Spice Up Election Night

| November 3, 2012

Since conversation and repartee’ are opinionated on election night, it is a great time to invite a few friends over to watch the returns and share a bowl of chili with all the fixings. Chili is sure to heat up the taste buds, as well as the political debates to make for a memorable evening.

Cornbread is a great accompaniment to chili, and our recipe with bacon is a delicious choice. A green salad or coleslaw will balance this meal, then pair it all with mojitos or Corona and lime and debate away!


SPICY CHILIchili bowl with cornbread

Serves 8 to 10 people


¼ cup vegetable oil

2 finely chopped onions

1 chopped green pepper

1 chopped red pepper

1 chopped  celery stalk

2 minced cloves of garlic

2-1/2 lbs chopped chuck

2 lbs chopped pork shoulder

Salt and Pepper

4 -14-1/2 ounce cans diced tomatoes

(reserve juice)

1 – 12- ounce bottle pale ale

7 tbls. chili powder

1 tsp. cayenne pepper

1 tsp. cumin

4 jalapenos, seeded and minced



Hot Pepper Sauce

Chopped Scallions

Grated Monterey Jack Cheese

Sliced Avocado

Sour Cream


Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onions, peppers, celery and garlic and “sweat” until onions are translucent. Remove vegetables from pot and set aside.

Increase heat to high.  Add beef and pork and season with salt and pepper.  Cooking until brown, stirring frequently for 10 minutes. Return vegetables to the pot.  Add tomatoes, ale, chili powder, cayenne and cumin.

Reduce heat and simmer for two hours, partially covered, adding reserved tomato liquid if it starts to appear dry.  Taste and adjust seasonings. Continue to simmer until meat is tender, about another two hours.

Serve with Garnishes


BACON CORNBREADcornbread with bacon

Makes 18 Squares


1  pound bacon

2  cups all purpose flour

2 tbls. sugar

1 tbls. baking powder

1 tsp.  baking soda

1 tsp. salt

1-1/2 cups yellow cornmeal

4 eggs

2 cups buttermilk


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.


Cook bacon in heavy skillet over medium high heat until crisp. Drain on paper towel and reserve ½ cup bacon fat and let cook.  Crumble bacon.

Grease 9 x 12 baking pan. Place the pan in the oven to preheat.  Sift flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a large bowl. Mix in cornmeal.

Beat eggs with electric mixer. Add buttermilk and reserved bacon drippings and beat to blend. Stir egg mixture into dry ingredients without over mixing.  Stir in bacon. Pour into greased preheated pan.  Bake for about 30 minutes until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cut into 18 squares.  Serve hot with chili.