Friday, June 8, 2012

Deep, Rich & Spicy: Some Like It Not Hot Chili

Wait, where's the tortillas???

Chiles de Arbol? Nope. Pasilla chiles? Nope.  Any Jalapenos, for God's sake? Nope. Is it delicious? Hell YES! There are a lot of folks out there who simply cannot tolerate the heat of chiles in anything. Some of them even frequent my table from time to time. Just because you can't handle foods loaded with chile peppers doesn't mean that you can have a good bowl of chili, or a chili dog. Many of the chili recipes you find around now have 2, 3 or even more kinds of chile pepper in them. Luckily, this isn't one of them. Most chili recipes that omit the hot peppers are nothing more than a Sloppy Joe with beans. This chili is wonderful, with rich, deep, smokey flavors, but no heat. It's the real thing, as far as I'm concerned, but without the burn. I do like killer hot chili, myself, on occasion. Even though I'm from Philadelphia, not a place that spends any time debating chili recipes, I know there are as many opinions as to what constitutes an authentic chili as there are people who eat it. Trust me, this is GOOD, if you need heat, sit down with a bottle of hot sauce next to your plate, or top it up with chopped pickled jalapenos.

Get it all out before you start so you don't forget anything.

Note: Be sure the chili powder you use is a "regular" or "mild" chili powder, otherwise, this is all for naught. A good mild chili powder will have ancho chiles in it, along with some garlic, cumin and oregano (Mexican). Not much else. This recipe is also a little lower in carbohydrate and higher in protein than other chili recipes thanks to the black soy beans.

Deep, Rich, & Spicy No-Heat Chili
Some like it not hot!

1 T safflower or extra virgin olive oil
2 lbs. lean ground beef (90% or leaner)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium-large onion, diced
2-3 T mild or regular chili powder
1 T ground cumin
2 T Dutch process cocoa powder
1 teas. smoked Spanish paprika
1 cup of strong, brewed coffee
1 15 oz. can black soy beans, drained (Eden brand)
1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 tsp. Kosher salt

Heat the oil in a large broad deep pan until it shimmers. Add the ground beef and break up as it cooks with a wooden spoon to keep it loose and crumbly. When it begins to brown and starts to stick a bit, add the onion, garlic and all the spices. Give it a big stir for a minute or so, and then add the coffee, soybeans and tomatoes with all their juice. Add about a teaspoon of kosher salt and stir well, partially cover and reduce the heat to simmer the chili for about 40 minutes. taste for salt before serving.

No Heat Chili ready to dish up and chow down!
Makes 6 meal-sized servings, more if it's used as a topper for nachos or chili dogs. Nice topped with shredded cheese, or chopped onions, pickled peppers or sour cream.

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