Goodcookbecky's Blog

Letting the juices of life (or food) drip from my chin!

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Roasted Corn and Poblano Chowder

Well, my blog has been seriously neglected lately.  I have quite a few recipes that I wanted to blog, but homeschooling has kept me quite busy.  Here is a recent recipe though, that I really wanted to get on my page.  As we move from Summer to Fall, I always enjoy getting soups into my menu planning more frequently.


Roasted Corn and Poblano Chowder

adapted from Cook’s Country (June/July 2016 issue)  | Serves 6-8


  • 3 poblano peppers, stemmed, halved from stem to tip, seeds removed
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 6 ears fresh corn, kernels cut from cobs
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 slices bacon, chopped fine
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 7 cups chicken broth
  • 1 lb Yukon potatoes, peeled and diced into 1/2 inch dice
  • 1/4 cup half and half
  • 2 (6 inch) corn tortillas, cut into 1″ pieces
  • 1 Tbsp minced cilantro
  • 1 Tbsp lime juice


  • lime wedges
  • reserved bacon bits
  • sour cream for serving, optional
  • fried tortilla strips
  • crumbled queso fresco


Adjust the oven rack about 6 inches from the broiler element in your oven.  Line a cookie sheet with foil, rub poblano peppers with oil and place skin side up on your cookie sheet.  Broil for 10 to 15 minutes until the skin of the peppers have blistered and browned, turning with tongs from time to time.  Remove the peppers to a bowl immediately and cover with plastic wrap to steam the skins for easy removal.

Place the corn kernels on the same pan you used for the peppers and season with a teaspoon of salt and add 1 teaspoon of oil, stirring the corn. Broil them for 10-15 minutes, stirring from time to time and until the corn is browned and tender.

Remove the skins from the poblano peppers and chop the peppers.

In a large stock pot, cook the bacon over medium heat until crispy.  Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and reserve for serving.  Add onion, 1/4 teaspoon salt to the bacon drippings.  Cook the onion, stirring frequently until the onion is tender and browned.  Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds, until fragrant.  Drain any excess bacon drippings.

Add chicken broth, potatoes, corn kernels, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.  Stir the soup, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot.  Bring to a boil and simmer just under a boil for 20 minutes.  Test the potatoes to see if they are done – cook longer if necessary.  Off heat, add half and half.  Scoop out about 2 cups of soup to a large measuring cup along with the 2 corn tortillas that you have cut up;  use your immersion blender to blend the soup until smooth.  (Use a blender if you do not have an immersion blender)  Return the puree to the soup and add the chopped poblano peppers to the chowder.  Bring to a slight boil.  Add minced cilantro, lime juice, 3/4 teaspoon salt if necessary.

Serve with crisp bacon bits, additional cilantro, lemon wedges, sour cream and grated queso fresco if desired.

To make tortilla strips, cut some remaining corn tortillas into strips and cook them in a small frying pan in small batches and in hot oil, until the tortillas are golden brown and crispy.  Remove with a slotted spoon and season with salt immediately, draining on paper towels.  Serve them with the chowder.



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Chipotle Butternut Squash Soup

IMG_1122The first time that I made this soup, I was in LOVE!  It is adapted from a Taste of Home Cookbook.  I like it with and without spinach but do like adding grilled chicken to the soup as well.  I made a few changes to the original.  I used laughing cow cheese instead of cream cheese and cilantro instead of basil.  If you have an immersion blender this soup is easy to make – but you can use a regular blender of food processor if you do not have an immersion blender.  I recommend you get one,  they are one of my must have tools in the kitchen and have made making soups and shakes much easier.

I liked this soup so much that I made it a second time in the same week.

