I used to Belly Dance in Greek and Middle Eastern restaurants back in the 80s. My favorite “taste” of Greek food included Gyros (with Feta and Lamb), Kabobs (with Sumac), Tzatziki (with Cucumbers), Hummus (from Garbanzo Beans AKA Chickpeas) and Spanakopita (with Spinach). So why not mix those flavors with my favorite dish: Chili?
My original chili was Beef Chili. My family loved it! It was thick, meaty and spicy! Using a slow cooker, instead of a stock pot, allowed all of the ingredients time to meld together. Next came Chicken Chili made with Butter Beans, White Kidney Beans, Ground Turkey, Italian Sausage and chopped Polish Sausage.
To save calories, but keep the bold and spicy flavors intact, my next chili creation used Ground Turkey, Italian Sausage, Turkey Polish Sausage and Pork Chorizo. In fact, I liked it better than my “Slap Ya Momma” Beef Chili. None of the flavor was missing. And in fact, it was even spicier by using Diced Tomatoes with Jalapeno and Habanero peppers and the McCormick Tasty Fiery Seasoning Mix of Sriracha, Lime and Garlic!
The chili seasoning can make or break your chili. It makes all of the difference in the world. Back when I first started making chili, I would buy the cheapest chili seasoning. You know the one that is the store brand or 50 cents or less. Then I discovered Williams Chili Seasoning. And I will admit: they are the best. They are the reason why my Chili brings so many compliments.
I have to admit that McCormick Seasonings are stepping up their game. They released the “Tasty” blends, that bump up the flavor using Sriracha, Lime, Garlic, Lemon Zest, Basil, Oregano, etc. I love using the Lemon Zest to season my Tuna and Catfish Nuggets. And when you mix Williams and McCormick together, get ready for a spicy flavor bomb!
I had 3 hours of sleep and my Dishwasher is broken. Which means, I am mixing the meats in the skillet, instead of washing a bowl by hand. I have the slow cooker set for 4 hours, just enough time for a catnap before my Chili dinner on a chilly (19 degree) day!
- Ground Lamb, recommended: Marketside Superior Farms, 2 lb.
- Pork Chorizo, recommended: Cacique, 10 oz.
- Italian Sausage Mild, recommended: Great Value, 1 lb
- Spinach, frozen chopped, recommended Great Value, 12 oz
- Garbanzo Beans, Chick Peas, recommended: Bush’s Best, two 15.5 oz. cans
- Kidney Beans, Dark Red, recommended: Great Value, 15.5 oz.
- Diced Tomatoes with Jalapeno and Habanero, recommended: Del Monte, two 14.5 oz. cans
- Diced Tomatoes with Zesty Chili Style, recommended: Del Monte, 14.5 oz.
- Jalapeno Peppers, diced, recommended: Great Value, 4 oz.
- Chili Seasoning, Tex-Mex style, recommended: Williams, 1 oz.
- Chili Seasoning, Original style, recommended: Williams, 1 oz.
- Fiery Tasty Seasoning Mix with Sriracha, Lime and Garlic, recommended: McCormick, 1 oz.
- Mirepoix with diced Yellow Onion, Carrot and Celery, 8 oz.
- Garlic, smashed, 10-11 cloves
- Sumac, recommended: Zamouri Spices, ½ teaspoon
- Cabernet Sauvignon, recommended: Yosemite Road, 1 cup
- Balsamic Vinegar, 2-3 teaspoons
- Liquid to thin it out, such as Cola, Chicken Broth, Water or Ice Cubes (as needed, depending on how thick or thin you prefer your chili to be), ½ to 1 can.
- Plastic Gloves, disposal will do
- Slow Cooker Liners, recommended: Reynolds
- Gloves on and ready to cut off the Garlic heads. Add them to the slow cooker liner and smash them with a small bowl.
- Mix ground Lamb, Italian Sausage and Pork Chorizo in the skillet and then brown in skillet for about 20 to 25 minutes. Add half of the Wine and Mirepoix. Cook on low for 5 minutes and then drain. I use an empty bean or diced tomato can for the grease.
- Drain and rinse beans. I top the beans with a dash of Sumac!
- Top the smashed Garlic with the remaining Mirepoix and Spinach. Then add the Tex-Mex Chili seasoning, Wine and Balsamic Vinegar.
- Add the Meats and then the Fiery Tasty Seasoning packet.
- Add the drained beans and then the Original Chili seasoning
- Add the 3 cans of Diced Tomatoes.
- Thin out with Liquids, if you want thinner Chili. I used a half can of Cola for a “sweet” touch.
- Add the Jalapeno Peppers and Sumac during the last 30 minutes of cook time.
- Cook on high 4 hours or low 8 hours, stir halfway through.
Check out the sample and get your copy here: Audible.com The Vampire Dancer Saga Part 4 Audiobook
PAPERBACK BOOKS BY SHALIMAR ALI:
The Vampire Dancer Saga Part 4 @ Amazon Kindle (June 13, 2016)
The Vampire Dancer Saga Part 3 by Shalimar Ali (Apr 13, 2014)
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The Vampire Dancer Saga Part 2 by Shalimar Ali (Dec 11, 2012)