite recipes from the kitchens of Sunset readers". The recipe was from G.W. from Monmouth, Oregon. What struck me about the recipe was that it uses both cabbage and spinach. I figured that the cabbage (39 cents a pound) was there to stretch the spinach (99 cents a pound, or more if you use fresh). Turns out that the soup is more of a cream of cabbage soup with some spinach for color than it is a cream of spinach soup with some cabbage to stretch it. Oh well. It was good anyway. And I may try adding some cabbage to other things that call for spinach and get pureed.

Anyway, here's my version of the recipe, which is both cheaper and easier to make.


1 T butter or lard or other fat
1/2 onion, chopped (50 gr)
1 clove garlic, minced
2 c chicken broth
1 c water (or more broth)
4 oz frozen chopped spinach
1/2 lb cabbage, shredded or chopped
1 c cream or coconut milk
Salt and pepper to taste

Melt the fat in a medium saucepan. Add the onion and garlic and cook until the onion is soft and translucent. Add the chicken broth and water and bring to a boil. Add the spinach and cabbage and cook for about 15 minutes, or until the cabbage is quite soft. Puree the soup using either a blender or a stick blender. Leave some texture to it if you like. Add the cream or coconut milk and the salt and pepper. Reheat if necessary.

Makes about 6 cups

You'll notice that there's no protein here. The original recipe suggests using it as a first course for St. Patrick's Day dinner, so it didn't need protein. I made it on a day when I have extra protein at other meals, so it doesn't matter much that lunch is light on protein. Or you could add some extra protein. Some diced corned beef would be good in it, or ham. Or you could have a couple of hard boiled eggs with mayo to go with. This would probably be good made with the broth from cooking your corned beef for St. Patrick's Day, though you'd want to taste the broth first. You might want to use less broth and more water as the broth tends to be pretty salty.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GLC2009 1/31/2013 11:49PM

    similar to a soup i made last week. it was so good.

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