Fantasy Foodball: Tennessee Chili vs. Texas Chili
When football kicked off last month, the tail-end of grilling season made hotdogs and burgers a staple of any game-day menu. But then temperatures dropped, grills were left to hibernate, and tailgating foods took a turn for heartier, fall-appropriate fare. Rather than mourn the end of warmer days, look on the bright side: chili is back on the tailgating menu, and it's here to stay.
Coveted nation-wide, the hearty stew has been known to stir up quite the controversy. You've got your meat purists and your bean backers, the folks that throw in every spice known to man and those that prefer as few ingredients as possible. Some add chocolate, while others like a dash of cinnamon. And everyone thinks their recipe is the best.
Apropos this week's match-up between the Houston Texans and Tennessee Titans, we're teaming up with the National Football League to offer up two rival chili recipes — one from Tennessee, and the other straight out of the lone star state. Taking sides is always tough, but choosing a chili? It's going to be a nail-biter.
1 ounce of dried whole chilies (approx. three Guajillo Chiles & three Pasilla Chiles stemmed and seeded)
2 ½ pounds boneless beef chuck, well trimmed and cut into ½ inch cubes (to yield two pounds after trimming)
In medium dry skillet over low heat add the peppers and cook 1 minute.
Add the oregano and cumin. Continue to cook until they become fragrant, 1 more minute.
In spice mill or food processor, grind the spices until they are powdered and set aside.
Heat a large stockpot over medium heat with two tablespoons of olive oil. When oil is warm, add onions, garlic, beef, 2 teaspoons of salt and a ½ teaspoon of pepper. Stir frequently until the beef is no longer red, about 10 minutes.
Add three tablespoons of the prepared chili powder mixture, tomatoes, green chilies and jalapeno. Stir and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer. Cover, and cook for one hour.
After first hour, remove lid and add two tablespoons of corn meal. Simmer uncovered one more hour to thicken.
Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary. Serve with sour cream, cilantro and lime for garnish.
Note: For spicier chili, add extra chili powder mixture or another jalapeno. Prep time: 30 minutes. Cooking time: 2 hours. Makes: Approx 7 cups, 6-8 servings.
(A distinct smoky flavor - made with bacon, ground beef and beans)
Heat a large stock pot over medium/high heat. Add bacon and stir occasionally until bacon is crisp, about 4 minutes.
Add diced onion and garlic, cook for 2 minutes.
Add ground beef, cumin, chili powders, salt and pepper. Stir often to break up meat and cook until meat is no longer red, about 10 minutes.
Add tomatoes, broth, beans, tomato paste and diced green pepper. Stir and bring to a boil.
Cover, reduce heat and let simmer for 1.5 hours.
Adjust seasonings as necessary. Serve with corn chips and cheddar cheese for garnish.
Note: For spicier chili, add extra of each chili powder.
Prep time: 30 minutes. Cooking time: 1.5 Hours. Makes: Approx 10 cups, 8-10