So it's fall, and it's football, and it's officially time to eat chili -- like we ever need an excuse to start spooning up a bowlful.
Besides, the long-awaited, annual, traditional Apple Cup will be coming up in just another few weeks (12:30 p.m. Nov. 23 in Pullman). That's the legendary meet of football rivals the Washington State Cougars and the University of Washington Huskies.
You might be either a Coug or a Husky, or some of them might live right in your own house or come home for this event. (At our house, we have some of both ... can you imagine?)
At any rate, to make a match of our football and our chili, we have two great choices today, both courtesy of Washington Beef (www.wabeef.org).
One is actually designated as Cougar chili, the other is one I've taken the liberty of picking especially for Husky fans, from a lot of other mouth-watering choices.
One or both, here we go:
WSU Cougars beef and black bean chili
2 pounds ground beef (95 percent lean preferred)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
11/2 cups chopped onion
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 medium yellow bell peppers, chopped
1 large jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1/4 cup chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves, crushed
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves, crushed
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes, undrained
1 can (14.5 ounces) chili-seasoned or zesty-style diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can (14 ounces) ready-to-serve beef broth
12 ounces (usually 1 bottle or 1 can) dark beer
1/3 cup tomato paste
1 tablespoon honey
2 cans (about 15 ounces each) black beans, rinsed and drained
Salt and black pepper to taste
Chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
Brown ground beef in stockpot over medium heat 8 to 10 minutes or until beef is no longer pink, breaking up into 3/4-inch crumbles. Remove from stockpot with slotted spoon; set aside. Pour off drippings.
Heat oil in same stockpot over medium heat until hot. Add onions and garlic; cook and stir 3 to 5 minutes or until onions are tender. Add bell peppers and jalapeno and cook and stir 4 to 5 minutes or until peppers are tender.
Return beef crumbles to stockpot. Add chili powder, cumin, oregano, thyme and cayenne and cook and stir for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, broth, the reserved beef, tomato paste and honey; bring to boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 45 minutes. Uncover stockpot and continue simmering 30 minutes or until thickened to desired consistency, stirring occasionally. Stir in beans and cook for 5 to 10 minutes or until beans are heated through. Season with salt and black pepper.
Garnish with cilantro, if desired.
Makes 8 servings.
UW Huskies beef and chorizo chili
1 pound ground beef (95 percent lean preferred)
7-8 ounces bulk chorizo
11/2 cups chopped white onion
2-4 medium serrano chile peppers, chopped (see note)
2 tablespoons ground ancho chili powder or regular chili powder
2 tablespoons masa harina or regular cornmeal
1 tablespoon dried Mexican or regular oregano leaves, crushed
1 teaspoon salt
2 cans (15-16 ounces each) garbanzo beans or pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
Hot cooked rice (optional)
Toppings: sliced radishes, crumbled queso fresco, sour cream, sliced green onion
Creamy avocado dressing (recipe follows), optiona
Heat large nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Add ground beef, chorizo, onion and peppers; cook 8 to 10 minutes, breaking meat into 3/4-inch crumbles and stirring occasionally. Remove contents from skillet with slotted spoon and pour off drippings. Return mixture to skillet.
Add the chili powder, masa harina or cornmeal, oregano and salt; cook and stir 1 minute. Stir in beans and tomatoes and bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes before serving.
Serve over rice with toppings and, if desired, creamy avocado dressing.
Makes 4 to 6 servings.
Note: If desired, to reduce the level of "heat'' from the serrano peppers, some or all of the seeds and membranes can be removed and discarded.
Creamy avocado dressing
1 ripe medium avocado, peeled and cut into chunks
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 clove garlic, peeled
1/2 teaspoon salt
In blender container, combine the avocado, water, lime juice, garlic and salt; cover and process until smooth.
Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day.
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