CHOCOLATE CHILI (Chocolate Carrot Chli Con Carne= CCCCC)
2 lbs. ground beef ( I mixed 1 pound lean and 1 pound regular)
1 large vidalia onion chopped (use 2 if you love onions like me!)
1 bag shoestring carrots chopped finely
1 tblsp butter/olive oil/or lard
1lg. can chopped tomatoes (I used Cento)
2 cans dark red kidney beans
1 bottle good beer (I used Sam Adams, if you only have light beer put in a bottle and half)
1 tblsp cumin
1/2 tblsp Hershey's powdered cocoa
1/2 tblsp powdered red chili
1/2 tsp cayenne
1 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
Shredded Cheese (used Sargento Mexican shredded) and sour cream for garnish
You can either use large saute pan and then transfer to a crock pot or start off with a soup pot. Either way you need to make sure it simmers on low for 2 hours. I prefer the crock pot method so it can be transported to parties easier. Saute the ground beef, onion, carrot, and fat until the meat is browned. Add the rest of the ingredients except the beans and simmer on low for 2 hours stirring occasionally so it doesn't burn. In a crock pot on low this may take 3 hours. Basically you are looking for your carrots to start to vanish. If you need a thicker chili for chili dogs, add in 1 tblsp masa harina or finely ground cornmeal or you can add 1 tblsp flour mixed evenly with 2 tblsp water to the pot and let it boil in the chili for at least a minute. If you need it thinner add some beef broth. Don't use more beer to thin in, it will taste a bit bitter. The carrots should cook down to where you almost can't see them anymore. That is what adds the bit of sweetness behind the spice. The chocolate serves as an unusual spice that your guests will try to place but usually can't. If you have a few squares of a good dark chocolate instead of the powder use it. Add the beans in about 10 minutes before the end of your cooking. You don't want them to get mushy and lost like the carrots. I have had two Texan friends cringe when I told them I put beans in my chili..... to each their own!
Now if I could just get my hands on some ground emu, elk, or buffalo around here! One of the best chilis I have ever had was an emu chili at a cook-off. I tried to be a vegetarian for two weeks and I failed miserably! I do try to buy organic and free-range whenever I can... that brings me to my tangent for this post...
Current Obsession: An article I read in a Country Living Magazine
How cute is this building plan???
Pick different varieties of chickens so you will have that easter egg look to the colors of the eggs.
They look like happy chickens to me!
If you have ever thought to yourself, I wonder what it would be like to raise my own chickens to have fresh eggs..... read this article. You eat eggs in so many different things and if you ever had the means and space to have your own I think it would be wonderful. To know that they are living in a clean, safe and quiet environment where they are not overcrowded and mistreated. I am just talking about just eggs here, not raising your own chickens for meat. I don't think I would be able to do that quite yet. (Now I have a quote from the movie Contact with Jodie Foster running through my head, "Small moves Ellie, small moves." I was told again a few weeks ago that she is my celebrity doppelganger.) We just bought a cute 1960s rancher that sits on an acre and are seriously considering in the future what having a chicken coop like this one would be like. Next post will be about my Sisters on the Fly experience from this past weekend. Met many interesting new people, one of whom was telling her stories about her pet chickens. I didn't know they could be affectionate and love to sit on your lap while you read the paper. Anyone want to talk me out of this? I would love your comments and stories about trying to raise chickens. My husband said they tried when he was little but didnt' have them enclosed and all they did was poop all over their really nice porch and lay eggs in bushes where they couldn't find them until they got super stinky! Yikes!