Sunday, November 7, 2010

Soups on Sunday - It's Chili!

Our weather has finally turned cool. The mornings are brisk and the afternoons are picture perfect. We've spent the entire weekend outside or inside watching football, but will all the doors open so we can enjoy these few golden hours of absolutely blissful weather. 

And because the temps have now officially dipped below 50 (albeit only in the wee hours), it is time for chili. I have made numerous chili recipes over the years. I've been to chili cook-offs. I've tasted friend's, who swear their is by far the best, chili. 

This is Texas folks -- we take chili seriously. 

We all do chili and all swear ours is the best. Well, you can believe me. Mine is the best. I do not rely on my own culinary prowess to achieve such a feat. Instead, I rely on a tried and true recipe from the venerable Silver Palate Cookbook

It is an unusual chili recipe. I'll give you that. It is more nuanced than most chili. It does not purport to hit you over the head with it's cayenne pepper kicker. Instead, it marries a variety of flavors to provide a wonderful and lively experience for the palate. 

Try it and let me know what you think.

Silver Palate Chili
Servings: 20 {can half it, but why not just invite friends over!?}
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 pound yellow onions, coarsely chopped
1 pound sweet Italian sausage removed from casings
4 pounds ground beef chuck
1 - 12 oz can tomato paste
1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
1/3 cup ground cumin
1/2 cup chili powder
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons dried basil
2 tablespoons dried oregano
1 1/2 tablespoons salt or to taste
1 1/2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
3 - 28 oz cans Italian plum tomatoes, drained
1/4 cup dry red wine
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
1/4 cup chopped parsley
2 - 16 oz cans red kidney beans, drained
2 - 5.8 oz cans pitted black olives, drained 
Heat the olive oil in a very large pot. Add the onions and cook over low heat, stirring  occasionally unitl wilted, about 10-15 minutes. Add the sausage and ground chuck; cook overmedium-high heat, stirring until the meats are well browned. Spoon off  any excess fat and discard. 
Stir in the tomato paste, garlic, cumin, chili powder, mustard, basil, oregano, salt  and pepper. Add the tomatoes, wine, lemon juice, dill, parsley and kidney  beans. Stir well and simmer uncovered for another 15-20 minutes.
Taste and adjust seasonings to taste. Add olives and simmer for 5 more minutes to  heat through. Serve immediately {preferably with warm corn bread}!
Enjoy -- the chili and this gorgeous fall weather!

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