Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Super Bowl picks and the best chili ever

I like chili anytime, but the only time I insist upon it is during the Super Bowl. It just fits the occasion. Have a bowl, have a beer, watch the game, watch the ads, go back for more at halftime. Little cornbread and Breakwind Farm honey. Umm. Bring it on. There's about a thousand different chili recipes, most of them good, but this one is the best I've found, and not too difficult to make. It's always better to cook it the day before then reheat it the day of the game. Gives the flavors a chance to meld.
But first, my predictions. It's going to be one of the more entertaining Super Bowls, I think, featuring the top teams in each conference and the two best passers in football in Peyton Manning and Drew Brees.

The Saints' Reggie Bush is going to have a big game, I believe, but the Saints' defense is going to be horribly shredded. The Colts are favored by five points, and if it plays out the way I expect it, I think Indy will win by a lot more than that. So, if you're inclined to bet, give the points, take the Colts, and bet the over, which is 56 1/2 points as of Tuesday. I think this game could easily be 42-28 or so. Manning's got to prove he can win the big one--he has only one Super Bowl win in his otherwise stellar career--and I think he'll want to run it up. It will be a fun game, but not necessarily a close one.
And if you want a reason to cheer for Peyton, the man who has everything, over Drew, the man who brought pride back to the city of New Orleans, check out this video, one of the funniest things I've ever run across from a pro athlete.

Now for the chili recipe. This serves 6-8, so adjust accordingly for a mob.

3 tbls. olive oil.
1 large onion, chopped.
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 tbls. chopped fresh cilantro
2 lbs. beef bottom round or chuck, cut into 1/2" cubes. (Or lean burger).
2 tsp. chili powder
2 tsp. paprika
2 tsp. ground cumin;
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. unsweetened cocoa
2 15 ounce cans of pinto or kidney beans
1 28 ounce can diced tomatoes
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 3/4 cups beef stock
1 tbl. sugar

Heat oil in a dutch oven. Saute onion, garlic and cilantro, 5 mins over medium heat. Add meat and brown. Add spices and cook 5 mins., stirring occasionally. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, broth, and beans (drained). Bring to a boil. Simmer uncovered until desired thickness, then put the lid on and continue cooking until meat is tender, about 1 1/2 hrs. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve with garnishes of grated cheese, sliced scallions, fresh cilantro and sour cream on the side.

The cinnamon softens the cumin and chili spices, and the unsweetened cocoa (You can also use a chunk of dark chocolate) cuts the acidity of the tomatoes. You can also add a paste made from 1 tsp. flour, 1 tsp. cornmeal, and 1 tsp. warm water to further meld the flavors, though storing the chili in the fridge overnight accomplishes the same thing. Serve with fresh cornbread and your favorite beer, the darker the better!
This is making me hungry.


  1. Eddie,

    I agree with you 100% on the chili. If you want to get real crazy you can add hot dogs to the mix and make some chili cheese dogs (my absolute favorite). I like adding some corn to my chili and some red peppers. In regards to your football prediction, as dissapointed as it makes me, I think you are not that far off. The Colts have been red hot this post season and based upon their game against the Vikings the recievers are ready for another big game with the help of Peyton's arm. I think the key to this game is the play of Dwight Freeney, who's ankle might be less than 100% by gametime Sunday. If he cannot play at full potential, the Saint's running game will exploit the Colt defense and make the game very interesting. It is difficult for me to put my love of the Patriots aside and cheer for the Colts and Manning because of the rivalry that exists. However, Manning's tv appeal has grown and I'm sad to say I enjoy watching him on the tube. If you had a chance to see the SNL skit where he's throwing footballs to kids and yelling at them to give it 110% you will know what I'm talking about. For now I will go for the underdog, and hope that the game is closer than you predict. My guess...38-30 Saints.


  2. That's the video link I tried to put up! didn't know it was from SNL.