It has been simply ages since I really cooked a significant amount of food for the Superbowl. The last time, though, quite memorably involved a trip to the ER before 30 guests came over, and resulted in 10 stitches in my left hand. Darn guacamole. To this day, as much as we love avocados, I still wince just a little when I have to play with them.
Sunday afternoon I was trying to decide what to make, flipping through my backlog of Tivo’d shows and landed on Sunny Anderson’s Cooking for Real. She was making “gameday food” and one of the dishes was an Interstate Chili, so named because it combined chili flavors she loves from San Antonio, Texas and Detroit, Michigan. She had me at chorizo.
When it comes to chili, I am not die-hard about it. There are those that are very serious about it … beans, no beans, white, red … I happen to prefer red chili over white, but can go either way on the beans. Sunny said she prefers chili without beans, and when it comes to this version, I wholeheartedly agree. When I printed out the recipe, I nearly bagged it when I saw the list of ingredients (long!), but don’t let that deter you. We would have missed out on this one. The chorizo gives the chili a nice, low, lingering heat, but not so much that your mouth is on fire and you’re grabbing for a water glass. The cooked red and green peppers and onions gave the consistency surprising little soft pieces throughout each bite, and I think that was my favorite part of the whole dish.
Would I make it again? You bet. And it’s perfect for this cold, winter-won’t-leave-us weather we’re having. Last night, an earthquake (in NJ?!) and today more snow, with two more days of snow on the calendar for this week still to come. Mother Nature is certainly having fun with us this season, and I don’t know about you, but I am over it. Spring? Where are you?
In the meantime, bowls ready, spoons poised, dig in. This chili is waiting.
Recipe courtesy of Sunny Anderson, Cooking for Real
For the chili:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 medium Vidalia onion, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 jalapeno peppers, minced (I skipped)
- 3 tablespoons ground cumin
- 2 tablespoons dried oregano
- 1 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons cayenne
- 1 pound ground beef chuck
- 6 links Mexican chorizo, removed from casings
- 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoons Gravy Master (I’ve never used this before,but at $1.49 for a small bottle, I sprang for it)
- 2 tablespoons hot sauce
- 1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
- 2 cups beef broth
- 2 to 3 bay leaves
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 (8-ounce) container sour cream, for garnish
- 3 cups grated Cheddar, for garnish
- 1 small onion, diced, for garnish
For the chips:
- 1 (10-ounce) bags corn tortillas, cut into 1-inch strips
- Vegetable oil, for frying
To prepare the chili: Heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add bell peppers, onion, garlic, and jalapenos and saute until tender, about 6 minutes. Add cumin, oregano, chili powder, cinnamon and cayenne and continue to cook, another 5 minutes. Add beef and chorizo and saute until browned, about 10 minutes, breaking meat apart as it cooks. Add Worcestershire, Gravy Master, hot sauce and tomato paste. Continue cooking until tomato paste turns nicely brown and caramelized, another 3 to 4 minutes. Add beef broth and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook, 1 hour. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve with sour cream, grated cheese, onion and Homemade Tortilla Chips. Chili can be made 2 days in advance and chilled, covered. Reheat before serving.
To prepare the chips: Place oil in a deep pot until it comes almost halfway up the side of the pan. Heat oil to 360 degrees F.
Deep-fry strips, 30 to 45 seconds each side, until crisp and just turning golden. Transfer to paper towel to drain. Sprinkle with salt immediately. Serve with chili.