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Saturday, April 17, 2010

So, I Hear You Are Hot And Easy . . . .

I'm re-recipe-ing on Sunday Favorites!

Yesterday it was chilly and gray. My sister and her husband came for dinner, and I needed a simple meal, one that would keep our guests comfortable in our 60-degree house. Howard and I needed to keep them warm, with enough spice and heat that they wouldn't notice we turned off the boiler. . . .

Hey, who knew Spring would be so chilly?


I made Chili, hot and easy, a great big pot's worth -- enough to feed 20 people.
Unless the people you are feeding are related to either me, or Howard.
Then, maybe ... ten?

It's a recipe from the first Silver Palate Cookbook, 'way back around 1980.
I've been making it forever, and posted the recipe more than a year ago in a l-o-n-g post about all sorts of things: Foodie trainwreck, guest room, butler's pantry . . . if you are in the mood to read. A lot. Go here.

Otherwise, I'm just going to tell you how to make this really really good chili.
The recipe is a repeat; the pics are new.

You'll need some canned goods.

Also, a bunch of spices, sweet Italian sausage, garlic, chopped chuck, onions,
a touch of red wine, olive oil . . . well, you get the idea.

Let those onions get all sweaty and shiny in the olive oil.
No pain, no gain, right?

"Oy, I'm schvitzing!"

Brown the sausage (sans casing) and the chuck with the onions.
Now don't they play nice together?
And doesn't meat just look ghastly in photos?

Mix in the tomato paste, and cook it -- you usually want to cook tomato paste first, before mixing in a lot of other ingredients; it gives the paste a deeper, mellower flavor that way. Brings out the best. Remember all the herbs and spices.

Now those lovely ripe, plump plum tomatoes.
Snuggle them into the mix, nice and cozy.

Kidney beans! These are organic.
That makes absolutely no difference to the chili.
Howard did the shopping, so I suspect they were on sale.

And now ... with all the spices and herbs in the mix, the lemon juice, the dill . . . comes the wine.
Splash it in!

Remember, don't cook with a wine you wouldn't drink.
That leaves a pretty big field, for us.

The chili is done, and we are ready for dinner.

A Reality Check Tablescape.
This is what a family gathering looks like: the pot on the table, and not one fancy thing in sight.
Well, maybe my sister Peggy. She's pretty fancy. :-)

Here's the recipe if you want it.
There are wonderful, layered, complex flavors in this chili --
the dill and the lemon are such unexpected additions.

Silver Palate Chili For a Crowd

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound yellow onions, coarsely chopped
1 pound sweet Italian sausage, removed from casings
4 pounds beef chuck, ground
1 can (12 ounces) tomato paste
1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
1/3 cup ground cumin
1/2 cup chili powder
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons dried basil
2 tablespoons dried oregano
1 1/2 tablespoons salt,
or to taste
1 1/2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
3 cans (28 ounces each) Italian plum tomatoes, drained
1/4 cup dry red wine
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill (Use fresh if available, but dried will work in a pinch; just use less -- Cass)
1/4 cup chopped parsley (Dried parsley flakes can be used if you don't have fresh; use less -- Cass)
2 cans (16 ounces each) dark-red kidney beans, drained
2 cans (5 1/2 ounces each) pitted black olives, drained (I use sliced pitted black olives -- Cass)

1. Heat the olive oil in a very large pot. Add the onions and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until wilted, about 15 minutes. Add the sausage meat and ground chuck; cook over medium-high heat, stirring, until the meats are well browned. Spoon off any excess fat and discard.
2. Stir in the tomato paste, garlic, cumin, chili powder, mustard, basil, oregano, salt and pepper. Add the tomatoes, wine, lemon juice, dill, parsley and kidney beans. Stir well and simmer, uncovered, for another 15 minutes.
3. Taste and adjust seasonings. Add olives; simmer for 5 minutes more to heat through. Serve immediately.

Serves 20. (Easily doubled!)