Chipotle Butternut Squash Soup

adapted from Taste of Home

Serves 6


  • 4 cups peeled and diced butternut squash
  • 3 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp dried ground cumin
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, chopped
  • 1 quarts low sodium chicken broth
  • 15 oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 3 wedges laughing cow cheese (garlic herb or other is great)
  • 1/4 cup minced cilantro
  • 15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 15 oz can kernel corn, drained
  • 2 cups fresh baby spinach (optional)
  • 2 chicken breast halves, grilled and diced (optional)


In a large stockpot, saute the diced butternut squash, carrots, and onion, and ground cumin in the olive oil over medium high heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the minced garlic and cook stirring for 1 more minute.

Add the chipotle peppers, chicken broth, diced tomatoes, Laughing Cow cheese wedges, and cilantro and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to medium low and cook for 15 minutes, or until the carrots and squash are soft enough to easily pierce with a fork.

Blend the soup with an immersion blender (or food processor or blender).

Add the black beans, corn kernels, baby spinach (optional) and diced cooked chicken (optional) and heat through.

Serve immediately.

This dish is also very good with grilled cheese sandwiches.

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Moroccan Stew over Couscous

IMG_1106Growing up as a missionary kid, I had plenty of opportunities to try International foods.  One such occasion, a family friend, who had served in Morocco as a missionary, made a wonderful stew with chicken and chickpeas served over couscous. Our friend Lena has since passed away, but my parents were able to ask for an authentic recipe for Moroccan Couscous from another missionary family that they know.  This family had served in Rabat, Morocco for over 20 years.  It had been on my bucket list to make this recipe for a few years now, and this week, I finally had the time to make it.  It has a long list of ingredients and several steps to make the stew.  It serves 10 – I did not think this through with only 3 of us home at the moment to enjoy it- I have a feeling I will be freezing some of this.  You do need to start the night before, by soaking the  dry chickpeas.  The stew takes about 3- 4 hours prep time to finish. I cooked mine longer, because I wanted to get my Sunday nap! It made the meat ever so tender.  This recipe is broken down into 3 stages because there are so many ingredients.

Moroccan Couscous

Serves 10  – McCrostie Family recipe for Authentic Moroccan Couscous

Ingredients (Stage 1):

  • 1 cup dried garbanzo beans (chickpeas), covered in water and soaked overnight
  • 6 bone in skin on chicken thighs
  • 1 lb lamb shoulder, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 1/2 lbs beef stew meat, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 lb meaty soup bones
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 lb chopped onion
  • 2 chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 2 Tbsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp saffron
  • 1/4 tsp dried ginger
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 3-4 quarts low sodium chicken broth

Stage 1 Instructions:

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large stock pot over medium high heat.  Brown the meat in batches on both sides.  Remove the meat to a large platter.  Cook the onions in the drippings for about 4 minutes.  Add the meat back into the pot.  Add soaked and drained garbanzo beans (chickpeas), chopped tomatoes, salt, pepper, paprika, saffron, ginger and turmeric to the pot and stir to combine.  Cover the meat in 3-4 quarts of low sodium chicken broth.  Bring the broth to a boil, reduce heat to low and cook coverd for 1 hour (or longer).

Stage 2 Ingredients:

  • 1 lb peeled carrots, cut into chunks
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp dried ginger
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 lbs turnips, peeled, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 lb pumpkin, peeled and diced (I used about 1/3 of a sugar pumpkin)
  • 1/2 lb zucchini, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 small Asian eggplants (long pink eggplants- use a small regular one if you can’t find the Asian type)
  • 1 leek, dark leaves removed, sliced lengthwise and washed thoroughly, diced
  • cabbage, chopped (optional – I did not use)

Stage 2 Instructions:

Add carrots, turnips, parsley and cilantro to the stew. Continue cooking the stew at a low boil uncovered for 30 minutes.  After 30 minutes add the remaining ingredients listed in stage 2 and cook an additional 30 minutes.

At this point I removed the chicken thighs from the stew and removed the skin and bones and added the meat back into the stew.

Stage 3 Ingredients:

  • 2 jalapenos (divided use)
  • 2 lbs thinly sliced onions
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1 cup raisins (soak in water for 10 minutes, then drain)
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup honey (or you can use sugar)

Stage 3 Instructions:

In a small sauce pan, ladle 2 cups of the broth from the stew.  Split a jalapeno about 1 inch from the tip and put into the broth.  Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low.  Simmer for 20 minutes.

