Hatch Chile Chili - Round 1

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We know. It's "too hot" for chili. And, maybe you're right, but under that same rule, it would also be too hot for most soups, hearty Italian dishes, spicy wet burritos, pizza and whiskey and there's no way we aren't indulging in any of those items ALL SUMMER. Especially whiskey.

With all of that said, we're not just craving hearty chili on 90-degree days because we're crazy, we're in chili mode because it's Hatch Chile season! For readers in parts of the country that aren't familiar with this glorious chile pepper - it is actually grown in the Hatch Valley, in and around Hatch, New Mexico. Haven't seen them before? You're not out of the loop, since the typical season only runs from August into early September, making them come and go before you know it. 

Our chef bestie is to credit for giving us the heads up and sending us into a Hatch Chile Chili making frenzy. This is only the first batch of at least three and we'll be sure to share our favorite recipe at the end of the season! Now, onto the goods! 

There are a few things to note before taking on the chili making task: 

  1. The Hatch Chiles must be roasted, allowed to self steam, peeled and de-seeded before you begin. Instructions can be found all over the internet or more specifically - HERE
  2. Tomatoes - San Marzanos are sweeter. Alternatives taste more acidic.  
  3. Hatch Chiles have a kick to them, determine your spice threshold before using this exact recipe.
  4. Make it your own, taste as you go and adjust as you see fit. The only wrong flavor combination is the one your palate doesn't like. 
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INGREDIENTS
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 link or 1/3 pound high quality sausage, case removed and crumbled
3/4 cup sweet onion
1/2 cup chopped yellow bell peppers
4-6 roasted Hatch Chiles
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 pound ground beef
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 cup light beer
1 (28-ounce) can San Marzano tomatoes
2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
1 (16-ounce) can white beans, drained and rinsed
1 teaspoon hot sauce (optional)
salt

DIRECTIONS
In a large skillet or dutch oven, heat olive oil and cook crumbled sausage. Once the sausage is cooked, add the onions, yellow peppers and hatch chiles, cooking over medium heat until onions are translucent.

Add garlic. Add the ground beef, breaking it up with a wooden spoon as it cooks. Add cumin, chili powder, garlic powder and dried oregano, stirring well to combine. Pour in the beer and use the wooden spoon to scrape the brown bits off the bottom of the pan. Add remaining ingredients and stir well to combine. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

Salt to taste. Serve in a bowl and top with any combination of shredded cheese and sour cream desired.

Turn the AC down real low before digging in. 

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