HEAT THINGS UP WITH P.A. BROWN
Along with writing mysteries that keep you on the edge of your seat, P.A. Brown is a terrific cook. Here's a hot recipe to ward off the coming cold weather. P.A.'s notes are italicized.
Pat’s Beanless Crockpot Chili
½ lb bacon, cooked crisp
2 lbs ground meat – can be lean beef, chicken, turkey or pork, or a mixture. Exotic meats can be used as well – venison, buffalo, etc.
2 28 oz cans of whole tomatoes
1 can tomato paste
Chopped hot peppers to taste – for no heat, use green bell peppers
Carrots, shredded fine
Chili powder to taste
2 tbsp cocoa powder – should be at least 70% cocoa
salt and pepper to taste
Bottle of dark beer – stout, porter or brown
Optional Additions to include before deglazing
Roasted kernel corn
Grilled tomatoes, chopped
Grilled peppers, chopped
1 cup of sour cream - Plain yogurt can be substituted for the sour cream
1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese – I like sharp, 2-3 year old cheddar, but any cheese will do
Chopped cilantro if you like
Cook bacon till crisp. Drain on paper towel.
Use bacon grease to cook ground meat until it begins to brown, remove from pan and put in crock pot. If there’s a lot of fat, drain most of it. Add all other ingredients, including any of the optional additions you like, to crock pot.
Use beer to deglaze the meat pan, then pour into crock pot, scrapping the bottom of the pan.
Stir cock pot well with a wooden spoon. Cook on high for half an hour, then turn to low and let it simmer all day if you want.
Serve with corn bread, garlic bread, or crusty rolls. Top with grated cheese, sour cream, cilantro if used.
This chili is wonderful with fries and cheese for chili fries. Or topping a hamburger.
Freezes very well. Could be kept for up to 6 months. This one only gets better with age.
While this superb chili is simmering, enjoy a few chapters of P.A. Brown's Between Darkness and Light available at MLR Press.
Here's a small clue about the book:
Detective Russell Hunter emerges from darkness to meet fine artist Stephen Fischer, darling of the Los Angeles art world. Can these two unravel the mystery surrounding the death of two of L.A's art critics before Stephen becomes the next victim.
The downtown Los Angeles financial center is the heart of this thrilling murder mystery and the unwanted love that grows between a cop with a dark secret in his troubled past and an up and coming world class artist.
Learn more about P.A. Brown and the vacation from hell on her website
I'll be back Wednesday with KC Kendriks. Until then...
Sweet as Honey...Hotter than Hell