Well, it was the biggest football game of the year—”Super Bowl 57″—and our hometown Eagles team were part of the action, so we wanted to make it an authentic culinary experience, even if it was just the two of us. When we think football, our minds conjure up certain food items that are iconic stalwarts of the game celebration. To us that might mean spicy wings, soft pretzels with mustard, loaded nachos, buffalo chicken dip, bacon-wrapped jalapeño poppers, and of course chili with all the fixins’.
Over the decades we’ve made many a chili recipe with as many variations as there are football fans. This one by Pati Jinich is worth the effort. She is a Mexican chef, TV personality, cookbook author, educator, and food writer. Pati is best known for her James Beard Award-winning and Emmy-nominated public television series Pati’s Mexican Table. So she has some hefty credit backing up her authority on the chili issue.
Chili is a hearty and flavorful crowd-pleaser that’s perfect all winter long, not just on football Sundays. As is typical, we did make a few tweaks. Number one, we used an entire large jalapeño, not just a mere tablespoon’s worth. Secondly, the stew beef was not tender after one hour (no surprise there), so we simmered, uncovered, for another hour before adding the beans. It then takes another 45 minutes to an hour for the beans, covered on low with a gentle simmer, stirring every once in a while.
Alas, our team lost the Super Bowl, but the chili was a clear winner!
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper, or more to taste
1 large white onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 Tbsp. chopped jalapeño, seeding optional
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. chili powder, such as ancho or chipotle chili powder
1 Tbsp. chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, or more to taste
1/2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 Tbsp. tomato paste
1 28-oz. can crushed tomatoes
1 Tbsp. dark brown sugar
1 Tbsp. distilled white vinegar
4 cups beef stock
2 15-oz. cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed
Chopped fresh cilantro
Shredded cheddar cheese
Green onions, sliced thin
In a Dutch oven or heavy bottom casserole, heat 3 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat. Add the beef, and begin to brown on all sides. After 2 to 3 minutes, add the ground meat, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and let it brown along with the cubed meat for another 5 to 6 minutes. The juices of the ground meat should have come out and then dry out. Stir as the meat browns. Remove meat from pot, set aside.
Make room in the center of the pan, add the extra tablespoon of oil and add the onions and peppers, cook for 5 more minutes or until they begin to soften.
In the casserole again, add the garlic, red pepper flakes, cayenne, paprika, chili powder, chipotle sauce, cumin, oregano, stir well.
Add the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar and vinegar, mix well and cook for 3 to 4 minutes stirring a couple times. The tomato paste should have dissolved and the sauce thickened a bit.
Pour in the beef stock and once it comes to a strong simmer, reduce heat to medium. Add the browned meat back into the pot, cover and cook for another hour.
Next, add the beans and stir. Lower the heat to medium-low, it should have a low steady simmer, and cook uncovered for 45 minutes to an hour, stirring every once in awhile.
Serve the chili in bowls and let your guests garnish with sour cream, cilantro, shredded cheddar cheese, tortilla chips and green onions.
Quite possibly the best baked beans we’ve ever eaten! Invited to a Cinco de Mayo party, we were assigned a couple of side dishes to make, one of them being “Cowboy Beans”. The Hubs found this Mexican Pinto Beans With Bacon and Chiles by J. Kenji Lopez-Alts for Serious Eats and knew these were the ticket.
The ideal potluck or cookout dish is one that is easy to make in bulk, inexpensive, and doesn’t degrade with extended heating or reheating. We found the frijoles charros—Mexican cowboy beans cooked with onions, garlic, tomatoes, salted pork, and chiles—as the superb potluck dish. It meets the criteria and they’re extremely delicious. Dried beans are lightweight; while onions, garlic, chiles, and fresh or tinned tomatoes last a long time at room temperature.
We made two exceptions to the ingredients. The first was substituting cranberry beans in place of the pinto beans, which we think have more flavor. Secondly, the jalapeños were sautéed and kept as a garnish because we knew one guest was allergic to any type of chile. WOW, the beans got rave reviews!
