Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Chili & Cornbread

I've never made chili before. For whatever reason it isn't something I find myself craving (except when we're in Chicago and go to Lindy's), but it's one of those things SP asks me to make from time to time. I didn't have a recipe in mind, but I did a quick search for Emeril and ended up making one kick-ass bowl of chili (if I do say so myself):

We ate it with the leftover jalapeno cornbread from Sunday's rib dinner and some tortilla chips for dipping. It had just the right combination of flavors from the beer, cayenne and red pepper flakes, brown sugar and the surprise ingredient - cinnamon. I really modified the recipe, first cutting it in half to make less chili and then omitting certain ingredients we didn't have. I had to leave out the kidney beans because we didn't have any in the pantry, but I would certainly add them next time. The recipe says it cooks for almost 3 hours, but mine was done in 45 minutes (probably because I used only 1 beer instead of 2 so there was less liquid). Regardless, it tasted fabulous and was easy enough to make on a weeknight.

Emeril's Kickin' Chili
Modified from Emeril's Original Kickin' Chili

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 pounds ground beef
2 cups chopped yellow onions
1 large green pepper, chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 bay leaf
4 minced garlic cloves
2 (12-ounce) bottles dark beer (I used one this time)
1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes, crushed
1/2 tablespoon salt
1/2 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon dark brown sugar
2 (15-ounce) cans red kidney beans, drained and rinsed (we didn't have any on hand)
1 cup grated Cheddar, for garnish
1/2 cup finely chopped green onions, for garnish
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish
sour cream, to taste

Heat the oil in a large heavy pot over high heat. Add the beef and brown well, about 10 minutes. Add the onions, chili powder, cumin, cayenne, cinnamon, crushed red pepper, and bay leaf and cook, stirring often, until the onions soften, about 8 minutes.

Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the beer and cook until the foam subsides, about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, salt and brown sugar to the pot. Stir well and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until slightly thickened, about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent the chili from sticking to the bottom of the pot. (This is where you add the beans, return to a simmer, cover, and cook until thickened). Serve with the cheese, sour cream, green onions, and cilantro alongside as garnish.
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  1. Nothing beats chili in the winter! Looks great! I like to throw some avocado on top.

    Dani, The Average Cook (sorry the comments won't allow me to leave my info anymore!)

  2. Dani - Thanks. I would have loved some avocado on top but they're so expensive these days.

    That's weird about the comments not letting you leave your info. I wonder why...


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