Virtual Ski Trip: Chili in a Bread Bowl and Ski Resort Tunes

Eats:  Classic Ski Lunch in USA: Chili in a (Pretzel) Bread bowl
DrinksOther Half growler of Double Dry Hopped Mosaic Dream
TunesVirtual Day on the Slopes:Morning to Apres Ski (on Spotify)
Fun:  Typical soundtracks at ski resorts around the world

Intro

We were lucky to hit some good late-season skiing at Keystone, Colorado the first week in April this year.  Skiing was great – 2 days of fresh snow and empty mountains – but the food options were lacking as they wound down.  No bread bowls?!   Chili in a bread bowl is a staple of skiing for me, and even back in New York I couldn’t stop thinking about it, so we decided to make bread bowls – and chili, of course.

I didn’t realize sourdough needs 5-7 days lead time, so I searched for other options but I wasn’t psyched with any of the standard bread bowls I found.  Not sure what made me think of looking for a pretzel bread bowl but I’m thankful for that divine inspiration because it lead me to this cool site, The Beeroness, where she has a staggering collection of recipes – all sorts of recipes – using all sorts of beer.  I used her recipe for the pretzel bread and it was great.

And of course, no meal is complete without the appropriate accompanying tunes!

Tunes = Fun

For this Culture Capsule, the tunes are the topic!  Over the years, and across US mountains in the East (in NH; VT; ME; NY) and in the west (UT; NV; CO), I’ve noticed a common theme across the mountains.  In the morning, it’s pump-you-up classic rock, or popular dance tunes, and then in the afternoon, when you’re ready for a slope-side chili-in-a-bread-bowl and a beer in the snow, it’s reggae.

So, today’s playlist starts off rocking to get you going as you get the pretzel bread rising and then dive into the chili recipe. Then it goes into some reggae classics for when you’re ready to have (another) beer and devour the chili.  The “classic rock” of today seems also to include things of my childhood, like Pearl Jam! Oh, and though I didn’t want to believe my daughter who retrospectively claimed she heard Bruno Mars in the morning, another friend corroborated, so he’s got one on there, too.

I should note that I also polled some friends to see if they had also noticed, and some did, some didn’t.  I guess we’ll have to wait till next ski season to do some recon and report back definitively! (Or if you are someone who knows, comment or contact us here!)

The only mountain I’ve skied at outside the US was Mont Blanc in Quebec, Canada.  It was a high school trip and it was freeeeezing cold and I was probably more clued into the typical high school dramas than ambient music, anyway.

So I asked a few friends who have skied elsewhere to get their thoughts.  While still awaiting some feedback, here’s where we stand.

Germany:  Seems it’s a variety of energetic club or rock music from artists like Helene Fischer, Wolfgang Petry and Andreas Gabalier.  I added some of their tunes at the end of the playlist for good measure.

Japan: friends claimed it was quiet; that skiers there wanted to focus on the skiing, not the partying.  Any other observers want to contribute here?

Canada: Jury is out! It’s 1:1, yes:no.  Who will be my tie-breaker?

Who out there has had your ears tuned in when you’ve skied Alps? or Andes? Or…?  Or who out there is in charge of music at Mountain resorts? Weigh in!  We wanna hear about it.

 

Eats

I’d recommend getting the bread bowl dough started and let it begin it’s first rise before you start the chili…

Pretzel Bread Bowl

I’ve never made a bread bowl, never mind a pretzel bread bowl!   The Beeroness’ recipe looked the best and we were not disappointed!  I had wanted to use a local wheat brew from Folksbier but they only had citrus-y varieties (like their Satsuma in a can… mmmm), and I decided for the first time making this bread recipe I’d use a straight-up wheat.  That said I’d love to try pretzel bread with a bit of orange essence… drizzle some honey and extra salt? YUM. Maybe this weekend.

Chili

This is a mix of recipes that over time has become our sort of textbook version, except maybe a bit extra smoky because of the chipotles.

  • 1.25 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1.25 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cups onions, finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut into .25-inch pieces
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into .25-inch pieces
  • 1 tsp chili powder (our chili powder from India is potent so I recommend you adjust according to yours)
  • 1 teaspoon (packed) minced canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
  • 5-6 tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1 15-ounce can kidney beans, drained
  • 6 oz  dark beer (or whatever you have*; we used Other Half growler of Double Dry Hopped Mosaic Dream today)

Garnish:

  • Chopped green onions
  • Coarsely grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese
  1. Toast cumin and coriander in skillet for a few minutes over medium heat until darker and beginning to smoke.  Remove toasted spices from pan immediately and allow to cool.
  2. Sauté meat in heavy large pot over medium-high heat until no longer pink, continuously breaking up the meats and stirring, using 2 flat-bottomed wooden spoons or spatulas, about 10 minutes. Turn off the burner until ready to add the vegetables.
  3. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and sauté until they begin to soften. Then, add all the peppers and continue to sauté until everything softens and begins to brown.  Add tomatoes and cook until they break down some.
  4. Set the pot with the meat on medium heat. Add the vegetables and stir to combine.
  5. Add the toasted spices, chili powder, and chipotle chiles, and beer. Bring chili to boil, stirring occasionally. Add the beans now if you don’t mind them breaking a part a bit.  To keep them more whole, wait until 10 -15 minutes into the simmering to add them.
  6. Reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes, stirring frequently.  Season with salt and pepper.
  7. Serve in a bread bowl, topped with green onions and cheese.

* Neither of us were feeling dark beer or stout to drink so we chose a growler of what we wanted to drink and used that in the chili. Beforehand, I did read (and appreciate!) this detailed account of options for various beers in chili.

Looking forward to your comments or offline thoughts, particularly if you’d like to weigh in on tunes at ski resorts. Let’s hear it!