Thursday, January 7, 2010

Snow Day Chili!

That's right folks...we're snowed in here in St. Louis.  Or at least, the roads are a mess thanks to what the news is calling a "winter weather trifecta: snow, extreme cold, and gusty winds."  I have shared a chili recipe before (Mmmm...chili) but when you have a snow day and lots of extra time on your hands, it's time to break out the big guns and go for one that's a little more time consuming to make...but worth every minute.

Here it is folks, straight from the Chattanooga Times Free Press, I give you Whiteface Mountain Chili.

Whiteface Mountain Chili

2 Tbls. veg. oil
2 1/2 lbs. sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
1 large Spanish onion, quartered
4 medium celery stalks
2 medium carrots
2 green bell peppers, seeded and quartered
1 (28 oz.) can diced tomatoes
1 cup medium salsa
1 (15 oz.) can tomato puree
1 (10 oz.) can chili sauce
1 Tbls. chili powder, more or less to taste
1/2 Tbls. cumin
1 tsp. white pepper
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
2 Tbls. chopped jalapeno peppers
2 (15 oz.) cans kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15 oz.) can pinto beans, rinsed and drained

In a large stockpot, heat the oil over medium heat until nearly smoking.  Add the sausage and saute until it resembles a coarse crumble, about 10 minutes.  Meanwhile, place the onions, celery, carrots, and green peppers in a food processor and pulse until very finely diced.  Add the vegetables to the sausage and saute another 6-8 minutes, or until soft. 

Add diced tomatoes, salsa, tomato puree, and the chili sauce.  Stir and bring it to a simmer, then cook 10 minutes.  Add the chili powder, cumin, white pepper, oregano, basil, red pepper flakes, garlic, bay leaf, and jalapenos.  Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 25 minutes.  Add the beans and simmer another 15 minutes.  Remove bay leaf before serving.  Makes 8-10 servings.

Unfortunately, I wasn't counting on being off today or the roads being bad enough to keep me from being able to go to the store so we won't be able to have Whiteface Mountain Chili tonight but I'll still whip up a batch of mine to keep us warm.

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