Foodie news | Super Bowls | SierraSun.com

Foodie news | Super Bowls

Simone Grandmain
Special to the Sun

Thinkstockphotos.comKick it up a notch with Itallian Stallion Chili for a truly Super Bowl.

TAHOE/TRUCKEE, Calif. and#8212; Well my Super Bowl recipe column plans were ruined, along with my bank account, when the 49ers lost to the Giants in the play-offs. I had my SB party menu all themed out: Clam Chowder (for the New England Patriots, natchand#8217;) served in Sourdough Bread Bowls for (you got it) the San Francisco 49ers. So what was a girl to do but go to the source of all Super Bowl Parties past, present and future, my cousin and restaurateur, Rick Hodges.

Now besides being a creative host, Rick is also known for serving a killer (and I mean that literally) Margarita, so I donand#8217;t remember most of the games I supposedly saw there, but of course I remember the food. Huge pans of simmering Carne Asada, Robbyand#8217;s platters of perfectly symmetrical chocolate chip cookies and giant caldrons of Rickand#8217;s famous chili which really should have been served with a side of Beano or a divorce certificate. My cousin Rick went on from his backyard gatherings to open the hit establishment Tubs Fine Chili in Los Angeles (tubsfinechili.com) serving his concoctions in homemade bread bowls. Well, the bread bowl recipe involved the purchase of forged cast iron presses to form the bowls, which was little out of my price range given the hit I took (let me say it again!) on the 49ers, but he did reveal the following and#8220;Italian Stallion Chiliand#8221; recipe which is an absolutely do-able must-do for game day.

Italian Stallion Chili

2 pounds Johnsonville Hot Italian Sausage

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 large yellow onion, diced

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2 celery stalks, diced

2 red bell peppers, diced

3 cloves of garlic, minced

2 Tablespoons dark chili powder

1 1and#8260;2 teaspoons cocoa powder

1and#8260;2 teaspoon salt

1and#8260;2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 15 oz. can beef broth

1and#8260;4 cup cream sherry

2 7 oz. cans diced green chilies

3 15 oz. cans Italian stewed tomatoes

2 6 oz. cans tomato paste

1 28 oz. can red kidney beans (drained)

1 15 oz. can white navy beans (drained)

1 cup sliced black olives

1 pound frozen chopped spinach (defrosted)

1and#8260;2 cup fresh basil, chopped

Heat oil in large pot. Add sausage (casings removed), break into 1and#8260;2 inch pieces with spatula, cook until brown (do not drain). Add the onions, celery, bell peppers, garlic and saute over medium-high heat until the vegetables are soft. Add the chili powder, cocoa powder, salt and pepper. Stir and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the cream sherry and beef broth then cook down for at least 10 minutes. Add the stewed tomatoes, kidney beans, white beans, tomato paste, sliced black olives. Stir to combine all the ingredients and continue cooking for 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes, add chopped spinach and continue simmering for 15 minutes. Stir in the basil and serve immediately.

Serve over your favorite pasta.