Super Bowl XLIV
Throughout most of this country, Super Bowl Sunday is considered to be an American holiday. At our house, we’re not football fans. Baseball, yes. Basketball, yes. But not football. However, the one concession we make to Super Bowl Sunday is that we always have a chili dinner.
I have a fun cookbook, Chili Nation by Jane and Michael Stern of Roadfood fame, which comes in handy this time of year. The book has 51 chili recipes, one for each state plus one for my birthplace, Washington, D.C. Our Super Bowl tradition is this. We find out which teams are playing and where the game is being played. Then, we look at the recipes for the three represented states and pick the one that looks most appealing.
This year we picked from Indiana (Sunday Supper Chicken Chili), Louisiana (Mardi Gras Vegetable Chili), and Florida (Havana Moon Chili). Havana Moon Chili won. We’d made it before and rated it an A. Going with the Miami theme had the added bonus of Key Lime Pie for dessert!
This chili was inspired by picadillo which includes raisins. Howard doesn’t do fruit in savory food, so I make it with capers instead. We had plenty of ground beef and pork from Chestnut Farms in the freezer. I made a double batch, but used half the meat called for. I serve this chili as a multi-layer dish, starting each bowl with a bed of rice, then a layer of black beans, topped with the chili.
For the beans, you could use canned or cook some yourself. They could be plain, or you can doctor them up. Me being me, I made them from scratch. I soaked the beans overnight, cooked them with onions, garlic, and spices, and then stirred in a sofrito of onions, peppers and garlic. There was lots of soupy broth, but I served them drained.
Clearly, I’ll use any excuse for a food holiday. February is full of them, so stay tuned. After Super Bowl Sunday we have:
- Chinese New Year (Feb 14) – Noodles
- Valentine’s Day (Feb 14) – Dinner out, plus heart-shaped cookies and maybe dog biscuits
- Mardi Gras (Feb 16) – Jambalaya
- Washington’s Birthday (Feb 22) – Cherry pie
Havana Moon Chili
Adapted from Chili Nation by Jane and Michael Stern
Serves 6 to 8
1 Tbsp canola oil
½ medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
½ lb ground beef
½ lb ground pork
2 cups beef broth
1 28 oz can whole tomatoes, diced, with juice
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup capers
2 Tbsp ancho chile powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cumin
½ tsp cloves
½ tsp allspice
½ Tbsp kosher salt
½ cup pimento-stuffed olives, halved crosswise
¼ cup slivered almonds
Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté until softened. Add beef and pork, cook until browned. Drain excess fat.
Add beef broth, tomatoes and juice, vinegar, capers, spices, and salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 30-45 minutes. Add olives and almonds and heat for 5 more minutes.
Serve over rice and black beans.