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A Chili Without a Bark but Definitely a Bite

Posted Aug 27 2008 9:13am

D on’t you hate it when you finish a write up and then all of a sudden some crazy thing happens with your PC that it winds up deleted? Yeah – I really hate that and the fact that it’s not even my PC that did it slightly pisses me off more. I can’t wait till I get my precious back. (Note: Watch LotR before insanity strikes)

Anywho, this was the first time my sweetheart was able to sample my chili. Was he man enough? Mr. I-can-eat-a-jalapeño-without-flinching. So he wanted to play tough guy. Well, I rolled up my sleeves and got to work. The result was a fire mouth hot chili that caught him extremely off guard. He was used to his mother’s recipe which consisted of meat, a minimal assortment of peppers, and sauce. Basically, it was a thick tomato meat sauce suitable for pasta, not to be considered a ‘chili’. Recipes which fall into my chili category are either extremely hot bowls of beans, vegetables, and meat thick enough that a spoon can stand up in. That’s my kind of chili.

Due to Phil’s fickleness about beans, I went with the monotone small white beans (cannellini if you will) for texture and color. I like pretty bowls of chili, too. The stark contrast of the white beans against a pallet of thick red was gorgeous. The hue of the sauce was amber red because of the added pumpkin and squash for a thickening agent. Since I hadn’t extra tomato sauce, I used the paste from the can of chilis in adobo which added a notch to the heat scale. I also, because he’s such a carnivore, added lean grounded turkey which came so tender after two hours of simmering, I think I was in love with this recipe. Who wouldn’t be? It packed tremendous flavor, a vast amount of protein, a slight sweetness yet it bit harder than a rattlesnake. To me, that’s a winner.

You most certainly can tone it down for the feeble tongued and alter it to your delight. But if you want to experience the singe of snake fangs, proceed with the following ingredient calculations.

Snakebite Chili
½ cup uncooked white beans, soaked in water over night & drained
½ lb lean ground turkey
½ large onion, chopped in ½ dices
1 bell pepper, chopped into ½ dices
1 can chilis in adobo
1 ½ cups of diced pumpkin or squash, skinned
2 cloves of garlic, crushed & minced
½ jalapeño, minced finely

1 cup broth or water
2 tbsp honey or 3 tbsp maple syrup
Chili powder
Fresh cilantro

Soak the beans over night after boiling them in water for 2 to 3 minutes. This significantly cuts the cooking time.

When you’re ready to make the chili, in a large deep pot add the onions and sauté until soft, followed by the addition of the bell peppers and garlic. Sauté until both become soft, fragrant, and slightly golden then add the chilis in adobo and mash. Let this cook for about 5 minutes then add the pumpkin, beans, spices, herbs, honey or syrup, and broth

Stir everything together and bring it to a boil. Let it boil for a few minutes then reduce it to a good sturdy simmer, cover and let that baby go for an hour and a half. If you desire a less thick consistency, add more liquid. If you prefer it drier, then let it cook longer until thick.

Once the majority of the time has passed, check the seasonings, adjust if necessary, and then stir in fresh cilantro. Let this cook for another fifteen to thirty minutes and serve with a fresh green salad and biscuits.

Note: There are pictures but genius here packed away her USB cable in the box with her PC which is secured by several layers of tape. The pictures do exist but will have to wait - sorry!

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