If baseball is America’s pastime, why isn’t Opening Day a national holiday?
I mean, our friends in Washington have set aside Columbus Day and Presidents Day as official days off. And then there’s Thanksgiving, which was an on-and-off celebration for the first 100 years of our nation’s history.
Before you go thinking that I’m starting a petition to end (New Jersey’s) October parades or the annual slew of furniture sale flyers that pack my mailbox, just hold your horses. I’m merely pointing out that baseball is more important.
To me, at least. Even at the Jimmy Rockford, where my TV is small and seating is quite limited.
After all, baseball is so much more fun than 15th century explorers … or presidents.
This time a year ago, I was dining on a marvelous Fiery Jalapeno Relish-topped hot dog while following my Texas Rangers on the Internet. My 2017 Opening Day was better — I was able to watch the game on television. And my hot dogs this time around? Wow.
My recipe for Brick Chili was inspired by the kindness of my friend Chef Gene Roblyer. He’s been around the kitchen a time or seven, and he’s cool like a frozen slab of marble. Chef Gene was educated at Oklahoma State University. He’s been a professional chef longer than I’ve been alive.
Still, he appreciates the regional places like Braum’s, an Oklahoma-based restaurant/dairy chain that restricts its service area to a 300-mile radius. In addition to its ice cream, Braum’s is also known for its Brick Chili, so-called because the stuff is sold in frozen bricks to be warmed at home.
It’s warm, spicy, bad for you and … wonderful. Especially on a hot dog. Following is my version of this incredible concoction.
Want to receive notifications of my Confessions, Chronicles and recipes in your email? Just click here. I’d also love for you to join me on Facebook (click the ‘like’ button), Pinterest and Google+. Why not witness some of my Instagram antics too?
- 1 lb – Ground beef (80/20)
- 1 cup – Beef broth
- 1 cup – Tomato sauce (preferably El Pato brand)
- ½ cup – Chopped onion
- 1 TB – Smoked paprika
- 1 TB – Chile powder (preferably Ancho)
- 1 TB – Cumin
- 1 tsp – Dried oregano
- 1 tsp – Garlic powder
- ¼ tsp – Cayenne (or ground Chipotle)
- ½ cup - Oatmeal
- Salt, to taste (optional)
- In a large sauce pan or skillet, combine everything except the oatmeal.
- Cook over medium heat, crumbling meat, until mixture is fully cooked, about 15 minutes.
- Remove from heat, skim fat, then add oatmeal.
- Place pan on a medium burner and cook, stirring regularly, until mixture has thickened and oatmeal is no longer noticeable, about 8-10 minutes.
- Season with salt, to taste, if necessary.