In a large skillet, heat the butter over medium high heat. Saute the onions in the butter until they are golden brown, stirring occasionally.

While the onions are caramelizing, spit the remaining jalapeno and remove the seeds.  Mince the jalapeno finely. Add the jalapenos to the onions along with cinnamon, black pepper and saute for a minute or two.  Add the raisins and honey to the onions and stir to combine.  Discard the jalapeno from the small saute pan and add the broth to the onion mixture.

Add this onion mixture to the stew. Stir to combine.

Cook couscous according to package directions.

To Serve: Mound the cooked couscous on a large platter.  Ladle the Moroccan stew over the couscous and allow each person to eat a wedge from the common plate (this is how it is traditionally served and enjoyed) if you prefer however you can place couscous in a small  individual bowls and serve the stew over it.

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Ham and Potato Soup

IMG_6841My husband loved this soup! He pretty much wanted me to make another batch right away. My kids were not as thrilled with it, and I thought it was pretty good too, but not enough to rave about it to the extent that my husband did.  I used a recipe from all recipes as base and made a few changes.  I added carrots since I had some to use up instead of celery which I was out of… I sautéed the onions, carrots in pancetta (bacon would be a good substitute too), drained any fat and then followed the recipe pretty closely.  I did also add some bay leaf and dried thyme to the soup for added flavor.

Ham and Potato Soup

Serves 6

adapted from allrecipes (Delicious Ham and Potato Soup)


  • 4 oz pancetta (or bacon)
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and diced small
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 3 1/2 cups russet potatoes, peeled and diced small
  • 3/4 cup ham, diced small (remove fatty pieces)
  • 3 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tsp chicken bouillon granules (originally 2 Tbsp)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp dried thyme or basil
  • 1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper, or to taste
  • 5 Tbsp butter
  • 5 Tbsp flour
  • 2 cups milk


  1. Heat a large stock pot over medium high heat.  Add the pancetta bacon, carrots, and diced onions to the stock pot.  Sauté  the vegetables in the bacon until the onions are softened and the fat in the bacon has fully rendered.  Pour off any excess fat.
  2. To the cooked vegetables, add the diced potatoes,  ham, water, chicken bouillon, bay leaf, dried thyme or basil, salt, and pepper.  Bring the soup to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium low and continue cooking about 15 minutes or until the potatoes test done, stirring occasionally.  When the potatoes are tender, reduce the heat to low and allow to simmer while you finish off the soup.
  3. In a separate sauce pan, melt the butter over medium heat.  Add the flour and whisk into the butter until it is well combined, then cook for about 1 minute.  Heat the milk in the microwave.  Slowly add the milk, whisking as you add it until it is smooth.  Continue cooking the milk mixture until it is thickened, about 4 or 5 minutes.  Add the thickened milk mixture to the soup and stir to combine.
  4. Heat through and serve immediately with crusty French bread.

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Autumn Squash Soup

IMG_6418I love the Autumn Squash Soup they serve at Panera.  I love it so much in fact, that I had to see if there was a good copy of it on the internet that I could adapt and use at home.  I did! The copy comes from here.  I think they did a really nice job of it.  I omitted the sugar as I thought the apple cider and honey added plenty of good sweetness to the soup.  I also increased the chicken broth to make it less thick.

Autumn Squash Soup

a Panera Bread copy cat recipe adapted from

Serves 6


  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 1 (11 oz- 14 oz) package of frozen butternut squash, thawed
  • 1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 tsp salt, or more to taste
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream


Heat a heavy sauce pan over medium heat.  Add the olive oil and cook the minced onion until it is translucent, about 5 minutes.

If the butternut squash is not completely thawed, place it in a microwavable bowl with a little water and microwave on high for about 3 to 4 minutes.

