Friday, November 5, 2010
I’m taking part in a chili cook-off tonight for charity with a chili recipe I’ve never made before.
Lord help me.
I volunteered months ago to help with the charity cook-off not realizing that I’d actually be the one to make the chili.
I don’t mind helping out. I do love food after all and it benefits a food pantry in Athens — which is a good cause.
But, here’s the thing: I don’t have a great chili recipe.
I’ll make this vegetarian black bean version a lot when I’m craving vegetables but the thought of zucchini simmering in a slow cooker makes me want to gag.
This lighter version would fare well in a slow cooker, but it’s honestly nothing special. It squelches a chili craving and it’s decent for what it is… but it’s not something I’d enter into any type of competition (even one for charity).
I was planning to go with the Turkey White Bean Chili I made a while back, until this All-American Chili from Cooking Light caught my eye.
It has some unique ingredients, a five-star rating and 145 comments. Probably the most I’ve seen on one of their recipes.
Plus, one of the reviewers won a chili contest with it? I’m sold.
Start with the usual suspects:
Then add a little twist:
Brown up the veggies with the meat and add spices and tomato paste:
Then the “secret ingredient” aka booze. I know no authentic American chili has red wine, but what the heck. Sounded good to me!
And some tomatoes and beans. Then let it simmer away.
Obviously, I decided not to go the “light” route. For one, it was cheaper to buy fattier cuts of meat. Plus, who takes a low fat chili to a cook off? I’d rather go big or go home.
Once it was done, I had a small bowl for dinner, just to taste test and it’s pretty good if I do say so myself. Wish me luck!
Adapted from Cooking Light
2 links hot Italian sausage
1 pound ground chuck
2 cups chopped onion
1 cup chopped green bell pepper
8 garlic cloves, minced
2 jalapeño peppers, chopped
3 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoons ground cumin
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 bay leaves
1 1/4 cups Merlot
1 (28-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
1 (28-ounce) cans whole tomatoes, drained and coarsely chopped
2 (15-ounce) cans kidney beans, drained
Additional salt/pepper to taste, plus a healthy dash or five of hot sauce
Remove casings from sausage. Brown up the sausage and beef in a dutch oven over medium-high heat with the next 3 ingredients (though jalapeno). Cook 8 minutes, breaking up the meat as you go, until the sausage and beef is browned.
Add the chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt, pepper and tomato paste and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add in the wine and tomatoes.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
Add beans and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add more salt pepper and hot sauce as needed. Discard the bay leaves.