By Alissa Silber
Published: February 22, 2019 at 07:00 am
The alluring aroma of spices filled the entryway of BD Provisions as culinary instructor and June 2011 Food Network Chopped winner Heather Priest hosted a free, hour-long Spice Up 2019 cooking demonstration on Sunday, February 10.
With a table set up at the front of the specialty grocery store, Ms Priest cooked two dishes, the Super Amazing Red Lentil Dahl and Heather’s Super Amazing Top-Secret Chili, for guests to sample.
During the ongoing demonstration, Ms Priest incorporated a variety of fresh spices from BD Provisions and spoke with customers about the ingredients she was using.
Ms Priest says she is passionate about the zero waste movement as a chef in her professional and personal life. When she heard about BD Provisions and its zero waste mission, she was eager to stop by the store last December.
Upon meeting co-owner John Boccuzzi, the two hit it off and developed the idea for her to do a cooking demonstration.
She enlisted her friend and fellow Wilton resident Tammy Thornton to be her sous chef for the day, and Ms Thornton helped hand out samples to customers visiting the store.
Newtown resident Christine Updegraff went to BD Provisions for the first time on February 10 after hearing about the much-anticipated cooking demonstration through Facebook.
She says the store is great in that it is helping support her decision to shop fresh and be more self-sufficient in the meals she creates.
Ms Updegraff was delighted trying the sample of Heather’s Super Amazing Top-Secret Chili, saying it was “delicious.”
“It was just enough spice — it was perfect,” she added.
BD Provisions is going to be a sponsor for the upcoming Zero Waste Faire on Saturday, March 23, from 11 am to 4 pm, at the Wilton High School Field House. The event will be featuring more than 100 exhibitors, guest speakers, cooking demos, activities for children, a zero waste store, a café, and a zero waste tiny home.
For more information about BD Provisions, visit bdprovisions.com.
Interested in creating meals like a professional chef? Try these recipes, courtesy of Heather Priest, from the Spice Up 2019 cooking demonstration at BD Provisions.
Super Amazing Red Lentil Dahl Ingredients
1 cup of lentils
½ teaspoon of turmeric
1 teaspoon of salt
4 cups of water
Bring all ingredients above to a boil in a large saucepan. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes or until tender.
¼ cup of clarified butter or ghee
½ cup of sweet onions, chopped
1 tablespoon of fresh ginger, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
½ small green chili seed removed, chopped
2 whole dried red chilis
1 teaspoon dried turmeric
2 teaspoons cumin
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon cardamom powder
½ teaspoon cayenne
Fresh cilantro and lime for serving
Heat ghee over medium high heat in a medium size sauté pan.
Add onion, ginger, garlic, and chili and cook until browned and fragrant for about two minutes.
Add green chili and dried chilis and cook, stirring, for one to two minutes.
Add cumin, cinnamon, cardamom powder, and cayenne and stir for 30 seconds. Remove from heat and pour over lentils. Serve with Chapati.
Heather’s Super Amazing Top-Secret ChiliIngredients
1 pound of 80/20 ground beef
½ pound bacon, diced
1 large sweet onion, diced
5 garlic cloves, chopped
1 large link chorizo, chopped fine
2 bottles of Negra Modelo beer or another lager with a rich flavor
2 tablespoons of tomato paste
2 28oz of cans crushed tomatoes
1 28oz can of diced fire roasted tomatoes
1 cup each of kidney, pinto, black, and navy beans soaked and cooked or from the can*
2 jalapenos seeded and diced
2 serrano seeded and chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
2 to 3 whole dried chilis (depending on level of spice you want). Soaked in boiled water until tender then seed and blend in food processor with a little water
2 tablespoons of dried basil
1 tablespoon of dried oregano
2 tablespoons of dried cumin
1 tablespoon of cayenne pepper
3 tablespoons of chili powder
1 tablespoon of Chipotle chili powder
2 cups of water
Salt and pepper to taste
Sauté ground beef in a deep, heavy-bottomed pot or Instapot until browned. Remove meat from pan and pour off the fat and juice.
Add bacon and cook until fat is starting to render out but bacon is not crisp. Remove bacon from the pan, leaving the fat behind.
Add onion and garlic to pot and sauté until vegetables start to sweat.
Add the beer and tomato paste and boil for 2 minutes
Add meat including the chopped chorizo back into the pot
Add tomatoes, peppers, and spices to the pot and cook for about an hour.
Add cooked beans to the chili and cook for another half an hour.
Add water if chili gets too thick, making sure to stir occasionally to keep it from sticking to the bottom.
Season chili to taste with salt and pepper.
*For beans — soak beans overnight or for at least six hours. To cook the beans, place them in a pot covered with at last three inches of water. Add a piece of onion, garlic, jalapeno pepper, bay leaf, and salt to the pot. Cook for one hour or until tender.