Saturday night we hosted a bunch of friends for a casual holiday get together. Dave made his signature chili and we served it up with rice, corn bread, beer bread, mac and cheese (ostensibly for the kids), and a lot of delicious baked goods. It's critical to accompany any holiday meal with three or more carbs, don't you think?
Dave is busy working on some holiday shopping duties, so I will try my best to impart his chili recipe. This makes a big pot of chili - don't be intimidated by the huge quantity, it gets better as it ages and it freezes really well.
-Chop 3 medium onions, 3 bell peppers, 4-5 cloves of garlic. Add to a large pot with olive oil. As the vegetable sweat, finely chop some variety of hot pepper and add it to the mix. Our brother in law, Frank, gave Dave 2 habanero peppers from his plant, so he used these this time. Be careful with the peppers - you can always add more, but it is pretty hard to make chili less spicy once you have it flaming hot. You can regulate the spice of the pepper by removing some of the seeds and pith.
-Add canned/frozen diced tomatoes. This time Dave used 4 quart bags from our freezer that had about 2 1/2 cups in each bag.
-Brown 2 lbs of meat, ground turkey or beef, in a separate pan and pour off the fat when it is cooked through. Add it to the pot.
-Add beans, about 3 cans or 6 cups frozen bagged beans like we had this time. Dave uses black beans. We have also used white beans, red beans and various combinations.
-Add a bag of frozen corn.
-Add a bottle of beer. Dave uses something with robust flavor like a good amber ale or maybe a porter.
-Cook it all up and if it seems too thin, add some tomato sauce. Add your spices - chili powder, cumin, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.
-Dave usually lets it cook on the low heat for about an hour. He also recommends preparing this the day before you want to serve it as the flavors "mature" over time.
We usually have chili over rice and/or cornbread. Valerie brought homemade tortilla chips that were so delicious and made an excellent accompaniment as well. (I hope she blogs about those chips soon...hint hint.) Tonight, I am using the rest of the chips and serving chili nachos for dinner.
Thanks to everyone who came over to celebrate the holidays with our family. We had a blast!