Another Super Bowl arrives and as it has been for the last 20 years, I have no dog in that fight. I guess that is better than being a Lions fan who long for an appearance. So who to root for in this Ravens - 49ers battle. For me, it boils down to which team is less offensive. Let's start with the Ravens:
A) Ray Lewis. Before the whole deer horn issue, his game wore a little thin on me. I don't want to get into the whole murder story again, but really, how does a guy go from being involved in a stabbing to becoming one of the faces of the league?
B) The city of Baltimore stole the Browns from Cleveland. My tax dollars built them a Taj Mahol of a stadium...I have a problem with public dollars supporting football owners. On the other side of the coin, at least the Browns did not dirve out of town in the middle of the night and they did have the decency to leave the name "Browns" to Cleveland unlike the Irsays who took the Colts and flew the coop. How can the Indianapolis Colts claim Johnny Unitas?
C) They are from Baltimore...that should disqualify support right there. Fans of Washington teams have traditionally not given a hoot about our northern brethern...excepting the O's until recently.
And how about the 49ers?
A) They have won enough - it's like rooting for the Steelers or the Cowboys. Besides, the 49ers run in the 80's & 90's kept the Redskins from reaching a couple of additional title games.
B) They are coached by a Harbaugh, but then so are the other guys.
C) Niner fans rate just below Eagle & Steeler fans on the likability index.
I suppose I will pull for the Ravens but I think the 49ers are the better team and will win. Interestingly, if the 49ers win it will only be the second time an African - American quarterback would have won a Super Bowl. There is a really special article about Doug Williams that you really should read:
A couple of other thoughts for this week...
Tiger Woods has become the New York Yankees of golf. He can beat all the weaklings but when the going gets tough, Tiger folds up like a cheap suit.
I am sad that Gio Gonzales is involved in the PED scandel...he seems like a good guy. Generally speaking were there is smoke there is fire.
The Capitals finally won a game but OV is just a shadow of his former self. I wonder if Ovechkin can find his game.
The Chili Cookoff Winner!
We had three fine chili recipes submitted and it was a close call, but my family clearly loved Beezers chili and salsa. In fact, the salsa was almost gone before I got a chance to really sample it! I highly recommend giving it a go.
JeffT's chili was really good, too but it did require an above average amount of effort. The chili paste that you make for this was absolutely fabulous.
As for my own chili, it is a more traditional chop meat chili with a cinnamon finish (a Cincinnati chili). It is the easiest to prep of the three so there is something to be said for the lazy chef.
All the recipes are given below:
The Beeze’s CHAMPION Chicken Chili & Salsa
2 red peppers, 2 green peppers, 2 onions, and half a bunch of celery diced, and saute with 1T of garlic...deglaze with a cup of veg stock or chicken stock...In separate pan sear off 6 chicken breasts seasoned with cajun spice, Motreal chicken seasoning, S&P....chop the chicken up add it to the veggies, along with 2 cans of diced tomatoes, 2 cans of white beans, 2 cans of black beans, 2 cans of chili beans in sauce...Add another cup of stock. 2T oregano, 1T cumin, 1T chili powder, 2T tabasco (more if you want spicey)..S&P...Let simmer for 3-4 hours...
4 Mangos peeled and rough diced. 3 pints of strawberries, chopped...1T minced garlic, 1 green pepper diced...I red onion diced, 1 bunch of chives (fine slice) 2T fresh basil...couple pinches of salt, fresh ground pepper, 2T honey, 2T sugar, 2T tabasco, 1T Chili powder.
JeffT2 Chuck Roast Chili
3 large dried ancho chilies
1 tablespoon of olive oil
3 oz of diced bacon
2 cups of chopped onion
2 ½ lbs of beef chuck roast (cubed 2 to 3 inches)
Coarse kosher salt
3 large garlic cloves, peeled
1 ½ tablespoons of chili powder
1 tablespoon of cumin seeds
½ tablespoon of dried oregano
½ tablespoon of ground coriander
¾ tablespoon of coarse kosher salt
4 large red bell peppers
1 large Serrano pepper
1 Poblano pepper
10 oz can of fire roasted diced tomatoes with green chilies
1 12 oz bottle of Dos Equis or Negro Modelo
1 oz semi sweet chocolate
2 cups of peeled butternut or other winter squash (1 inch pieces)
Put the dried Ancho chilies in a medium bowl and pour boiling water to cover the chilies. Let the chilies soak to soften them (at least 30 minutes).
