Will you be partying in Arizona for Super Bowl? Or will Super Bowl Sunday find you in your favorite pub? Maybe you’ll be watching the game from the recliner and enjoying homemade half-time appetizers? Chili is football game staple It tailgates well. Here are to-die-for chili recipes to keep your strength up for cheering. Patriots and Seahawks fans alike can come together over a bowl of chili and these chili-based snacks.
Start with good beans. The reason most chili recipes fail is that they’re too tomato-driven and the beans and spices, just meh. Hurst’s Hambeens 15-bean dried beans mix is the best chili base. But don’t use the spice packet in the package. Cast it away and make your own (details to follow).
Sort, rinse and set beans to soak overnight. Or you can parboil for two hours. Soaking works best as Hambeens contains big lima beans and super hard garbanzo that take forever to soften. One bag serves 20-30 people.
Season and saute one pound ground beef and one pound ground pork. Season with cumin, celery seed, dried chipotle pepper, oregano, dash of lime juice, Hungarian hot paprika, sea salt, freshly-cracked black pepper, Wright’s or Figaro Liquid Smoke. Add Cajun hot pepper spice to taste. Old Bay and Tony Chacherone’s are universally available, but not the best. Use a local brand if you live down south. Don’t over-season. Some people can’t handle too-spicy food. Set out red and green jalapeno Tabasco sauce. Use local Cajun pepper sauce if you have it. Let guest ramp heat to desired potency.
You can add more burger if you like it meaty. You can omit the meat and use two bags of beans if you’re vegetarian or vegan. This chili is awesome with just beans and veggies. Or make one pot with meat and one without. Drain meat and return to kettle when cooked. Set aside.
Next get your food processor ready because there are lots of vegetables to chop. Make a glorifed mirepoix, chopping one each: red onion, sweet onion, zucchini, green, orange and yellow pepper. Chop three carrots and 5-6 ribs of celery. Mince two cloves of garlic. Chop two habanera or jalapeno peppers, if you like it hot. Saute vegetables in meat drippings just till tender.
Place in slow cooker or crock pot: sauted vegetables, cooked meat, 2-3 small cans petite diced tomatoes or garden fresh salsa and two cans V-8 vegetable juice. If you like it thicker, add hummus or refried beans to desired consistency. Cook on low, then set slow cooker to “warm” during the game.
Serve with optional toppings: oyster crackers, sports peppers, green chilis, shredded colby cheese, shredded Parmesan cheese and crumbled bleu cheese and sour cream. Set out hot dog fixings and use to make chili dogs. Use chili on nachos and add shredded lettuce and fresh tomatoes.