Saturday, February 11, 2012

Who's Afraid of Chocolate Chili?

I've gotta be honest--chili recipes with chocolate in them used to make me nervous.  Then I read this in my Our Best Bites cookbook:  "Don't be scared of chocolate in a chili recipe; it just add richness and depth in a very short amount of cooking time."  So I tried adding cocoa to a chili recipe I was working on, and I tell you what, I'm sold.  I think this chili would be fantastic on top of tortilla chips, taco salad style, but I loved just a big bowl full of it with a little cheese, sour cream, and green onions on top.  It had just the slightest bit of heat to it which was perfect for me since I'm pretty wimpy when it comes to spice, but you could add more heat if you wanted to by adding another tablespoon of chili powder.

Chocolate Chili

1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 lb. hamburger
1 16 oz. can whole tomatoes (I used half a quart of home bottled tomatoes)
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons cocoa powder (unsweetened)
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
Optional ingredients:
Sour cream
Cheddar cheese, grated
chopped green onions

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Saute onion, bell pepper, garlic, and hamburger until the meat is cooked through.  Add remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer.  Reduce heat and continue to simmer for 1 hour.  Serve topped with sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, and green onions if desired.

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