Friday, January 6, 2012

Sweet Heat Louisiana Chili

We had this recipe for dinner while Kel was in Fallon, so I thought I'd post it. This is my absolute favorite chili. It's got an interesting kick to it with the Balsamic Vinegar and the cajun seasoning. It calls for sun dried tomatoes but they're expensive and a lot of work so I always leave them out. It really makes a difference if you have the time to simmer this for 2 hours like it says. It's good without it, but much thicker and more like chili instead of soup if you do. Recipe source is here, of course.

Sweet Heat Louisiana Chili
1 medium onion, diced
1 large green bell pepper, diced
3 stalks of celery, diced
3 cloves of garlic, smashed or diced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound of ground meat (I used ground beef)
1 quart of meat stock (I used beef but Brad and Cass used 1/2 chicken stock and 1/2 beef stock)
2 large cans (28 oz. each) of whole stewed tomatoes
(I use 2 quarts of my home bottled tomatoes instead)
1 can of kidney red beans
1 can of black beans
2 cups sun-dried tomatoes (optional)
3 bay leaves
1 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp cayenne pepper (1/2 or less is good and mild for kids)
3 tsp creole or cajun seasoning blend
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar (I only put a little more than 1 tbl, but Rob likes the full amount)
salt to taste
Over medium heat, saute first four ingredients (onion, bell pepper, celery and garlic) in 1 tbsp
of oil. Once the onions begin to sweat, add your choice of ground meat. Brown to perfection.
(Drain fat)
When the meat is cooked, add the stock, bay leaves, dry mustard and cayenne. Simmer over
medium heat, stirring occasionally, until reduced by half. Rehydrate the sun-dried tomatoes and
dice. Puree the stewed tomatoes in a food processor or blender. Add to pot. Rinse the canned
beans in plenty of water, add to the pot along with brown sugar, balsamic vinegar, salt and the
cajun or creole seasoning. Mix well and simmer over low heat for two hours, stirring
occasionally. (fish out the bay leaves) Take off heat and allow to stand covered for five minutes. Serve and enjoy.

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