Indulge in your own super bowl — of chili —as you watch Super Bowl XLV at 6:30 p.m. Sunday on FOX-TV or live at Cowboys Stadium. Sport enthusiasts and foodies can quickly get into the Texan spirit by enjoying chili with all the trimmings while watching the Green Bay Packers versus the Pittsburgh Steelers battle for the Lombardi trophy in Arlington, Texas.
If you want a true Texas-style chili make it without beans, but everyone has a favorite recipe and few people agree on how pungent and what ingredients make up the perfect recipe. Chili cook-offs abound across the country in search of the “perfect” combination of seasonings and meat.
Chili was invented in the city of San Antonio, Texas, as a spicy stew with meat and peppers and became popular in other parts of the U.S. when it was brought to Chicago in 1893 at the Columbian Exposition.
The dish has geographic and personal variations and is also used as a topping for other foods. Cincinnati-style chili tops spaghetti; white chili is made with turkey or chicken; chili verde is a spicy sauce made from pork, tomatillos and roasted green chili peppers; Coney Island fries are topped with chili and cheese. Some people pour chili over white rice, some mix it with macaroni, some serve it over Fritos and others top their baked potatoes with the stew.
There are recipes for slow-cooked chili, fast chili, next-day chili, vegetarian chili — and the list goes on and on.
You can make your own chili from scratch with one of the recipes below or use a box or jar mix. Two popular box mixes are Two-Alarm Chili, an invention of Texas journalist Wick Fowler, that is gluten-free and needs the addition of meat, tomato sauce and water. Carroll Shelby, a Texas race car driver and auto designer, has a white chicken chili Kit that can be made hot or mild. Both mixes are available at local supermarkets.
Frontera Chili Starter by chef Rick Bayless, available at Fresh market, comes in a jar and is available in white, black or red bean flavors. You add water and beef to make a pot full of chili.
Naples resident Marian Bennett doesn’t wait for Super Bowl. She has hosted a New Year’s Day chili bash for the past five years as a way to kick off the New Year with her closest friends.
Attendees feel it is the “hottest invitation in town” and look forward to tasting the varieties Bennett prepares each year.
Bennett lines her counter tops with bubbling crock pots, heaps the table with bowls and spoons, fills the coolers with wine and beer (Mexican, of course) and assembles all of the toppings from cheeses to beans to rice to onions to cilantro — even toasted almonds for her Cuban Picadillo. She also serves a big Latino themed salad along with a basket of fried corn tortilla strips to top it off.
This year she served black bean, chorizo and beef, Cuban picadillo, Texas red, New Mexico green chili stew and a typical chili con carne. She gave us this recipe:
Black bean, chorizo and beef with chipotle chili
2 links of chorizo sausage, about 61/2 ounces, thinly sliced if firm or squeezed from their casings if soft
1½ pound beef chuck, trimmed and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1½ cups chopped onion
4 cloves garlic, minced
7-ounce can chipotle chiles in adobe sauce
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 14-ounce cans beef broth
28-ounce can whole tomatoes, undrained and chopped (you can use scissors and cut them right in the can)
2 tablespoons masa harina or corn meal
3 15-ounce cans of black beans rinsed and drained
■ Heat a Dutch oven over medium high heat and add chorizo and sauté three minutes or until browned
■ Remove chorizo from pan and add beef to pan and sauté five minutes or until brown and remove.
■ Add onion and garlic to pan and sauté 3 min.
■ Remove 4 chiptole chilies from can and chop. Add chorizo, beef, chiles, tomato paste and next 6 ingredients through cumin, and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
■ Add beef broth and chopped tomatoes and bring to boil. Simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
■ Gradually add masa harina (or corn meal) and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Makes 10 1-cup servings.
This recipe will satisfy coffee drinkers:
Black bean and espresso chili
½ cup olive oil
5 large onions, chopped
¼ cup instant espresso powder
¼ cup chili powder
¼ cup ground cumin
¼ 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
¼ teaspoon chipotle chili powder or chili powder
Large pinch of ground cinnamon
■ 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 and cook one minute. Mix in tomatoes, honey, and garlic and bring to simmer. Reduce heat to medium low, cover, and simmer 30 minutes.
■ Add beans, two cups water, salt, chipotle chili powder, and cinnamon and bring to boil over high heat.
■ Reduce heat to medium and simmer uncovered until mixture thickens slightly, stirring often, about 30 minutes.
■ Season with salt.
This can be prepared one day ahead. Cool slightly before refrigerating uncovered until cold and. When cold cover and keep in refrigerator overnight.
Warm up before serving. Place toppings of sour cream, chopped fresh cilantro, chopped green onions, shredded cheese, sliced jalapenos and shaved bittersweet chocolate (which adds a mole flavor) in individual bowls.
Ladle chili into bowl and serve toppings alongside.
— From Bon Appetit by Rozanne Gold
If you don’t want to cook your own here are some local restaurants that always have chili on the menu:
■ Skyline Chili, 710 U.S. 41 N., Naples, 649-5665
■ Chili’s, 4251 U.S. 41 N., Naples, 261-118 and 2431 Tarpon Bay Blvd., Naples, 594-2006
■ Pastrami Dan’s, 586 U.S. 41 N., Naples, 263-3431
■ Larry’s Lunchbox, 2650 Airport-Pulling Road S., Naples, 775-2500
■ Bayshore Break, 3570 Bayshore Drive, Naples, 774-5600
■ Panera Bread, 6424 Naples Blvd., Naples, 514-1126, 2415 Tarpon Bay Blvd., Naples, 593-9766; and 13555 U.S. 41 N., Naples, 593-4001
n Calistoga Bakery, 7941 Airport-Pulling Road N., Naples, 596-8840 and Coastland Center mall, 1860 U.S. 41 N., Naples, 352-8642.
You can also call your favorite restaurant and ask them if they have chili on their menu and either eat there or order ahead for take-out to have your own chili party.
Want to sample other types of chili?
Go to the cookoff at Celebrate Estero from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 12 at Miromar Outlets, 10801 Corkscrew Road, Estero.
Connect with Sheila Mesulam at www.naplesnews.com/staff/sheila_mesulam