mimi’s Black Magic Chili

Tonight is the church’s Halloween Hoedown and the return of the church-wide Chili Cookoff. If there’s one thing that’s pretty certain in church-related cooking contests, it’s that the Bero/Gaston women will do very well. Mama, aka Miss Carolyn, is famous for her homemade soups and ridiculously good pecan shortbread, while middle sis, Cigi, makes a chocolate thing so good it ought to be illegal. I’ve managed to take prizes in a choir-sponsored lasagna throwdown (Chicken Marsala Florentine Lasagna), a firefighter-judged Italian Sausage Macaroni and Cheese, and two chili cookoffs. I’ve placed with both a white chicken version, Not-So-Dumb-Blonde Chili, and a black bean concoction I made up one morning that turned out pretty darned well.

There’s a chill in the air this morning (okay, 66°, but that counts as chill in Central Florida), so I have something in the crock for tonight. If it’s legitimately cold up your way, you’re welcome to mix up a batch for yourself and warm up, Florida style. Here’s the recipe:

mimi’s Black Magic Chili

1 lb. fresh chorizo

1 sweet onion, diced
1 can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, divided
1 T garlic (2-3 cloves, minced)
1 can Ro-Tel diced tomatoes and green chiles
5 cans black beans, drained (leave some liquid)
4 T sofrito
2 T oregano
1 T Everglades Heat
1-1/2 T cumin
2 T key lime juice
olive oil

In a large frying pan, simmer the chorizo in a cup or so of water until cooked through. While chorizo is simmering, dice onion and four of the chipotle peppers (with their sauce). Store remaining peppers for another recipe. Remove chorizo from pan and cut into bite-sized slices. Drain pan, drizzle with olive oil, and return to heat. Sauté onion, pepper, and garlic until onion is transparent; add Ro-Tel and chorizo; cook until well-blended and chorizo is starting to crumble. In 5-qt. Crock Pot. combine beans, sofrito, spices, and lime juice. Add chorizo mixture and stir to combine. Cook on low 6-8 hours or high for 4 hours. Yummy with shredded cheese, sour cream, and blue corn tortilla chips.

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