Thursday, February 4, 2010

Sooper Bowl Chili-Chop and Stir-Into the Crockpot for Half-time

I don't know where the idea of chili for Super Bowl came from, but it's a hit most places if you're not having pizza.  If you're not having pulled pork.  (I noticed that top Yahoo! searches were including "pork recipes" this last week.)  So maybe pulled pork, but maybe ribs.  The pork case at the market looked like July 3, it had so many racks of ribs in it.  Prices weren't bad either.  Still, I was on the path to chili...could I be led away?

I was drawn to a recipe in the NYT (Mark Bittman)  for Chicken Sausage Jambalaya.  Actually, I think it first came from a site called; it's in the left side bar under blogs I follow.  Chicken, sausage:  it all sounded so good.  Rice.  Hmm.  But, chili beckoned.  I haven't made chili since Halloween and I usually make it pretty often.  Somethings just yelled.

At the store...

Italian sausage (Sara's-made right up near Palmer Lake) hit the cart.
VEEEEry lean beef fell in on top of it.  I know; it should have been turkey.  But, hey, it's the Super Bowl.

Did I have enough canned tomatoes?  Italian ones?  Beans?  Unsalted, organic?  I knew I had dried beans, but had a thought about a Super quick chili using canned beans.  Up the canned aisle; it's not my favorite place. (Produce is my favorite.)  No big cans, so I grabbed 2 pinto and 1 black.  I can never bear to make chili with only one sort of bean.  What else?  Nothing.  OH, I had to have (and this is critical)


Fritos are good, too, especially with cheddar cheese on chili.  But tortilla chips... hmm.  Just right. I actually like to eat this chili with tortilla chips, not a spoon.  I rarely eat chips of any kind, still... Oh well.

Grab some Dos Equis or make a pitcher of margaritas?  I might be the only one who likes zinfandel with chili and I thought I had a sweet bottle of Seghesio. Still, the better half probably needed his Dos Equis; the winter ales in the garage frig were going to pale compared to a Mexican brew. (not bad, eh?)  Note to self:  hit the liquor place next door before going home. Oh, and go back through produce (yeah) and get limes.

By then, the cart was a dead giveaway; anyone going by (and aren't there a lot of cartsnoopers?) knew I was making chili.  Like, regular old Irish kinda chili.  Not fine Texas fare with big hunks of beef slowly simmered in a thick, spicy sauce; not NM green, mild, hot or in between.  Just the kind of big pot my learned-to-cook-during-the-depression mom made, using her own home-canned tomatoes, some jars of which were  full of other small goodies like celery, green pepper, etc.  We had a ferocious garden out back.  Summers were literally  full of "what a row to hoe."  Of course, over the years, the recipe morphed.  (There never was a written recipe, just we kids' memory for the pot, the shelves full of quart jars-"Run bring me a jar of tomatoes."- and its smells.) Nowadays, I like lots of different vegetables. I like different kinds of meat. I like wine in it.  Lemon.  Dijon mustard. Cinnamon, just a tish.  Yeah, it's a bit different than mom's.  It smells as good.  Even the milk man smelled it outside. 

"Smells so good in there."   "I'm going to your blog tomorrow for that recipe." (ok!)

Ah, yep.  I'm cookin' chili. Get outta the way, dogs.  Makes me incredibly happy for some reason.  Makes me feel rich to have a great big pot of the stuff cooking away.  Odd what makes us feel rich.  You?

This particular pot of chili can be pulled together in 20-25 min and then thrown in the crockpot, well, not literally.  I do pour it pretty quickly into the crockpot insert in the sink!  Or, make it the day before.  Whichever way, it's an easy meal.  Buy or make some corn bread.  Get some tortilla chips and salsa.  Of course, the Dos Equis.  A pan of your favorite brownies?   A veggie tray and you're on your way.  Why be troubled? 

                                                      We like Manchego with chili.

Can you smell it?                                                                             

Sooper Bowl Chili
serves 8-10;makes a little more than 6 quarts

2T olive oil
1/4 t each: cinnamon, dried red pepper flakes, cumin, black pepper, chili powder
2 onions, chopped (food processor if you have one)
4 cloves of garlic, ditto                                                            
4 large celery stalks, ditto
1/2 ea red and yellow peppers, ditto
2-3 small zucchini or yellow squash, ditto
1 lb each:  sweet Italian sausage and lean ground beef
3  15 oz cans no salt, organic beans (pinto, kidney or black)
6 T chili powder (or to taste)
1 t fresh ground black pepper
1/2 t dried red pepper flakes
2t kosher salt (+/- to taste)
2T each, dried oregano and basil                                                        
2 32 oz cans Italian tomatoes
2T honey
2T Dijon mustard
1/4 c lemon juice
2 c ea: red wine and water

opt: grated Manchego (or cheddar), chopped onions, tortilla chips, hot sauce                                                              

Saute  first five (1/4 t each) spices in the 2 T olive oil over low heat  in a 10 or 12 qt. stockpot while you chop the vegetables (2-3 batches) in the food processor (or by hand.)  Spoon veg out into pot and cover, turning heat up to medium-high.  Meanwhile, brown both meats in another skillet over medium-high heat.  Stir both pot and skillet frequently.  When vegetables are tender, add rest of ingredients to pot. Drain meat well; add to the tomato mixture.  Stir well and taste; season as needed. 

Bring to a boil and turn off the burner. *Place crockpot stoneware insert  in sink and pour chili into it.  Replace insert into crockpot.  Set heat to low and let cook 4-6 hours.  If too thin, take lid off and let cook 15-20 minutes on high to thicken.

Serve with tortilla chips and chopped onions and cheese if you like.
Pass a bottle of your favorite hot sauce for those who want to burn their taste buds.

*Option:  Cook on stove.   Lower heat to medium low and simmer at least an hour.  More, if you'd like.  Some people like to wait and add the beans during the last 15 minutes.

Enjoy the day.  Have a little more if you like.  There's plenty.  You're rich.

no spoon needed

If you still don't know anything about football (I don't want to know; it's a good time to read the NY Times), you can click below and get a very quick lesson on how the game is played....

Sing a new song  (Go Colts?  Go Saints?), as I pray for two dear friends, s and c and for Emi, taking the Biblical Content Exam today at Princeton...........

Here's the newest from the Two-Dog Kitchen--

Gab's all Tuckered out!

Note to readers:  If you'd like to keep up with my local articles (on a national site),  they're listed in my twitter feed  on the left sidebar at the top of the blog.   You don't have to make a separate trip to Article titles say things  like "Super Bowl Pizza..." and you just click on the link that begins with tinyurl...  Thanks!!!!  Also, check out my favorite blogs, links to which are right below the Twitter stuff. 


  1. Dear Alyce,

    Wonderful writing and hunger-stimulation, as usual. I hear that there is some excellent news for you and I am happy to hear it. Midterms in two weeks and I'm already thinking about finals - my how it flies. I will write more when things are slower, but know that I hear the updates, and I will check in here when I can.


  2. Great to hear from you. I know what school is like after a hiatus. Stretch, stretch. Grow. Can be a tad painful. Keep writing; it's such a part of who you are from what I've read.
    Thanks for the compliments. Cheers, Alyce


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