Throat-soothing chili

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By Joe Drozda and Bob Bley

Football season, in our part of the nation, begins around Labor Day with temperatures in the high 80s to 90s and ends usually around Thanksgiving when we are expecting cold weather. This is when we eat hot foods and drink hot beverages. This is when we try to find a way to sit in the sun and get a shelter erected so we can be out of the dreaded wind that blows a chill almost right through our bones.

Made with ground beef and your home-made fresh chili seasoning, this chili has the flavor we require for pre-game and post-game meals.

Ingredients:

2 lbs. ground 80/20 angus beef

1 large onion medium chop

1 large green pepper medium chop

5 oz. of our chili seasoning (see below)

3 28 oz. cans whole peeled tomatoes (un-drained)

4 15 oz. cans dark red kidney beans (un-drained)

To Prepare:

Sweat the onions and green peppers until slightly softened. Then brown the beef in a large pot. Add the steamed onion, green and everything else. Bring the mixture to a low boil and then reduce the heat to allow the chili to simmer for one hour. Stir the mixture occasionally. Serve with oyster crackers or French bread.

You’ll need to have enough chili to serve everyone at least two bowls of this cold-weather favorite! The whole tomatoes become very hot and soothing to one’s throat.

Chili seasoning Ingredients:

3 Poblano chiles, stemmed, seeded and sliced

3 Cascabel chiles, stemmed, seeded and sliced

3 dried Arbol chiles, stemmed, seeded and sliced

2 tablespoons whole cumin seeds

2 tablespoons garlic powder

1 tablespoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

Chili seasoning Preparation:

Place all the chiles and the cumin into a medium nonstick sauté pan or cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Cook, shaking the pan constantly, until you begin to smell the cumin toasting, approximately five minutes. Set the pan aside and let it cool. Once cool, place the chiles and cumin into a blender. Then add the garlic powder, oregano, and paprika. Process until a fine powder is formed. Allow the powder to settle for at least two minutes before removing the lid of the blender. This is because the powder must settle. It’s quite strong to one’s nose and eyes if inhaled after blending/powdering. Store in an airtight container for up to five months.

Joe Drozda, the father of American tailgating, is the author of The Tailgater’s Handbook and can be reached at drozda@tailgatershadbook.com. His columns have been read nationally since 1997.

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