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10.18.2012

All-American Chili


I love football for so many reasons.


Haha just kidding.  I only love it for one reason, but I would love to have seen my husband's reaction to that sentence.

Whenever I think of Sunday football only one thing comes to mind:  comfort food!  I mean, there are a lot of things in my life that make me think of food and food only, and I'm not ashamed to say it.  Football is one of those concepts where my brainwaves immediately start channeling the thought of shoveling warm and melty comfort foods into my head in massive quantities.

For the visual, you're welcome.

Let it also be known that I love fall.  I'm totally on board with the changing leaves, the crisp weather, the pumpkins on my porch and in my latte (how do they do that??).  I'm totally into cornhusks and mums and cowl-neck sweaters and my new riding boots that I havent yet bought but am crazy in love with and can't stop thinking about.

I'm totally not into this crime scene on my porch thanks to some dirty, dirty squirrels.  Jerks.  Who knew decorative cornstalks actually had corn on them?  Not this girl.


With fall comes football so, by proxy, I'm "totally on board with football."  Ahem.

And I can't think of a better way to enjoy such an all-American game than with a hot and hearty bowl of all-American chili.  Seriously....is there a better way?  Please tell me.  You've got your friends, your ridiculously-sized television, your favorite beer, and a bowl full of meaty goodness with tortilla chips for dunking.

And this chili is seriously meaty.  We're talking lean ground beef and two kinds of beans!  It's lean protein central.  Add in some vegetables and spices and simmer it in a rich wine-broth, and you've got yourself a wholesome and hearty date for the big game.

Happy fall indeed!

All-American Chili
Adapted from Cooking Light Magazine
Yields 4 servings

Ingredients:
2 c onion, chopped
1 c green bell pepper, chopped
8 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb lean ground sirloin (I used 96% fat free)
1 jalapeno pepper, chopped
2 tbs chili powder
2 tbs brown sugar
1 tbs ground cumin
3 tbs tomato paste
1 tsp dried oregano
Salt/pepper
2 bay leaves
1/2 c red wine (the fruitier the better!)
3/4 c low-sodium beef broth
2 15-oz cans diced tomatoes in their juices
15-oz can white kidney beans, rinsed and drained
15-oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
Shredded cheddar cheese (optional)
Cilantro, chopped (optional)

Preparation:
Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Add the onion and the next four ingredients (through jalapeno), and cook until the beef is browned and crumbled, about 8 minutes.


Add the chili powder and the next 6 ingredients (through bay leaves), and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.


Stir in the wine, broth, tomatoes, and beans, and bring to a boil.  Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.


Uncover and cook for 30 additional minutes, stirring occasionally.  Discard the bay leaves.  Sprinkle each serving with cheese and cilantro as desired.



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