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Heat the olive oil in a large pot and then add the chopped bacon to the sauté over a medium high heat until it begins to brown. Next, add the onions and reduce the heat to medium. Cover and cook only about five minutes (until they begin to turn translucent).
Cut up the beef into chunks and sprinkle with coarse salt and pepper. Add the seasoned beef to the pot. Stir beef and onion mixture so that it browns slight, then turn off the heat and set aside.
Drain the dried chilies and discard the seeds, but reserve the soaking liquid. If you like your chili hot, keep the seeds. Tear the flesh of the chilies and put them in a blender or food processor with 1 cup of soaking liquid, garlic, chili powder, cumin seeds, oregano, coriander and 1 ½ teaspoons of coarse salt. Blend to a puree. If it is very thick add soaking liquid in ¼ cupfuls. Pour puree over beef in pot
Turn the heat to medium low, bring to a simmer and begin to cook the puree with the beef.
Meanwhile, roast the Poblano pepper over an open flame or under a broiler. Wrap in a towel for 15 minutes to steam, then peel by rubbing with a dry paper towel. Next, chop the Serrano pepper and add the Serrano, Poblano and Bell pepper into a food processor blender and chop finely, but not pureed.. Add the peppers to the pot.
Next, add the can of tomatoes with juices and green chiles and beer and then stir everything together and bring to a simmer.
Cover the pot and place in a preheated oven at 350 degrees. Cook 2 hours .(I like my chili pretty hot, but if you prefer a milder version, remove the seeds from the peppers. If you like your chili very hot you can add another Serrano pepper or two.)
Uncover and continue to cook until the beef is almost tender, about an hour.
Sun Tzu’s Beef Chili
1.5 lb meat (high grade lean beef preferred)
half of a large onion - diced (about 1 cup)
2 stalks celery hearts - diced
1 can great northern beans, drained & washed
1 can light kidney beans, drained & washed
1 can tomato paste
1 can Ro-Tel tomatoes with green chilies (MUST be Ro-Tel - found in canned tomato section of Safeway)
1 tsp chopped garlic (I am lazy - I use the chopped garlic in a jar)
1 tbl ground cumin powder
2 tbl ground chili powder
salt to taste (about 1 tsp)
1 tsp black pepper
1 tbl sugar (I use organic Blue Agave Syrup but if you don't have that, the sugar will do)
1/2 tsp chipotle chili powder (available in spice aisle in specialty spices, adds a nice smoky finish; don't add too much as it will overpower the recipe.)
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon (option - but adds a nice finish)
1/3 cup of beer (I like the flavor of using Yeungling, but a close second is Corona)
2 tbl oil
1. in large saucepan / pot, add oil and saute onions and garlic until tender, blend in meat and cook until browned
2. While beef is cooking, add in celery
3. Add chili powders, cumin, salt & pepper- mix well and let beef simmer for a few minutes
4. Add in tomato paste & Ro-Tel tomatoes and beer (I use tomato paste can to measure the right amount of beer --- about 2 cans)
5. Mix well
6. Add beans
7. If the chili needs a little extra liquid, add more beer.
8. Add cinnamon at end - this is totally optional. I might suggest putting a little bit in a small pot and adding a dash of cinnamon and see if you like it first. My family loves it with the cinnamon.
Serve with shredded cheese (sharp cheddar freshly shredded), sour cream and chopped green onions
Salsa dip / topping:
1 large ripe tomato
1/2 onion cut & quartered
1/4 cup lime juice
1 tbs agave syrup
1 tbs apple cider vinegar
1/4 tsp salt & pepper each
1/2 cup fresh cilantro - washed and chopped
1 tbl chili powder
1 can Ro-tel tomatoes
Put all ingredients except Ro-Tel's in food processor and blend throughly. (Onion and cilantro should go into processor first).
Transfer to bowl and add in Ro-Tel's
Cook up some of Beezer's chili & salsa for the Super Bowl!