soup seems fitting November 22, 2009

ChiliFinal1It's been a very hectic week and an even more insane weekend here. Photo shoot, preparing for the holidays, a cozy dinner at Cakes and Ale (our favorite spot in Atlanta), the PRIMAL butcher event (which I'll be posting about this week), and working on my post from the Gingerbread House Competition.

With so much to do and so much going on, I woke up this morning to another episode of Atlanta's Dreariest Weather (tm). I am beginning to feel like I live in Seattle without all the good coffee and no Delancey. While part of me loves these grey days for lounging around the house doing nothing, it makes for a lack of motivation – and fear of Atlanta drivers around me – when it comes to getting out and about.

It also makes me want chili.

I made this version about two weeks ago for our Top Chef Wednesday dinner. I don't want to start some heated dialog about what counts as chili and what doesn't. The last time I posted a chili recipe – which was vegetarian and had black beans in it – I thought I was going to have to change my email address or join the witness protection program. Seriously, folks – chili is a state of mind and not a set of guidelines, ok?

This recipe is based on Laurent Tourondel's version he makes at BLT Burger. I tweaked my batch out a good bit. I omitted the corn because, well, I forgot. I think it would add color but not much more to this – we didn't miss it. The pork sausage – replacing the usual ground beef – added so much great chunky texture and awesome flavor. I added extra chili powder to mine and a healthy pinch of fennel seeds to really amp up the pork sausage. We served ours with some jalapeno-corn muffins and a dollop of sour cream and cheese – I didn't feel like all the extra garnish was necessary. This would also make killer filling for some gourmet sloppy joes the next day.

BLT Chili – recipe based on this recipe by Laurent Tourondel – makes 8 generous servings

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 pounds pork sausage, casings removed
  • 2 medium onions, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons sweet paprika
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • Two 28-ounce cans diced tomatoes
  • Two 16-ounce cans kidney beans, drained
  • 1 cup corn kernels
  • 4 cups water
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, chopped onion, pickled jalapeƱos and hot sauce, for serving (optional)

– In an enameled cast-iron casserole, heat the oil. Add the sausage and
cook over high heat, breaking it up, until browned, about 15 minutes.
Add the onions, bell pepper and garlic; cook over moderately high heat,
stirring, until the onion is translucent, 8 minutes.

– Add the tomato
paste and cook for 3 minutes. Add the chili powder, paprika, cumin and
oregano and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, beans, corn and water
and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until
thickened, about 1 hour. Season with salt and pepper. Serve the chili
with cheddar, sour cream, onion, jalapeƱos and hot sauce.


Caitlin Nov 22, 2009 10:11 am

Oh wow, I just read the comments on the previous chili post – some people get a bit too worked up, don’t they?! They might string me up, because my favorite chili (from the Silver Palate cookbook) includes olives, which add a wonderfully briney flavor to the dish. This looks pretty fantastic, and I hope you get some sun (and downtime) soon!

Syrahna Lewinski Nov 22, 2009 12:11 pm

What type of pork sausage did you use? Sweet italian?

tamih Nov 22, 2009 01:11 pm

I used mixture of sweet italian that i took out of the casing and some regular ground pork. in hindsight, i would stick to the regular recipe and use all sweet (or hot depending on how much oomph you want) sausage…

tamih Nov 22, 2009 01:11 pm

Hay you! :) My friends swear by the Silver Palate cookbook. The notion of olives in chili sounds really intriguing to me. I’m gonna search out that recipe :)
– t*

treehousechef Nov 22, 2009 03:11 pm

I love soup and this recipe looks delicious!

The Teacher Cooks Nov 22, 2009 05:11 pm

Oh my!! Just made chili myself and will be posting next week. On the same wavelength here. Photo is great!!

tamih Nov 23, 2009 06:11 am

Definetely a meat-centric version of chili but the flavor is outstanding!

tamih Nov 23, 2009 06:11 am

Can’t wait to see YOUR version. Chili is like snowflakes, I think – each one is a little different. :)