On a whim, I tried a different way to cook chili that worked much better than I expected. I bought a pork roast (I can't remember the cut, but it was a cheap one) and roasted it first. I then broke up the meat and cooked the chili. In a word, it was great. The roasted pork flavor really came through. Roast pork is particularly tasty thanks to the gentle frying the meat receives from all of the fat distributed throughout the cut. The texture was also great. Rather than cut the meat, I pulled it apart, giving it more of pulled pork BBQ texture. I'll also try it some time with beef, but I suspect that pork is the meat for which this gives the strongest effect.
I made candied ginger a few years ago. It's not something I would do every day but I had a lot of fun doing it. I recently acquired a pressure cooker and it inspired an interesting idea to me: why not make candied ginger in the pressure cooker? It should be very soft and flavorful. Here is the result. I peeled two large ginger roots, cut them into small cubes, and put them in the pressure cooker with heavily sugared water. The traditional method first boils the ginger in plain water to soften it and then again in sugar water to candy it. The resulting candy was very tender but still with the characteristic ginger texture. It was also sweet without being overpowering. The traditional method leaves a lot of sugar crystallized around the ginger. The pressure cooker gives a much more subtle result. The ginger stays moist even after it cools but you can dry it in the oven at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes. That inspired me to dip it in chocolate. While I was in the b