*Epazote is a Mexican herb that can be found in Mexican specialty shops. If fresh epazote is unavailable, use a large pinch of dried in its place, or omit.
1 medium white or yellow onion, diced (about 8 oz.)
2 serrano chiles or 1 jalapeño, minced (remove seeds and ribs if you prefer less heat)
3 medium cloves garlic, minced (about 1 Tbsp.)
2 14-oz. cans diced fire-roasted tomatoes
Large handful chopped fresh cilantro leaves and fine stems
Place beans in a large bowl and fill with enough cold water to cover by at least four inches. Add 2 tablespoons (18g) kosher salt and stir to dissolve. Let soak 8 to 12 hours. Drain and rinse.
In a large Dutch oven, add beans, stock, bay leaves, 2 teaspoons kosher salt, and epazote (if using). Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce to a bare simmer, cover, and cook until beans are just tender, about 45 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat bacon in a 12-inch stainless steel or cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until fat is rendered and bacon is just starting to brown around the edges, about 5 minutes. Add onion and chiles and cook, stirring, until softened and just starting to brown, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add tomatoes and cook, stirring and scraping up browned bits from the bottom of the pan, until the liquid is thick and the mixture begins to sizzle, about 3 minutes.
Remove lid from Dutch oven, add bacon-tomato mixture, and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until beans are completely creamy and liquid has thickened into a rich, creamy broth, about 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt. Discard bay leaves, stir in cilantro, and serve. Beans can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
This cold-weather salad from chef Carla Hall hits all the notes: sweet, savory, spicy, and salty—with a bit of crunch from the squash seeds. Here, Hall uses her Country Ham Potlikker as an umami-rich base for a spicy vinaigrette that gets its silky texture from blended cannellini beans.
But the thing is, most people are not going to have this potlikker broth on hand. We had some leftover from our Smothered Pork Chops dinner in which you had to pre-make the Country Ham Potlikker. Our suggestion is to use a mix of oil and vinegar instead, you won’t have that smoky ham flavor, but you will be keeping the meal vegetarian.
*We decided to roast our fennel slices since I didn’t shave them thin enough. Basically, place the fennel on a rimmed baking sheet, drizzle olive oil all over, sprinkle with salt and pepper, rub it all together with your hands, then roast for about 30-35 minutes in a 400° oven. This can be done ahead of time, simply cover the roasted fennel with foil until ready to mix in with the other ingredients.
Bean and Vegetable Salad with Potlikker Vinaigrette
2 tsp. Diamond Crystal, or 1 1/4 tsp. Morton kosher salt, plus more
Freshly ground black pepper
2 medium delicata squash, halved, seeds removed and reserved, sliced crosswise 1/2″ thick
3 extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 large sweet-tart apple, (such as Honeycrisp), cored, quartered, sliced 1/4″ thick
1 large fennel bulb, quartered, shaved in very thin slices (*See note above for roasting option)
1 15-oz. can kidney beans, rinsed
1/4 cup chopped parsley
Blend vinegar, potlikker (or substitute), mustard, and ¼ cup cannellini beans in a blender until smooth. With the motor running, stream in vegetable oil; blend until emulsified. Season vinaigrette with salt and pepper.
Place racks in upper and lower thirds of oven; preheat to 400°. Divide sliced squash between 2 rimmed baking sheets; drizzle 2 Tbsp. olive oil over. Sprinkle with 2 tsp. Diamond Crystal or 1¼ tsp. Morton kosher salt; season with pepper. Roast 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, rinse squash seeds and pat dry. Toss seeds with cayenne and remaining 1 Tbsp. olive oil in a small bowl; season with salt.
Sprinkle seeds over squash. Continue to roast until squash is golden brown and tender, 13–15 minutes more.
Combine squash and seeds, apple, fennel, kidney beans, and remaining cannellini beans in a large bowl. Toss with ½ cup vinaigrette. Taste and add more vinaigrette if needed. Add parsley, season with salt, and toss again.
Transfer salad to a platter; serve any remaining vinaigrette alongside.