It’s taken me years to accept a harsh reality: for popular consumption, Ellen’s chili-party chili is better than mine. Now I still swear by my own Tex-Mex Tequila-mole-beanless chili, but the truth is, my version is simply not for everyone–it’s an acquired taste, and one has to be a real fan of the Tex-Mex style of chili, but for the larger audience, hers is way better than any of the chili recipes I have in my holster. And so, I have spent the day preparing a big batch of Ellen’s chili-party chili, in advance of our annual open house soup and chili party, which, you may already know, is scheduled for the Sunday between Christmas and New Years day. This year will be our fourth (almost) annual party, and if you’re reading this and you’re in the vicinity that weekend, you’re invited. If you haven’t found the way here yet, be advised that it will go on with or without you, although we’d love to see you. We make three soups and a chili. This years selections will include our usual and most favoritest soup, Ellen and Babs’ Hearty Chicken Chowder (https://jeffskitchen.net/2012/10/07/ellen-and-babs-hearty-chicken-chowder/); one vegetarian or vegan selection; and one kid-friendly soup; and one chili–we alternate years between a red chili and a white chili; this year’s selection being Ellen’s Chili-party Chili. The vegetarian selection and the kid-friendly selections have yet to be determined, but will be soon.
We are often asked for the recipes for our productions; all are homemade and from personal favorite recipes. They are always posted here. For the party we will produce something in the vicinity of 50 gallons of soup and chili, and you may just come and enjoy. A kiss for the chefs is all that is necessary for you to bring, but bring your family and your appetite. This is a fun event, sitting a few days after Christmas, when most folks are either out of town or are tired of leftovers or looking for something else to do rather than cook again. This is your weekend off. Let us cook for you Sunday night.
Forthwith, allow me to present to you the recipe for Ellen’s fabulous presentation, of which I just completed 2 gallons, and there will be more to come.
Ellen’s Chili-Party Chili
4 tablespoons olive oil
4 cups chopped onions
1 whole head of garlic, peeled and cloves chopped.
1 32-oz jar medium (or mild) red salsa
3 pounds ground beef, turkey, or a combination of both
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 4-ounce can chopped green chilis
4 tablespoons ground cumin
4 tablespoons dried or 1 tablespoon freshly chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons ground coriander
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon chipotle chili powder (optional)
3 12-oz cans Yuengling lager beer (dark beer, ale, IPAs or other beers optional, at your pleasure)
4 28-oz cans or 1 #10 can whole tomatoes, crushed (Cento San Marzanos are my favorite)
7 cans dark red kidney beans
Heat the olive oil in a very large pot over medium-high heat–this recipe is a big one; makes 2 gallons. Add the onions and garlic and saute until the onions are soft, about 10 minutes. Add the ground meat and continue to saute until completely browned. Add the salsa, stir well, turn the heat down to medium-low, and simmer 10 minutes. Add the salt, pepper, chilis, beer, and spices, stir well and simmer for 30 minutes. Add the tomatoes and beans, stir well, and simmer for another hour, stirring occasionally.
Serve with sour cream, chopped scallions, shredded jack or cheddar cheese, and red Tabasco Sauce.
We will have all these and more