Lean Mean Chili and Lots of New Cooking Gear

Friday, 09 Jan 2009


WARNING:  This is not New Mexico chili (or “chile” as the case may be).  However, it turned out to be darn good stuff, especially for something with “lean” in the title.  I had some suspicions about the recipe when I saw bell peppers, but it turned out to be a very flavorful, tasty recipe despite the lack of green chile.  And it fits into the New Year’s Resolutions category.  Here’s the recipe from Food and Wine:  Lean, Mean Chili.


Brief aside:  note the beautiful new Le Creuset dutch oven at work in my kitchen.  It’s a new addition to the cooking arsenal at Chez Abrams.  I inaugurated it’s use tonight with this chili and love it already.

Ok, back to the cooking.  As usual, I made a few changes to the recipe, although I generally love Food and Wine’s ideas.

1.  The original recipe served 12, so I roughly cut down to 1/4 that quantity.

2.  The recipe called for an absurd quantity of chili powder, 1/2 cup.  That would be inedible in my book.  I cut that WAY back and used about 2 teaspoons at most in my reduced quantity.  The chili did not lack flavor.

3.  I added a teaspoon of diced jalapeno, a couple dashes of Worchestershire sauce, and a little bit of this new Bueno Chile Shakers New Mexico seasoning my dad mailed to me today.


4.  Finally, I added a dollop of low-fat sour cream to the scallions, red peppers and lime wedge in the recipe for garnish.  I served the chili on white rice because that’s what they appear to do in the Food and Wine photo (and my husband loves it).

5.   I cooked the chili for one hour at a very low temperature instead of the two hours called for in the recipe.


On the side I served warm flour tortillas.  On to my next cool new piece of cooking paraphenalia, the tortilla warmer.  I don’t know how I lived without this until my sister gave it to me for Christmas.  A true staple in New Mexico, and much better than the piece of foil I’d been using.


Finally, we drank a 2004 Circle Springs Limestone Coast Shiraz from South Australia with the chili.  Great match — it stood up to the beef and the fruitiness offset the spiciness of the chili very nicely.

Well, that’s it!  Nothing short of a miracle, good chili that doesn’t contain green chile.  I would definitely make this again.

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