Halloween Chili Con Dedos
The Spanish name for this sounds much more appealing than the English translation: Chili with Fingers, but hey, it’s for Halloween! You can serve it over the black and orange Halloween pasta, too. This recipe produced a delicious chili that would be great for other times of the year if you simply brown the sausage and cut them into smaller pieces so they don’t look like floating fingers. Then you could just call it Chili con Carne.
This chili was created with whatever items were in a share that we displayed at a health fair event, and it’s a very versatile recipe, so use whatever is in your refrigerator (be careful of cole, or cruciferous vegetables, i.e. cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower and Asian greens, as over-cooking these produces a somewhat, uh, unpleasant aroma…)
I used the spice mix from the Chili con Carne recipe in Jane Brody’s Good Food Book because it is such a fabulous, winning combination of flavors.
1 large onion, finely chopped
4 large cloves of garlic, or more to taste
2 T olive oil
1 pound ground beef (or other ground meat)
1 pound breakfast links (these are the fingers!)
1 quart jar tomatoes
3/4 pound tomatillos, quartered
1 container Del Carmen beans (the chili could use more beans, so if you have Bellews Creek black beans cooked and ready, add another cup or use an additional container of Del Carmen beans)
1 or more jalapeño or serrano peppers, to taste
1 cup diced red peppers (use whatever peppers you need to get out of the refrigerator!)
1 lb. patty pan squash (this is just what I had on hand, so really, use whatever to make up the bulk
5 teaspoons brown sugar
5 teaspoons chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
1. In a large, deep heavy skillet, sauté the onion and garlic in the oil until the vegetables are softened.
2. Add the ground beef, stirring it to break up the pieces. While the beef is cooking, cut the sausages into 1-inch pieces and add to the pan. Gather together the spice mix in a bowl while meat is cooking.
3. When the sausages are just starting to brown, add the tomatillos, the jar of tomatoes and their liquid and all of the seasonings. Heat the mixture until it is bubbly, reduce the heat, cover the pan and simmer the chili for about 30 minutes.
4. Add the beans, hot and sweet peppers, mushrooms, and squash, or other veggies. Simmer the chili, covered, about 10-15 minutes longer or until the vegetables are softened.
Serve as is, or sprinkled with shredded cheddar and a dollop of plain Windcrest yogurt. Great with a side of tortilla chips or wrapped in a corn tortilla.