Add the squash, pumpkin puree, cider, chicken broth, curry, honey, and salt to the sauce pan and heat through to boiling.  Blend the soup mixture in a blender or with an immersion blender.  Add the heavy cream to the blended soup and stir to combine.  Serve.

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Pumpkin Soup

IMG_6359I recently had oral surgery to remove, what was believed to be a tumor, and have been limited to soft foods for the past 3 weeks.  Thankfully is was not a tumor.  It was scar tissue from the last time I had oral surgery to remove the tumor I had 14 years ago.  The first time my pain levels were through the roof.  This time, despite it being a bone graft and fairly invasive, it was minimal in comparison.  I even ran my first 5 k in my recovery period.  I digress.  I  made a few amazing soups.  Pumpkin Soup being one of them.  I found this gem of a recipe on Pioneer Woman’s website.  I have followed her blog for several years, and am glad she now has a spot on the food network line up. I increased the broth because that was the size of the broth I bought.

You can find her original recipe here (link)

Pumpkin Soup

Serves 6 adapted from Pioneer Woman


  • 2 small pumpkins (the ones used for cooking- I use Sugar pumpkins)
  • 6 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/3 cup Maple syrup
  • 1/2 a nutmeg grated
  • salt to taste
  • extra cream for serving


Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Cut the pumpkins tops off.  Scoop out the guts.  Save the seeds for roasting if desired, but you do not need them for this recipe.  Cut the pumpkins into quarters and drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper (unless you are roasting them for pie).  Place the pumpkin pieces on a foil lined cookie sheet.  Bake at 350 F for 45 minutes or until the flesh of the pumpkin is tender when you piece it with a fork.  Allow to cool some.  Scrape the pumpkin flesh off the skin using a large serving spoon and set aside for the soup.

Combine the pumpkin flesh, chicken broth, and maple syrup in a large stock pot.  Season with salt and nutmeg.  When it is heated through, blend the soup either in a blender or with an immersion blender (my favorite kitchen tool).  Add the cream and stir through.  Taste and adjust the seasonings if necessary.

Ladle the soup in individual bowls and drizzle additional cream in each bowl if desired.  Enjoy!

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Wild Mushroom Soup

IMG_3767Here is another wonderful recipe that I have made that Ina Garten has in one of her cookbooks as well as on Food Network.  I am a sucker for mushrooms and so far all of Ina’s recipes that I have tried have been winners.  Mushrooms are matter of taste however, not everyone in my family loves them, but if you do, make this Cream of mushroom soup!  It is quite good!

Wild Mushroom Soup

adapted from Ina Garten


Serves 6


  • 5 oz fresh Shiitake mushrooms
  • 5 oz fresh Portabella mushrooms
  • 5 oz fresh cremini mushrooms
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp unsalted butter, divided use
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme plus 1 tsp fresh thyme, divided use
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 leeks, chopped, dark leaves removed
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh parsley


Clean the mushrooms and trim the stems and remove any parts that have gone bad.  Separate the stems from the caps.  Coarsely chop the stems.  Place the chopped stems in a stock pot.  Slice the mushroom caps and reserve for later usage.

To make the soup base: heat olive oil and 1 Tbsp of butter in a large pot with the stems.  Add the onions, carrot, sprig of thyme and 1 tsp of salt and 1/2 tsp pepper and cook over medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes until the vegetables are soft.  Add 6 cups of water and bring it to a boil.  Reduce the heat and summer for 30 minutes.  Strain the broth, reserving the soup base.  Discard the vegetables.  If you do not have 4 1/2 cups of soup base, add some water.

In the meantime, heat a large cast iron skillet and melt the remaining butter. Cook the leeks over low heat for 15-20 minutes, or until the leeks begin to brown.  Add the mushroom slices and cook them until they are golden brown for another 10 minutes.  Add the flour and cook for 1 minute whisking constantly.  Add the white wine, stirring continuously to loosen any remains from the bottom of your skillet.  Add the soup base, minced thyme, 1 1/2 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper and bring the soup to a boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.  Add the half and half and cream, parsley, season with salt and pepper and heat the soup through over low, but do not boil  Serve with crusty French bread.