I put out sour cream, shredded sharp cheddar, and if Howard insists I'll put out chopped raw onion, but then he has to sleep with Dion on the Wally Bed. And sometimes Dion kicks him off.

If I don't put olives in the chili because some people don't like them (I am not mentioning names, Bill, I'm just looking at you and whistling), then I add them to the bowls of add-ons. I happen to adore olives, any kind. Even the canned ones that I use in the chili.

I used my new bird dishes to hold the toppings for the chili.
They worked just fine, just the right size.

Thanks to Chari of Happy To Design for hosting Sunday Favorites!
Click and be whisked away to those thrilling days of yesteryear!

Enjoy your Sunday! -- Cass


  1. Ummm this looks fantastic. It's been rainy, cloudy and cool here today and I just might fix this for tomorrow....

  2. I love my original Silver Palate cookbook - and there's the recipe, right between the Sausage Ragout and the Short Ribs - delicious!

  3. Oh how we love chili at our house. Love mine, but yours looks better although I would use chopped jalapenos instead of chili powder. Think I will give yours a try.

    The Blue Ridge Gal

  4. Oh Cass, the more I read, the more I think your family and mine must know each other! LOL Happy Sunday!
    xoxo Pattie

  5. Cass,
    We love chili and my recipe is almost the same. We use ale instead of wine. Chili will be the first thing Jack will make when we get back up north.

    Have a great week.


  6. The Silver Palate Cookbook is my son's favorite resource. You should see the shape it's in. I'll have to try this particular version of Chili.

  7. hmmm, looks yummy! I should try this one. Thanks for sharing!
    Thanks for visiting my blog too! I just added my giveaway detail at the bottom of my post, you might want to look at it and join for fun!
    thanks a lot!

    PS. oh well, here's the link:

  8. mmmmmmmm that looks so good! That might just be dinner some time this week. I will have to half the recipe though.

  9. I'm glad you re-posted this one, since I missed out on it the first time around! Some of my Asiago cheese bread would really go good with it.
    Thanks for the recipe, Cass.

    Please tell your sister she is BEAUTIFUL!!! :-)

  10. Yummy! And the table looks perfectly lovely too.

  11. Oh, that looks yummy Cass! And your little get together looks like they are ready to dig in! Those are the best meals, casual, relaxed and with good folks.

  12. Go big or go home I always say. Don't know what that has to do with your post really except for that I always make a huge pot of anything I am making.
    This is not very different from my recipe except for the Dijon mustard. I didn't see that coming.
    We have the best times sitting at the table with a big pot of something right in front of us. Our guests always feel relaxed. Yours look relaxed too...and hungry.

  13. Hi Cass...

    Girlfriend, your chili sounds and looks fabulous!!! I always make my chili homemade as well...but it's nothin' yours! I will definitely be giving your recipe a try...thanks so much for sharing it with us! And...I loved your table...real life! It looks exactly like mine...pot in the middle of the table and all! Hehe! I do really like your pretty red and white soup bowls though...gorgeous!!! Thank you so much for sharing your chili post and recipe with us today for Sunday Favorites...what a treat, my friend!!!

    I hope that you're having a super Sunday!
    Chari @Happy To Design

  14. Looks good and I like the pot on the table. You are one real woman.
    One never knows what Spring weather will bring.
    Our thermometer has been up then down, up then down.

    Have a great week.


  15. That recipe looks wonderful! Also, I *love* the post title! :)

  16. Yummy in my tummy Cass! You do have some awesome ingredients in it. I'll take a bowl please. *Smiles*

  17. that looks great- dill in chili, who would've thought? I'll have to give it a try! My usual chili has chipotles, cinnamon, and a bit of chocolate.

  18. Hi Cass...I got so excited to see cans of Redpack doesn't take much to excite me...I loved Redpack anything,...used it all the time in Jersey, they don't sell it down here....and I loved the pictures of Dion getting his bath...I wish I could get Boo into the kitchen sink....his one paw wouldn;t even fit...


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