Thursday, September 13, 2012

Cooking In The Dark

By Patricia Billinger

Every couple of years, Colorado gets clobbered by a blizzard that dumps so much snow that it’s days before the plows can clear residential streets, and  business comes to a stand-still. I remember during the most recent one a couple of years ago that I could only get out of my neighborhood by snowshoe. I trekked into Boulder, where I lived at the time, but the only food business still open was a take-and-bake pizzeria that closed moments after I arrived, sweaty and starving. Not even the grocery stores were open, because none of their employees could make it in!

A blizzard is just one of the disasters that could leave us without power or services. Tornadoes take down power and phone lines and can make streets impassable due to debris; chemical or terrorist threats may require you to shelter in place in your home; a flood could cut you off from all access. 

When I deployed Vermont after  hurricane Irene last year, I met a couple covered in mud up to their knees who had hiked to town from their mountain home after using up their three days of food supplies – roads were still washed out, so it was the only way they could get to civilization and more supplies.

Since we’re not in the middle of one of those disasters, we can have a little fun and creativity now - - so that you’re better off if you ever do have to face one of these scenarios.  So, join me in imagining that you’re stranded in your home, the power is out, and you can’t pop over to the store to get groceries for dinner. What would you make? How would you make it? What ingredients on hand would you use?

That’s the premise behind the Emergency Kit Cookoff.  Tonight, I’m going to go home and experiment with making a “No-cook chili.” Our celebrity chef, Stephen Rohs, came up with this recipe that you can make using only non-perishable foods and no gas or electricity – hopefully it will inspire you to submit your own recipes at!


Items needed:
1 cup cous cous
2 table spoons olive oil
1 cup warm water
1/4 tea spoon all spice
1/2 tea spoon salt
 ½ tea spoon black pepper
½ tea spoon crushed red pepper
1, 4oz can dice green chili
¼ cup fine diced chipotle beef jerky

In a heat resistance bowl add the cous cous, and olive oil and mix well. Add the all spice, black pepper, salt, crushed red pepper and diced green chili’s, mix well. Add the warm water and cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 2 hours. Remove the plastic wrap, use a spoon to separate the cous cous so each individual grain is separate from one another, and be sure to scrape the sides and the bottom of the bowl. Add the chipotle beef jerky and mix until incorporated and serve.

1 comment:

  1. Ooh can't wait to taste your chili! I tried my hand at a dessert last night - Fudgy Peanut Butter Cookies (without using an oven or any fresh ingredients!)