Monday, March 23, 2015

The Home Stretch

This concoction is 100% from The Hubs.  He made the chili that goes on it, and he’s the one who was inspired to replicate “The Stretch”, an infamous dish from the Broadway Diner in Colombia, MO.  And the name…well, that just seemed appropriate, since we quite literally MADE it at home, but it feels somewhat connotative as well, since we’re in the “home stretch” of getting out of crummy, cold, wet, yucky weather, and since we’re only about a week away from one of my favorite times of the year—baseball season!!!!
So what is a Stretch?  Well, it’s sorta what you’d expect from an infamous diner dish.  You start with crispy hash browns, topped with an over-easy fried egg, topped with chili, topped with cheese, and then finished off with a smattering of onion & green pepper (and perhaps served with a side of Tums).  I can only imagine the bell pepper is there to add some color and make you feel like at least one of the ingredients was healthy.  It’s a perfect combination of textures: crispiness from the hash browns and fresh onion/pepper, gooeyness from the egg yolk & cheese, and heartiness from the chili.
There’s also a wide variety of additional toppings you could go for—jalapeno slices, bacon, try some different cheeses (I’m thinking smoked gouda would be killer here).  From what I hear, some diners order their Stretch topped with sausage sawmill gravy.  THHAAAAAT’S a bit much for me.
This is the initial batch—photo sent to me by The Hubs while I was out of town:
(Such a tease…)
Now, it would feel like a bit of a cop-out to just feature the Stretch as my entire blog post, since I essentially just gave the “recipe” for it in the preceding paragraphs, so instead, I’ll share the recipe for my husband’s chili, since it was one of the best batches he’s made to date (which likely means it will be tough for us to ever replicate again, but we’ll try!)
INGREDIENTS: (makes about 8 servings)
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 tsp each of black pepper, onion powder, garlic powder
  • 2 cans pre-seasoned mild chili beans, undrained
  • 1 can pinto beans
  • 1 can fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1 4oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 Williams Original Chili seasoning packet (1oz)
  • 2 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1/8 cup of our home-blend chili seasoning (I use this recipe to make my blend)
  • cayenne pepper, to taste

In a large pot over Medium heat, combine the beans, tomatoes, tomato sauce, and chili seasonings and stir well.  When it starts to bubble, reduce to a simmer.
Meanwhile, on another burner, brown your ground beef and season it with the black pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder.  Once fully cooked, drain off the fat and add the meat to the pot.
Once combined, simmer for 15-30 minutes, or longer if you like (the flavors will only improve with time), stirring periodically. 
NutriFacts: (chili only, about 1.5 cups per serving)
Calories 361.3
  Total Fat 14.0 g
  Saturated Fat 5.3 g
  Polyunsaturated Fat 0.6 g
  Monounsaturated Fat 5.2 g
  Cholesterol 42.5 mg
  Sodium 929.9 mg
  Potassium 512.5 mg
  Total Carbohydrate 38.7 g
  Dietary Fiber 10.8 g
  Sugars 2.0 g
  Protein 21.2 g
NOTE: To make The Stretch, you’ll only use about half a serving of chili.  Calories for The Stretch will vary depending on how many hash browns/cheese you use & if you add additional toppings, but my best guesstimate is about 500 calories, 35g of fat, 26g of carbs, 659mg of sodium, and 20g of protein.

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