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national chili day in america

February 2, 2009

I think Super Bowl Sunday is also National Chili Day in America.   All the food blogs on my bloglines are filled with snacky, Southern US Super Bowl food recipes, like here and here.  And here

Of course, it doesn’t hurt that President Obama’s recipe for chili is floating around the Internet.  And that he makes appearances at Ben’s Chili Bowl in Washington DC. 

So I naturally turned to an American for a chili recipe.  Bobby Flay doesn’t get much play on Canada’s Food Network (I think he’s bumped by Can-con chefs like Anna Olsen and Michael Smith who seem to play on a continuous loop during the day), but I have seen him on the bordering-on-ridiculous show Iron Chef America.

My goodness, chili sure warrants some serious preamble.

There are about a million different recipes for chili, but this one will join my regular recipe rotation.  It is very smoky tasting, thanks to my addition of bacon, and the genius reduction of red onion, garlic and dark beer


Beef and Black Bean Chili with Toasted Cumin Crema and Avocado Relish
-adapted from a Bobby Flay recipe
(serves 4)

4 slices of bacon, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
1 pound ground steak
1/2 red onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 Tablespoons chili powder
1 Tablespoon ground cumin
1/2 bottle dark beer (I’m afraid you will have to drink the rest)
2 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup pureed tomatoes
1 teaspoon chipolte sauce (more or less to your taste)
1 teaspoon honey
1 can black bean, drained and rinsed
juice of one lime
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese
Toasted Cumin Crema (fancy term for sour cream with toasted cumin seeds, salt and pepper)
Avocado Relish (fancy term for avocado, one minced garlic, 1/4 lime juice, 2 Tablespoons finely diced red onion, 2 Tablespoons cilantro)

Fry up bacon in a large deep pan until golden brown.  Add ground steak and season with salt and pepper. Scoop out and keep in a bowl, leaving in 2 Tablespoons bacon/meat fat. 

Fry up the onions in the pan until soft, about 5 minutes.  Add garlic and cook for one minute.  Add chili powder and cumin and cook for another minute.  Pour in the beer and cook until reduced down.

Pour the beef and bacon back in, add chicken stock, tomatoes, chipolte and honey and bring to a boil.  Reduce to simmer, cover and cook for 45 minutes.  Add the black beans and cook for 15 minutes more. 

Remove from heat, add the lime juice, cilantro and cheese.  Serve with the Toasted Cumin Crema and Avocado Relish.

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