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Spicy Chili

For the Saints game on Sunday i had a few people over and decided to make use of my newly bought Lodge Dutch Oven.  I bought it as kind of a "trainer" for when i want to shell out the money for a Crueset years down the line when this one breaks down.

What i ended up deciding to make was a spicy chili based on this recipe.  It ended up being a huge hit even with a few picky eaters, so I think it's something i might try to hone and tweak, thus i want to write it down and then write down my thoughts about it.

I changed the base recipe in the following ways:

1. used tasso instead of Italian Sausage.  next time i'm going to get two packs.
2. used one jalapeno and two serano peppers.  This added kick to the beginning of the flavor but then it calmed down and didn't end up being spicy enough for my taste.  Granted -
3. i forgot to add the chili powder, although i did add some cayenne pepper.
4. when i browned the meat, i added a bunch of spices to that in the browning process, which included my standard stuff - basil, thyme, oregano, and rosemary.

I also added carrots to the stew because i decided i wanted more vegetables.  The texture of the carrots ended up being pretty close to right - not raw, but not completely soft.  I feel like i need to do the same thing with the bell pepper in the future too in the same way that i already do when i cook with my pressure cooker - i want there to be a little crunch to my bell pepper, so on first serve it might go in later rather than the beginning of the 30 minute simmer.

It definitely needs more kick to it too, so i think next time i'm going to do three jalapenos along with the seranos.  I thought about cutting out one of the cans of stewed tomatoes too because i put part of the blame for the kick not being strong enough on that, but for quantity of everything else i think the ingredient to stewed tomato ratio would be too weird.

Also contemplating using more onion and garlic, and throwing some of that and some of the spice into the browning process as opposed to after.  I'm a little undecided about that.

We'll see what happens when i do it next.  And also how i feel about the leftovers i have tonight because sometimes the leftovers are a better gauge of what needs to happen than "just served".

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