February 16, 2011

A Chili for the Chilly

February. The dead of winter. Cold and gray. Outside of the Super Bowl and impatiently waiting on spring to arrive, with little else to look forward to, it’s a great time to add some spice to the trials and tribulations of everyday life.

You’re probably thinking, “All right, already, King… Get to the point!”

Chili is the point. In this long overdue rendition of a recipe, the Burger King shares a legendary version of everybody’s favorite winter fill.

1 lb. 96% extra lean ground beef
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded and roughly chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
1 small white onion, thinly sliced
4 medium tomatoes, roughly chopped, seeds and juices discarded
1 can red kidney beans (15.5 oz)
1 can black beans (15.5 oz)1 jar plain marinara sauce (16 oz)
2 cans tomato sauce (15.5 oz each)
about half a white chocolate bar (about 2 oz)
1/4 cup of buffalo sauce (such as Frank's RedHot)
Spices: cinnamon, black pepper, brown sugar, sea salt, cumin, coriander, cayenne pepper

In a large pan over medium-high heat, brown beef, breaking it up as you move it from the container to the pan. As it begins to brown, add 1/2 teaspoon of each: cinnamon, black pepper, and brown sugar. This will take about 10 minutes.

While beef is cooking, prepare vegetables, garlic, and onion as noted above. Add these ingredients to the beef, along with some sea salt to taste, and continue cooking another five minutes, or until the peppers have become tender.

As this mixture cooks, chop the four tomatoes, discarding the seeds and juices, and drain and rinse both cans of beans. Add tomatoes, beans, marinara sauce, and tomato sauce, as well as 1 heaping teaspoon ground cumin, 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander, about a half of one white chocolate candy bar, and 1/4 cup buffalo hot sauce. Stir ingredients well to combine and reduce heat, adding a few of pinches of cayenne pepper to taste.

His Highness suggests letting the chili simmer for about two hours, which brings out the creamy, sweet notes of the brown sugar and white chocolate, along with the kick of the cayenne and buffalo sauce — a unique, yet delicious contrast.

Although the recipe has some quirks, it’s one that has been through many tweaks and variations by this hardcore chili hound. And, most importantly, it’s the best one I’ve had the pleasure of coming across.

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