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As promised in this recent post, I prepared a mean chili for last weekend’s Super Bowl.

Start by rendering bacon in a bit of oil in a large pot. Once slightly crispy, remove the bacon, leaving the bacon fat in the pot, and set aside. Sweat chopped onions and garlic in the fat. (For a spicier version, add chopped jalapeños to the party at this point.)

Once the onions are translucent, add the spices and toast for 1-2 minutes: paprika, chili powder, cayenne pepper, cumin, cinnamon and cocoa powder all made it into my chili. (Here is when you should deglaze with a bottle of beer and allow it to reduce, a step which I forgot.)

Now add ground beef and cook until it just loses its pink color, stirring often to break the meat apart. Pour in canned diced tomatoes, rinsed canned black beans and the reserved bacon and add enough chicken broth to cover.

Over low heat, strirring occasionally, cook the chili until the liquid has mostly evaporated, which, for me, took about two hours. Season with salt to taste.

 

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In the post, Fancy Football Feast: Part Two, I give a guideline for a spicy chipotle hummus. It reads

In a food processor, puree a can of chick peas (rinsed well), tahini (sesame paste), chipotles in adobo (a little goes a long way), lime juice (fresh, thank you), fresh cilantro (why am I still using parenthesis?), garlic, and salt.

And I forgot to mention that you should use a combination of oil (extra-virgin works, but so does a neutral oil like canola) and water to thin it out and achieve a creamy consistency.

Will you ever forgive me?

This past Sunday, I spent most of the day recuperating from the maniac pace of the preceding week. Some of this process involved watching football (yes, I am getting adjusted to the fact that it’s now a part of my life) and enjoying a beer. The problem with this scenario is that I was lacking the proper nourishment that such a day requires.

I had in my refrigerator sweetbreads that I had removed from the freezer the night before. (Don’t know what sweetbreads are? Mwahaha…Check it out.) I ditched my original sweetbread plans without looking back and headed in the opposite direction: sweetbread nuggets. It had been years since I’d dunked a chicken nugget into my childhood invention, kusto–a blend of ketchup, mustard and mayo. I figured sweetbreads’ mild, sweet (get it?) flavor would be a great (and totally unnecessary) swap for chicken.

My sweetbreads were already prepped, sliced and breaded prior to freezing. For instructions on how to prep them before cooking, click here. Once they’re sliced, dip them in flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs. Shallow fry them over the stove in a deep pan on both sides until the coating is browned to your liking. Once they come out of the oil, place them on paper towels and sprinkle with salt. Serve with kusto–it’s a musto. (Oh boy, that was rough.)

You know I ate these in my underwear and a big, oversize t-shirt. And I ate all of ’em.

I’ve never been a fan of chicken wings. The bottled glowing hot sauce that stains the corners of your mouth and seeps into your fingertips, the thick layer of soggy chicken skin, the mere essence of meat—meh. But since football season is underway, I am expected at the very least to keep my eyes open while the Colts play. To do this, I keep busy by cooking and cracking beers. Lots of beers. Donning an oversize Peyton Manning jersey—more moo-moo than flirty cheerleader outfit—I prepared what was to be my antidote to the standard chicken wing.

Combine the zest and juice of a lime, canola oil, red pepper flakes, minced garlic and minced fresh ginger in a large bowl. Add whole chicken wings (tips and all, because, well, I like the way it looks) to the bowl and mix with your hands to coat. Marinate the chicken for 2 hours, turning every 30 minutes to ensure even flavor distribution.

(It almost feels wrong, posting that picture.)

Sear the wings on both sides in a pan over high heat to give them a nice dark brown color. Transfer to the oven; cook for 7 minutes at 450-degrees Fahrenheit. Without removing the wings from the oven, reduce the heat to 400-degrees and cook for an additional 8 minutes. While the chicken is cooking, make the sauce: strain the marinade, bring to a boil, and season with S & P as needed. Pour the sauce over the wings and serve as I did, in a big-ass bowl (more of a bucket, really). Eat them straight from the bucket, and have a roll of paper towels on hand to catch the juices running down your hands. Drink with cheap, crappy beer; the wings are so damn tasty, they’ll make even a PBR taste like a fine microbrew.