Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Winter comfort foods, Southern style

One of Dan's signature dishes is chili, a standby he prepares often for dinner parties or potlucks.

In the spirit of our Mexican food experimentation, he recently made a batch with a few new twists. Chorizo sausage instead of hamburger. Fresh chilies. And chili-spiced tomato sauce from the Hispanic section of the grocery store. 

The chorizo sausage we purchased for a mere $2 per pound at the Latino grocery is excellent. Absolutely no fat and a deep spicy flavor. It crumbles into nice textured chunks when fried. 

Here is his recipe--a small batch that can be doubled for a bigger crock pot. 

Danny's 5-Alarm Chili

1 lb hamburger or sausage, sauteed until brown
2 garlic cloves, 1 onion and 1 green pepper, sauteed with the meat
Chili powder, black pepper to taste

In crock pot, 
1 22 oz. can kidney beans, rinsed
1 22 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 8 oz can tomato sauce.
Stir in meat and sauteed vegetables
Dice and de-seed 1-2 good sized fresh green chilies, add.
1 small can tomato paste
1/3 jar picked jalapenos, without juice
1-2 tablespoon sugar to counteract bitterness
Dried red pepper seeds, sprinkle in to taste
Tabasco to suit
Stir again

Cook on high until boil, then low for 3-4 hours. If necessary, add water while cooking.

Serve with additional hot sauces, cornbread or the Southern favorite, corn casserole or pudding.

I first had this fattening, addictive carb-fest at a potluck supper. It's about all I ate, no slight to the rest of the food. And I wouldn't say corn is one of my favorite foods, either. 

I don't have an original recipe, so here is a link to a good one. It has all the comfort ingredients mixed with creamed corn and kernel corn: eggs, cheese, sour cream, diced canned chilis, melted butter...I don't even want to know the calories. It's good for dinner as a side dish or for breakfast with ham and fried eggs. 

Variations are popular in the southwest, the mid-west and the mid-atlantic states, too. 

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