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Chorizo and Chicken Stew with Avocado Crema

I downloaded the Williams Sonoma e-book of soups – it features a soup for every day of the year. The soup featured on September 23 sounded interesting to me and here is my adaptation. I used different peppers (Anaheim peppers instead of red bell pepper, but in hindsight I should have roasted the peppers and skinned them rather than chopping them and adding them to the soup). Instead of cooking my own chicken I used a already cooked rotisserie chicken from the local market.

Chorizo and Chicken Stew with Avocado Crema

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Soup Of the Day Cookbook Sept 23

Serves 6

  • 2-3 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
  • 1/2 lb Mexican chorizo, cooked and drained
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Anaheim chilies, roasted and peeled, and chopped
  • 6 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste

For the Avocado Crema

  • 1 avocado, pitted, peeled, and mashed
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lime juice

In a large sauce pan, heat the oil over medium heat and add the onion, saute for about 5 minutes.  Add garlic and cook until fragrant for about one minute longer.  Add the Anaheim chili and cook for another 3 minutes.  Add the shredded chicken, chorizo, broth and seasonings and simmer them for 15 minutes.

To make the Avocado Cream: Combine the avocado, sour cream and lime.

To serve: Ladle the soup into bowls and top with a tablespoon of the avocado cream.  Garnish with a lime wedge.

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Roasted Pumpkin Soup

The site CHOW recently had a series of recipes posted that went with the theme of  Horror movies.  I found it entertaining and you may as well.  (link).  This is where I got the roasted pumpkin soup recipe.  The soup tasted fresh and was easy to follow, but I thought it could have benefited from some cinnamon or other spices to make it more tasty.  You start with roasting a pumpkin in the oven.  I have never done this – and after eating canned pumpkin products all this time (what was I thinking) – this one lacked the canned flavor, but I did not really miss it! 🙂

Roasted Pumpkin:

Heat the oven to 375 F, with the baking rack in the middle position.

Cut the (sugar) pumpkins (around 4 lbs in size) in half and remove the strands and seeds by scraping the flesh with a spoon.  Pour a little olive oil into the ‘bowl’ of the pumpkin and use a pastry brush to brush the oil on all edges.  Season with salt and pepper.  Bake at 375F for up to 70 minutes.  Mine were tender around 50 minutes.  You can test the tenderness by inserting a fork into the  meat of the pumpkin to test the doneness, if it goes in easily it is ready.  Remove from the oven and allow to sit for about 20 minutes.  Use a large spoon to scoop the pumpkin meat from the outer shell.  This is a really easy process.  You need 3 cups of pumpkin for this recipe.  I roasted 2 pumpkins and reserved the rest for pumpkin pie.

Roasted Pumpkin Soup

Serves 6 adapted from Chow


  • 4 slices of bacon, cut into small strips
  • 2 medium shallots, diced finely
  • 1/4 cup dry sherry or red wine
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 tsp finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 3 cups roasted pumpkin (see above for preparation)
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • cinnamon/curry powder to taste
  • croutons/roasted pumpkin seeds/toasted sliced almonds


Cook the bacon in a stock pot over medium high heat until crisp and remove the bacon to a paper towel.  Cook the shallots in the bacon drippings until they are cooked, about 5 minutes.  Add the sherry (red wine) and cook until the liquid is reduced by half.

Add the chicken broth (originally 2 cups broth and 2 cups water) and thyme.  Cook for 15 minutes.  Add the roasted pumpkin and stir into the soup.  Use an immersion blender to blend the soup (or carefully blend in a blender) until smooth.  Add the heavy cream just before serving. Taste and adjust the seasoning.  Add salt and pepper if needed and stir in a spice like cinnamon or curry to change the flavors

Top each serving with crisp bacon and croutons (or other) I used seasoned sliced almonds that I found near the salads – they were seasoned with pepper.  It was a nice substitution, but croutons would be great too!

