Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Chili Cook Off

I had heard about a chili cook-off that an organization I belong to has every year and told my friend Debbie that I might like to do that. So of course, when it comes up, she called me and told me she had signed me up for it! So on Sunday I went to the grocery store for all the fixin's and yesterday spent the better part of the day cooking and tasting. Usually I make vegetarian chili, not because I'm a vegetarian, but because it is really, really good chili that has evolved over the years. My better half advised me that I probably shouldn't make the vegetarian version for anyone outside the household. I'm not sure whether I should be insulted or not ;) I was instructed to bring 5 or 6 quarts and I don't normally make that large of a quantity, so I will give you ingredients only, not amounts.

Not-Quite Vegetarian Chili
Turkey sausage (the kind that looks like keilbasa)
Kidney beans (for the large pot, I used dry, but for a normal batch I used canned)
Canned whole tomatoes
Canned chipotles in adobo sauce
Canned tomato sauce
Garbanzo beans
Sweet onions, sauteed
Red, yellow & orange bell peppers
Dried rosemary

Place the beans in a large pot and set aside.
Chop and saute the turkey sausage, remove it from the pan and add the onion, chopped, and saute until soft and clear. Add sausage & onion to the pot of beans. Chop and saute the bell peppers, also add these to the beans. Process the canned tomatoes with the chipotles and add to beans. Add tomato sauce and water until consistency is good. Season with a bit of rosemary, cinnamon and sugar. These will balance the heat of the chipotles, especially if you get it a little too hot! That's it! Easy--if you want to make it vegetarian, just leave out the sausage. The sausage gives it a rather smoky flavor that is nice.
To serve the two of us, with plenty of leftovers I use: 1/2 turkey sausage,2 cans of kidney beans, 1/2 can garbanzos, 1 smallish onion and one bell pepper. Adjust spices to taste.

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