Grand Central Station is more than a transportation hotspot. It’s a colony of boutiques, culinary crafts, and gastronomic motivation. With over 20 restaurants, and a full-fledged indoor market, this place is every foodie-on-the-go’s best friend. I was most certainly on the go today, and was hankering for a satiating, flavorful last meal in NYC before a brief return to California.
After perusing the Grecian delights of “Eata Pita”, the eastern delicacies of “Feng Shui”, the lamb, vegetarian, steak, and free-range varieties of “Golden Krust Patties”, and the sugary, creamy bliss of “Ciao Bella Gelateria”, I knew this was not your normal food court. As skeptical as I was to finding a match to my Bubble Child food needs, I stumbled upon Manhattan Chili Company. This beaut- of an institution only makes gluten-free chili, and features an array of dishes, from the uber-healthy brown rice and chili to the full-blown chili-cheese burger. With a selection of purely vegetarian, low-fat lentil options to the meaty, hearty, core-warming stewed delights, Manhattan Chili is the place to please all taste palettes and allergenic needs.
What most people don’t know, or expect, when they buy store-made chili is that it frequently has wheat flour as a filler. These store-bought varieties are, indeed, cheaper, and are frequently used to lower costs by many fast-serve restaurants. Thus, be wary, Gluten Bubble Children, when embarking upon the chili journey, unless you know exactly what’s in your not-so-chilly chili.
In case you don’t have the pleasure of embarking upon Manhattan Chili Company in Grand Central Station, here is my original gluten-free chili recipe.
What I LOVE about this recipe is the utilization of the red wine and the slooooooow cooking of the meats, beans, and vegetables. It is so tender, SO WARMING, and a treat for both Bubble Children and adventurous stomachs, alike. Of course, you do not have to use wine or gluten-free beer (apple juice works just fine), but it does give that zesty kick, and the alcohol burns off. (Which you may or may not actually like.)
So, warm up, eat your heart content, and enjoy this delectable treat before spring really begins to bloom.
3 tbs. olive oil
3 pounds boneless chuck roast, cut into 1″ cubes
1 tsp. salt, divided into 4
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 white onion, chopped
3 red jalapeno peppers, diced (seeds in for spicy chili, seeds removed for mild)
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups gluten-free beer 2 cups red wine
3 yellow chili peppers, diced
1 tbs. paprika
1 tbs. cumin
3 red tomatoes on the vine, cubed
- In a large pan, heat 1 tbs. olive oil over high heat. Add 1/2 of the cubed beef, and sprinkle with 1/2 tsp. salt. Brown each side, and remove. Repeat the same thing with the other half of the meat, adding 1 tbs. olive oil and 1/2 tsp. salt.
- Reduce heat to low, and remove beef, leaving juices. Add chopped onions, and simmer for a few minutes, until beginning to brown. Add jalapeno peppers and garlic, and cook for another 3 minutes. Add meat back into pan and pour in wine, stirring constantly, increase heat to high, and add yellow chilis, paprika, cumin, and tomatoes. Cook for 5 minutes on high, cover, and reduce to a simmer.
- Simmer for at least 50 minutes, or until meat is so moist you can cut it with a fork. For more tender meat, can cook up to two hours over very low heat.
- Remove from heat, and keep covered until serving. Stores in the refrigerator for up to a few days after cooking!