Superbowl? What does it bring to mind for you? I have this image of guys sitting around in their recliners, with their bellies hanging over their belt buckles, shoveling chips into their mouths, breaking open icy cold beers, screaming for their teams and eating man-sized bowls of steamy hot chili. Doesn’t get much more American than that, does it? Superbowl and chili just go hand in hand.
I don’t make chili at our house. Not that, I don’t have a few good recipes; I do! I let Lenny handle all the chili making at home. He doesn’t cook that often, but when he does it usually means we are in for a night of chili and icy cold beverages. Big bowls of piping hot chili, made with tons of meat, beans and spices. Can’t you almost taste it?
I may be partial, but I have to say he really does make a mean bowl of chili. Now he is not following a recipe per se. He does use a pre-packaged seasoning mix, but he adds his own personal taste to the recipe. For instance, he adds a generous amount of minced onion and a little garlic. The onions need to be minced very fine, it is not the same with chunks of onion throughout the chili.
Lenny has a secret ingredient, which is about to become no longer a secret. He adds Johnsonville Italian Sausage, as well as hamburger to his recipe. He has tried other sausages, but the chili never comes out the same or as delicious as the first time he made it. He says that the sausage adds an extra kick to the seasonings and that it is the perfect mix for his “nuevo” chili recipe. Not only is this recipe hearty and meaty with all the savory sausage and hamburger, but, he also uses adds three different beans, kidney, black and chickpeas, gives the chili added depth and texture. Now, he likes his chili spicy, so he adds hot sauce at the very end. I like spicy but can only handle the extra heat, if there is an icy cold beer near by. If you like your chili mild, leave out the extra spicy sauce.
Of course, I have to add my touch to every recipe, so we always add toppings to our bowls of chili. Our favorites are cheddar cheese, slivers of green onion and creamy sour cream. Once in awhile (if I remember) we will add diced avocado and cilantro to the mix. All are really great with this meaty chili dish. Add some warm tortillas or cornbread, and you are set to kick back and enjoy the game.
Recipe: Lenny’s Homemade Chili