Sunday, February 07, 2010

"Hot Blond" Chili wins Superbowl Cook-Off

Today I tested my white chili idea from several years ago. It was at the Super Bowl chili competition held by Maggies, an Atlanta sports bar. With an extra habanero pepper and the name macho-ed up for the occasion, the chili took first place.

The heat in this dish comes from habaneros, which are among the hottest peppers in the world. Including their seeds and membranes they reach up to 200,000 Scoville units. Jalapeños, by comparison, range up to 8,000 units and Tabasco up to 50,000.

The recipe serves six.

“Hot Blond” Chili

1 medium-large onion, finely chopped
2 thick or 3 thin slices hickory-smoked bacon, finely chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 large cloves garlic, minced
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
3/4 teaspoon ground allspice
3/4 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 to 2 small whole orange habañero chile peppers
1 1/2 pounds ground turkey
Water as needed
1-1/4 teaspoons salt
2 (14-ounce) cans great northern beans, drained and rinsed
3/4 cup sour cream
Grated “queso blanco” (Mexican-style crumbling cheese)
Coarsely chopped cilantro, including part of stems

Fry onion, bacon, and olive oil together until onion softens and begins to turn golden.

Reduce heat. Add garlic, herbs and spices plus habañero pepper (handled by the stem). Stir and fry one minute.

Add meat. Raise the heat. Break up meat as it fries. When raw color is gone, stir in 1/2 cup water. Simmer covered, stirring occasionally, until meat is tender. Add a little water as needed, so there is always a bit of liquid with the meat.

Add salt and beans. Heat together for five minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste and add salt if needed.

Stir in sour cream and simmer several minutes. Taste for salt at end of cooking.

The chili is best made ahead and reheated to serve.

Sprinkle lightly with cheese and cilantro.

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