Sunday, September 26, 2010

It's Hot in Tampa & in the Kitchen. Chili on Tap for Week 3

I love chili. It is a bizarre fact that I've never entered a chilifest or even been to one. Maybe because I don't have one, lone chili recipe, but rather about six or seven different twists on chili that I go to, depending on my mood. This week's chili incorporates italian hot sausage and also, makes enough for a house-full of football crazed friends. If you're not inclined to eat leftovers and you don't have a huge crew showing up, you may want to cut the proportions in half.

You will need:
1 1/2 lbs. ground beef (85%/15%)
1/2 lbs of loose italian hot sausage
2 large spanish onions - diced
2 cloves garlic - finely diced
1 carrot, peeled and shredded
1 large bell pepper (I prefer red) - diced
3 or 4 poblano peppers - diced
2 tomatoes - finely diced (or one large can of diced tomatoes in the wintertime, when fresh tomatoes are disgusting)
2 cans of black beans, thoroughly rinsed
2 cans of kidney beans, thoroughly rinsed (1 light red, 1 dark red)
1 large can of tomato puree
1 large can of crushed tomatoes
several tbsp. cumin
several tbsp. chipotle chili powder
several tbsp. ancho chili powder
2 tsp. paprika

-- Brown the sausage in a sautee pan and when it's thoroughly browned, move to soup pot.
-- Brown beef in same sautee pan; season with about 1 tbsp each of ancho chili and chipotle chili; when browned, add to soup pot.
-- Sautee onions, garlic, peppers and carrot in sautee pan (add healthy pinch of kosher salt; sautee until soft & add to soup pot.
-- Sautee fresh tomatoes with pinch of salt, and pinch of chili powders; add to soup pot.
-- Add crushed tomatoes, tomato puree, about 1/2 can of water (more if you like soupier chili), and beans to soup pot; toss in another pinch of salt, several tbsp. of cumin.
-- Let that simmer for about 20 minutes and check for flavor. Add chili powder or more cumin to taste. I have a huge soft spot for cumin, so I use about 4 tbsp of cumin for a pot of chili this size.
-- Serve with thinly sliced scallions, shredded colby jack cheese and dollop of sour cream. Also a cold beer. (I'm serving mine with a growler of Spaten Octoberfest. Thanks to the guys at Beer Nutz!)

And, it goes without saying, go Steelers.