Cathie Campbell

Watch the big game with a bowl of chili

Super Bowl 2015 is coming up on Feb. 1, and if you’re a football fan, you may be considering hosting a gathering of friends and family for that day. But even if you do not have any interest in football, you can still enjoy a bowl of chili, not only on Feb. 1, but on any day.

I hope your new year is progressing in a good way. So many of us have so many hopes and plans. I don’t make resolutions, but I do have some special wishes. May you all stay warm and safe this winter, stay well fed, and look forward to an entire year of good fortune and good opportunities. Now, back to the chili. Here are a few recipes you can browse through, and I hope you find something you’d like to try.

Italian sausage chili

You can adjust the seasonings to suit your taste.

1 pound Italian sausage

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon paprika

1 can (16 oz.) black beans

1 can (16 oz.) pinto beans

1 can (16 oz.) corn

1 can (28 oz.) diced tomatoes with basil, oregano and garlic

1 can (16 oz.) chili beans

2 tablespoons chili powder

1 tablespoon onion powder

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon cumin seed

1 teaspoon pepper

1/2 teaspoon celery salt

2 small dried red peppers or 2 teaspoons dried red pepper flakes

1 to 3 dashes liquid hot sauce (optional)

2 cups tomato juice

Water

1. In a frying pan, heat oil and brown cut up or crumbled sausage, seasoned with paprika. In a slow cooker (at least 4 quarts), place the cooked sausage.

2. Drain and rinse black beans, pinto beans and corn. Place in slow cooker. Add chili beans and diced tomatoes, juices and all. Add tomato juice, then add water until the pot is full. Add spices and stir until everything is mixed well.

3. Cook in slow cooker for 5 hours on high. Serve with chips, sour cream, guacamole, chopped green onions, shredded cheese, sliced olives or any favorite go withs. Makes 8 servings.

Chile verde with potatoes

1 1/2 pounds fresh green chile peppers (Anaheim, also called California, chiles are great for this)

8 ounces tomatillos, husks removed

2 tablespoons bacon grease, lard or canola oil, for browning

3 1/2 to 4 pounds pork shoulder, excess fat removed, cut into 1/2 inch pieces

1 large yellow onion, chopped

5 to 6 large cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon dried Mexican orregano

2 bay leaves

2 tablespoons cider vinegar

4 cups chicken stock, plus more as needed

3/4 pound russet, Yukon gold, or white potatoes (about 3 medium potatoes)

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cooked white rice or warm tortillas, for serving

Fresh cilantro sprigs, for serving

1. Place an oven rack a few inches from the broiler. Arrange the peppers on a sheet pan and cook, turning occasionally, until charred on all sides,15 to 20 minutes. Wrap the peppers tightly with aluminum foil in three to four bundles to steam.

2. While the peppers are steaming, arrange the tomatillos on the sheet pan and broil until charred, flipping once, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove the skins, stems and seeds. Chop the peppers and tomatillos and set aside.

3. Heat a few tablespoons of bacon grease in a large Dutch oven over high heat until sizzling. Dry the pork meat with paper towels and season to taste with salt and pepper. Working in three to four batches (do not crowd the pan) cook pork until browned on all sides, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to a large bowl. Continue browning the remaining pork.

4. Reduce heat to medium. Add the onions and cook until soft and translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic, cumin, oregano and bay leaves and stir to mix, about 1 minute. Add cider vinegar to the pot and increase heat to high to deglaze the pan; scrape up any leftover browned bits from the bottom of the pan.

5. Pour in the chicken stock and reserved peppers and tomatillos. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until the pork is fork tender, 2 to 2 1/2 hours. (It can also be cooked in an 325 degree oven.)

6. Peel and dice the potatoes. Add to the stew and cook until tender, 30 to 40 minutes. Season stew with additional salt and pepper to taste, if needed. Serve with cooked white rice or warm tortillas. Makes 8 servings.

Tailgate chili

2 pounds ground beef

1 pound bulk Italian sausage

3 cans (15 oz. each) chili beans, drained

1 can (15 oz.) chili beans in spicy sauce

2 cans (28 oz. each) diced tomatoes with juice

1 can (6 oz.) tomato paste

1 large yellow onion, chopped

3 stalks celery, chopped

1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped

1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped

2 green chile peppers, seeded and chopped

1 tablespoon cooked, chopped bacon

4 cubes beef bouillon

1/2 cup beer

1/4 cup chili powder

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 tablespoon dried oregano

2 teaspoons ground cumin

2 teaspoons Louisiana hot sauce or Tabasco sauce

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon sugar

1 bag (10.5 oz.) corn chips

8 ounces shredded Cheddar, Colby or Longhorn cheese

1. Heat a large stock pot over medium high heat. Crumble the ground chuck and sausage into the hot pan, and cook until evenly browned. Drain off excess grease.

2. Add the chili beans, spicy chili beans, diced tomatoes and tomato paste. Then add the onion, celery, green and red bell peppers, chile peppers, bacon bits, bouillon and beer. Season with chili powder, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, oregano, cumin, hot pepper sauce, basil, salt, pepper, cayennne, paprika, and sugar. Stir to blend, then cover and simmer over low heat for at least 2 hours, stirring occasionally.

3. Adjust seasonings, if needed . Serve topped with corn chips and cheese. This recipe tasted even better the next day, so you might want to plan ahead and make it the day before serving. Makes 12 servings.

Vegetarian chili

1/2 onion, diced

1/2 green bell pepper, diced

1/2 red bell pepper, diced

1 can fire roasted diced tomatoes

2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed

1 can corn, drained and rinsed

2 sweet potatoes, chopped into 1/2 inch cubes

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons chili powder

1 tablespoon ground cumin

3 tablespoons lime juice (about the juice of 1 lime)

1 cup vegetable stock

Optional:

2 tablespoons flour

2 tablespoons water

1. Mix all ingredients, except for flour and water, together in a slow cooker, and cook on low for 5 to 7 hours.

2. If you are not satisfied with the consistency of the chili and want to thicken it, place the flour in a small bowl and add water, stirring until smooth. Add, stirring, to the chili. Repeat with 1 part flour and 1 part water until it reaches desired consistency.

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