Football season is also chili season

  • By Judyrae Kruse Herald Columnist
  • Tuesday, October 9, 2012 6:57pm
  • Life

Come to find out about it, October is National Chili Month. And everybody knows that chili and fall football go together like cheese and crackers, chocolate and peanut butter, and peanut butter and jelly, cheese, pickles and gingersnaps, and so on and so forth. They’re all a marriage made in heaven.

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

2pounds ground beef (95 percent lean preferred)

1tablespoon vegetable oil

11/2cups chopped onion

2tablespoons minced garlic

2medium yellow bell peppers, chopped

1large jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped

1/4cup chili powder

1tablespoon ground cumin

1teaspoon dried oregano leaves, crushed

1teaspoon dried thyme leaves, crushed

1/8teaspoon cayenne pepper

1can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes, undrained

1can (14.5 ounces) chili-seasoned or zesty-style diced tomatoes, undrained

1can (14 ounces) ready-to-serve beef broth

12 ounces (usually 1 bottle or 1 can) dark beer

1/3cup tomato paste

1tablespoon honey

2cans (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

1pound ground beef (95 percent lean preferred)

7-8ounces bulk chorizo

11/2cups chopped white onion

2-4medium serrano chile peppers, chopped (see note)

2tablespoons ground ancho chili powder or regular chili powder

2tablespoons masa harina or regular cornmeal

1tablespoon dried Mexican or regular oregano leaves, crushed

1teaspoon salt

2cans (15-16 ounces each) garbanzo beans or pinto beans, rinsed and drained

1can (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

1ripe medium avocado, peeled and cut into chunks

3/4cup water

1/4cup fresh lime juice

1clove garlic, peeled

1/2teaspoon 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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