A nice Fall soup!  Thank you CHOW for posting it.



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In my quest to find a new chili recipe I turned to the Food Network website.  I have to admit, I don’t like watching Guy Fieri- from the way he wears his hair, to his over the top loud obnoxious personality -to the way he pronounces his name “Fi-etti!”  I am sorry, is there a “t” in your name? He just isn’t my cup of tea, but if you love him that’s great.. he needs a fan base– and he is on TV and I am not…

But I digress!  I did however try his recipe for “Dragon’s Breath Chili” after I read the reviews.  The name (of the chili) is more intimidating than the taste and I made some changes.  I reduced the peppers and cayenne pepper for one thing, because I wanted my kids to have half a chance of eating it!  This is a good recipe with a bit of spice to grab you, but not overpowering.  I may have to change my opinion of Fi-etti yet (Nah, that’s not going to happen!)  But the guy can cook – I give him that much!  It is more involved than my regular chili recipe that I make.  I changed a few things from the cooking too… I first cooked the peppers and onions- removed them from the pot.  Browned the chuck pieces in batches so they would brown properly (if you follow the directions of the original you won’t get nice browned pieces), then cooked the ground beef and sausage together. Once cooked added the spices and then threw it all in the crock pot to cook.  Here is the link to the original recipe. For best flavor, plan ahead and make this a day in advance.  I would place this in the medium+ heat category.  My kids were able to eat it.

Dragon’s Breath Chili

adapted from Food Network (Guy Fieri)

Serves 10-12


2 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp canola oil
2 red bell peppers, diced
2 Tbsp jalapeno, minced
2 Anaheim chiles, roasted, peeled, chopped
2 poblano chiles, roasted, peeled, chopped
2 yellow onions, diced
1/4 cup minced garlic
2 lbs boneless chuck, trimmed of most fat and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1 lb ground beef, coarse grind
1 lb bulk Italian sausage

2 tsp dried minced onion
2 tsp granulated garlic
3 Tbsp chili powder
2 tsp smoked paprika
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
1 1/2 (6 oz) cans tomato paste
12 ounces lager beer
1 cup chicken stock
2 (15 oz) cans pinto beans, drained, but not rinsed
2 (15 oz) cans kidney beans, drained but not rinsed

8 oz bacon, cooked and chopped
1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced
1 cup shredded Cheddar


Roasting peppers: I don’t think it is completely necessary, but it does add nice flavor.  How? You place the peppers on your gas burner grate above the flame (or over a barbecue) and turn it from time to time after the skin blisters and turns black.  Then while the peppers are still warm, place them in a paper bag and seal the bag to “steam” them. This loosens the skin and makes them easier to peel later.  I did this process the day before I made the chili.

Chop the peppers and onions.  Heat a large stock pot over medium high heat and melt the butter and heat 1 Tbsp canola oil.  Saute the onions and peppers (bell, chilis) until they are tender, about 5 minutes.  Add the chopped garlic and cook for 1 to 2 minutes until the garlic is fragrant.  Remove the pepper mixture and set aside.

Add 1 Tbsp of canola oil.  Season the chuck cubes with salt and pepper and brown them in batches in the stock pot.  Remove the browned pieces (set aside), and brown the next batches. (Julia Child was right, for proper browning, don’t crowd the meat).  After the chuck is browned, cook the ground beef and Italian sausage in the same pot.  Remove any drippings.  Add the seasonings (the long list of them- it is worth it).  Stir into the meat and cook for a minute or two. Add the tomato sauce, paste, beer, and chicken broth and bring to a boil.

Carefully pour the contents of your stock pot into your large crock pot.  Add the peppers and browned chuck beef.  Add the beans and stir everything together.   Turn the crock pot on to LOW setting.    Cover and cook on low for about 5 hours, stirring from time to time, or until the chuck beef is tender to the point of falling apart when you try to shred it with a fork.

To serve: top each serving with diced green onions, cheese and crisp bacon, if desired. Serve with cornbread or corn bread pudding.

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