I love chili, especially this time of year. Chili is the perfect wintertime food, because it is warm and filling and spicy. Plus there are so many recipes and variations I rarely make it the same way twice. Sometimes I make Cincinnati Chili, sometimes I make Texas Chili, sometimes I make White Chicken Chili, and sometimes I make it vegetarian. The possibilities are endless. To help celebrate Chili season and its variations the Chili Appreciation Society International and Bruce Foods sent me some Mexene Chili Powder and Louisiana Hot Sauce to review.
Mexene Chili Powder features only the highest quality chili peppers blended with cumin, oregano, and garlic. It is completely different from the chili powder you can buy at a grocery store for .99! As soon as I opened the Chili Powder I could tell by the smell that it was fresh and aromatic. I was not surprised to learn that it is has been used in the past eight winning recipes from the World Championship Chili Cookoff in Terlingua, Texas. High quality ingredients like this make a big difference in the final taste of a recipe.
The Louisiana Hot Sauce was great too. It is the original cayenne pepper sauce of Louisiana, and has an 80-year reputation for quality and perfection. I don’t usually put hot sauce in my chili, but I like to use it to spice up many other dishes. This weekend I put some in the Crab Newburg, and it added a nice little kick to this traditional rich and creamy recipe. The next time I make chili I am going to find a recipe that uses the hot sauce to try something new.
This giveaway is all about chili, so I wanted to include one of my favorite chili recipes. It is made with a lot of the same spices as Cincinnati Chili, but I use pork sausage instead of ground beef. Plus the cooking technique is different, because in true Cincinnati chili the meat is boiled, not browned, and I prefer to brown the meat. Sometimes I serve this over spaghetti, but this time I used tortilla chips instead.
Pork Sausage Chili
- 1 1/2 lbs. pork sausage
- 1 onions, chopped
- 5 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 tbsp. chili powder
- 1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. ground allspice
- 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
- 1 tsp. dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
- 1 dried bay leaf
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 28 oz. crushed tomatoes
- 1 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 15-oz. can red kidney beans
- Brown pork sausage in skillet and drain excess fat. Add garlic and onions to the pan and cook 5-6 minutes.
- Add all the spices, from chili powder through salt and pepper, and cook for 2 minutes.
- Add tomatoes and cocoa powder and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered for 1-2 hours. Or you can put it in a crockpot on low for 6-8 hours.
- Rinse the kidney beans and add for the last 10 minutes of cooking. Serve with cheddar cheese and tortilla chips.