Saturday, February 3, 2007

A Super Bowl of Chili

Sharon and I are going for a hike on Super Bowl Sunday with Dick and Earin. Afterward we will be getting lunch and then going to their place to watch the game.

I am making my chili today so that it will have a chance to flavorize before the game. I start with America's Test Kitchen (why I love ATK) recipe for "Simple Beef Chili with Kidney Bean" (see below) and modify it for my tastes.

  • Substitute a can of chick peas for a can of kidney beans. Then ad a can of black beans. All the beans should be washed until the can drains clean.
  • Add a pound of Andouille sausage or hot links, cut into ¼ in diagonal cross sections. Brown the links before adding it to the pot. Eat the end pieces while they are hot and crispy.
  • Add 2 pounds of extra firm tofu, ½ in cubes.
  • I use a complete bottle of chili powder.
  • Heavy on the spices since we're adding another 4 or 5 pounds of protein.
  • An additional pound of chuck roast (shoulder), cut into chunks and browned. If you use these chunks of meat then it needs to simmer for a couple of hours until the chunks fall apart when pulled by a fork.
  • Start off the meat preparation by cooking 8 strips of bacon on med-hi for about 10 minutes. Set the bacon bits aside and save the fat for cooking the rest of the meat and the vegetables.
Click for a closer look. A dutch oven would be great for preparing all the meat but this recipe is to large it fit everything into a 8 quart pot. Assemble in a big old soup pot and simmer, don't scrape the burnt chili off the bottom of the pot, just let it stick.

Quick Tip―spray the plastic storage containers with PAM to keep the chili from staining the plastic.

Below is America's Test Kitchen recipe from their TV show's website.

America's Test Kitchen On-air Staff

Simple Beef Chili with Kidney Beans

Good choices for condiments include diced fresh tomatoes, diced avocado, sliced scallions, chopped red onion, chopped cilantro leaves, sour cream, and shredded Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese. If you are a fan of spicy food, consider using a little more of the red pepper flakes or cayenne--or both. The flavor of the chili improves with age; if possible, make it a day or up to five days in advance and reheat before serving. Leftovers can be frozen for up to a month.

Makes about 3 quarts, serving 8 to 10

2 tablespoons vegetable oil or corn oil
2 medium onions , chopped fine (about 2 cups)
1 red bell pepper , cut into 1/2-inch cubes
6 medium cloves garlic , minced or pressed through garlic press (about 2 tablespoons)
1/4 cup chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 pounds 85% lean ground beef
2 cans (16 ounces each) kidney beans (dark), drained and rinsed
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes , with juice
1 can (28 ounces) tomato puree
table salt
2 limes , cut into wedges


  1. Heat oil in large heavy-bottomed nonreactive Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering but not smoking, 3 to 4 minutes. Add onions, bell pepper, garlic, chili powder, cumin, coriander, pepper flakes, oregano, and cayenne; cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened and beginning to brown, about 10 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high and add half the beef; cook, breaking up pieces with wooden spoon, until no longer pink and just beginning to brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Add remaining beef and cook, breaking up pieces with wooden spoon, until no longer pink, 3 to 4 minutes.
  2. Add beans, tomatoes, tomato puree, and 1/2 teaspoon salt; bring to boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour. Remove cover and continue to simmer 1 hour longer, stirring occasionally (if chili begins to stick to bottom of pot, stir in 1/2 cup water and continue to simmer), until beef is tender and chili is dark, rich, and slightly thickened. Adjust seasoning with additional salt. Serve with lime wedges and condiments if desired.

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