Chili: chase away the wintery chill

The wintery vapors linger…
…and the search for comfort food solace…like Chili.
The Menu Shoppe has it covered…more creative “finds”
for menu creativity.
Chili…or a chili buffet might also be ideal for daily specials.
Regional creativity abounds, this crafts Tex-Mex sweetly
Fusion Chili
10 dried ancho chiles – chopped, stemmed and seeded
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
3 pounds hot Italian sausage, casings removed
3 pounds ground beef
1 white onion, diced
1 red onion, diced
1 sweet onion, diced
1 cup diced celery
1 cup diced carrots
10 cloves garlic, sliced
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
1 cup dry red wine
4 (14.5 ounce) cans diced tomatoes
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup hot pepper sauce
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup honey
1 (16 ounce) can kidney beans, drained
1 (16 ounce) can pinto beans, drained
*drizzle of wine to deglaze pot
In a small bowl, soak chiles in water and vinegar for 30 minutes. After soaking, puree in a blender or food processor until very smooth, about 5 minutes–set aside. Place sausage and ground beef in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Remove meat from pan, and set aside. In a large pot, heat 3 to 4 tablespoons of the meat drippings over medium heat. Saute white onion, red onion, sweet onion, celery, carrots and garlic until onions are soft and translucent. Season with salt and black pepper. Stir in tomato paste, and allow to caramelize. Pour in wine to deglaze the pot, scraping up any bits stuck to the bottom. Stir in cooked meat, tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce and hot pepper sauce. Season with chili powder, cumin and parsley. Bring to a boil, then stir in blended chile mixture and honey. Carefully mix in kidney beans and  pinto beans mashing. Cover, and simmer for 3 hours.
Another regional favorite…
Cincinnati Style Chili
3 onions, chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 pounds ground beef chuck
1/3 cup chili powder
2 tablespoons sweet paprika
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon dried orégano, crumbled
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground mace
1 bay leaf
3 cups water
a 16-ounce can tomato sauce
2 tablespoons wine vinegar
2 tablespoons molasses
traditional accompaniments: spaghetti, kidney beans, chopped onion, grated Cheddar, and oyster crackers
In a large heavy kettle cook the onions and the garlic in the oil over moderate heat, stirring, until the onions are softened, add the beef, and cook the mixture, stirring and breaking up the lumps, until the beef is no longer pink. Add the chili powder, the paprika, the cumin, the coriander, the allspice, the orégano, the cayenne, the cinnamon, the cloves, and the mace and cook the mixture, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the bay leaf, the water, the tomato sauce, the vinegar, and the molasses and simmer the mixture, uncovered, stirring occasionally and adding more water if necessary to keep the beef barely covered, for 2 hours, or until it is thickened but soupy enough to be ladled. Discard the bay leaf and season the chili with salt and pepper. The chili may be frozen or made 4 days in advance, cooled, uncovered, and kept covered and chilled. Serve the chili as is or in the traditional Cincinnati “five-way” style: Ladle the chili over the spaghetti and top it with the beans, the onion, the Cheddar, and the oyster crackers.
White Chicken Chili
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 (4 ounce) can diced jalapeno peppers OR 1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chile peppers
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
2 (14.5 ounce) cans chicken broth
3 cups chopped cooked chicken breast
3 (15 ounce) cans white beans
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Slowly cook and stir the onion until tender. Mix in the garlic, jalapeno, green chile peppers, cumin, oregano and cayenne. Continue to cook and stir the mixture until tender, about 3 minutes. Mix in the chicken broth, chicken and white beans. Simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the mixture from heat. Slowly stir in the cheese until melted.
Assorted accompaniments can also make for handsome buffet presentation.
Black Bean and Espresso Chili
1/2 cup olive oil
5 large onions, chopped
1/4 cup instant espresso powder
1/4 cup chili powder
1/4 cup ground cumin
1/4 cup dried oregano leaves
2 28-ounce cans crushed tomatoes with added puree
1/3 cup honey
6 large garlic cloves, minced
7 15-ounce cans black beans, rinsed, drained
2 cups water
1 tablespoon salt
1/4 teaspoon chipotle chili powder or chili powder
Large pinch of ground cinnamon
Assorted toppings:  sour cream, chopped fresh cilantro, chopped green onions, shredded cheese, sliced jalapeños, or for extra panache— shaved bittersweet chocolate
Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add onions and sauté until tender, about 8 minutes. Mix in espresso powder, 1/4 cup chili powder, cumin, and oregano. Cook 1 minute. Mix in tomatoes, honey, and garlic. Bring to simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer 30 minutes. Add beans, 2 cups water, salt, chipotle chili powder, and cinnamon. Bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer uncovered until mixture thickens slightly, stirring often, about 30 minutes. Season to taste.
Place toppings in individual condiment bowls. Ladle chili into bowl and serve toppings. epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Black-Bean-and-Espresso-Chili
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