Thursday, April 07, 2005


To appreciate the title, you have to get the background story here.

Now, for some excellent No-Weevil Chili, from the kitchen of Bro In-Law d’Elisson in Foat Wuth, where the West Begins:

First, get a nice, honkin’ big onion. Chop it up and throw it in a deep saucepan with some olive oil over medium heat. Cook the onion down for 5-10 minutes until transparent – but don’t let it brown.

Now throw in about 2 pounds of chili meat. Coarsely ground is good, but diced into little cubes or chunks is even better. If all you have is hamburger, that’ll do, but it’s not ideal. You want something with some “tooth.”

Brown that meat, then toss in a good-sized can of diced tomatoes. Add a can of tomato sauce if you like; it’s not mandatory.

Now for the Secret Herbs and Spices.

You’ll want to use a couple of finely minced cloves of garlic. Add a tablespoon of paprika, 2 tablespoons of chili powder, 1 teaspoon habañero chili powder, 2 tablespoons cumin, and 2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder. Add salt and pepper to taste. Start with the amounts suggested, then adjust the seasoning as you desire.

There is, of course, the issue of beans.

Many Texans will tell you that it is an Unholy Act to add beans to chili.

I tend to agree with ’em, but let your own taste be your guide. Ya want beans? Fine, throw in some beans. Kidney beans are fine. Use flageolets if you want to be one of them Metrosexuals.

Now simmer the whole mess for at least 45 minutes.

Serve hot, garnished with tortilla chips, diced avocado, and chopped onion Have some grated cheddar or queso blanco handy (if you don’t keep kosher, that is). Wash down with lashings of cold Shiner bock, or any other flavorsome beer.

You’ll find that the combination of habañero pepper and that shade of cocoa creates a deep, multilayered flavor profile. Or, as we say in Texas, “That’s some good dayum chili.” And if you serve it the next day, it’ll taste even better.

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