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Spicy Antipasto Panzanella with Honey Everything Bagel Vinaigrette

Spicy Antipasto Panzanella with Honey Everything Bagel Vinaigrette

Get ready because this is a giant flavor bomb in your mouth. Crusty toasted bread, arugula, salami, soppressata, mozzarella cheese, green olives, sun-dried tomatoes, red onion and spicy jalapeños all get tossed together in a sweet honey dressing loaded with everything bagel seasoning.

Happy Frydae, friends! Today, I’m sharing something to help you to escape your winter blues. This salad is a flavor bomb waiting to explode. It’s sweet, salty, acidic, crunchy and just downright delicious! This isn’t your typical green salad either. In fact, it’s my take on a panzanella— a Tuscan chopped salad traditionally made with tomatoes, herbs and stale bread that gets dressed in oil and vinegar.

Yes, that’s right, a salad exists that’s light on greens and heavy on the bread. So, if you’re trying to avoid carbs…this “salad” is probably not for you. But if you’re a bread lover like me, this salad is right up your alley.

The ingredients in this salad are inspired by a pizza I recently had that is now my absolute favorite pizza topping combination. The pizza starts with melty mozzarella cheese, salami, red onion, jalapeño peppers and Castelvetrano olives piled on top of red sauce and pizza dough. Sounds a little out-there but overall nothing too crazy right? Well before it’s baked, the edge of the crust gets a heavy dose of everything bagel seasoning pressed into it and then the real kicker comes at the end when the whole pizza gets drizzled with sweet sweet honey. Ugh. Guys, it’s literally Heaven on a pizza…or the pizza that I hope is served in Heaven. What I’m trying to say is, it’s delicious. 

Anyway, after eating that pizza and falling in love with the flavors, I wanted to create something else that used this amazing combination because, quite honestly, I just can’t get enough. I arrived at a panzanella salad because it seemed like a natural fit since the rest of the ingredients are essentially an antipasto platter. As I’m writing this, I’m also thinking this could also work wonderfully as a pasta salad too. Just swap the bread for rotini or penne pasta and it’d become a fantastic make-ahead potluck pasta salad. I’ll have to try it out and report back later.

Now, to make this panzanella is super easy. Start with the dressing so that the flavors can marinate together while you chop and prepare the rest of the ingredients. To begin, add all of your dressing ingredients to a food processor and blend until smooth. I like to reserve half of the everything bagel seasoning until after the dressing is pureed so it has some whole sesame seeds running throughout it. 

Next, cut up a good, crusty sourdough baguette into 1-inch cubes and drizzle the cubes with a few tablespoons of olive oil. I like to sprinkle a little everything bagel seasoning on the bread cubes as well—can you tell that I’ve got a mild (deep) infatuation with everything bagel seasoning? It’s just too good!

Then, toast the bread cubes in a skillet over medium heat until they start to turn golden. You want the bread cubes to be dry enough to have some crunch but still have a slightly soft, bready interior. Think half-baked croutons.

 

Once the bread is toasted, it’s really just a chopping fest from here. Slice, dice and chop your salami, soppressata, mozzarella, olives, red onion, sun-dried tomatoes, basil and jalapenos and add them to a big salad bowl with the bread cubes and some peppery arugula. Then, drizzle with the dressing and toss to coat. 

I think this salad is best served immediately when the dressing is just starting to soak into the bread. But, I know some people love panzanella the next day too once everything has marinaded together and the flavors have fully developed. If you want to do this as a next day salad, I would probably leave out the arugula so it doesn’t get wilted and add it just before serving.

However you choose to enjoy this salad, just be prepared for lots of flavor. Feel free to change up the ingredients too. Swap in some pepperoncini peppers, burrata, fontina cheese or roasted red peppers. Those would all go great in this “salad” too.

If you make this panzanella, please give the recipe a rating and tag me on Instagram (@frydaeblog or #frydae). You can also leave me a comment below too—I’d love to hear your thoughts. Have a great weekend everyone!

Spicy Antipasto Panzanella with Honey Everything Bagel Vinaigrette

Get ready because this is a giant flavor bomb in your mouth. Crusty toasted bread, arugula, salami, soppressata, mozzarella cheese, green olives, sun-dried tomatoes, red onion and spicy jalapeños all get tossed together in a sweet honey dressing loaded with everything bagel seasoning.

Course Salad
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 25 minutes
Servings 8

Ingredients

  • 1 small shallot (chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic (minced)
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon everything bagel seasoning
  • 1 sourdough baguette (cubed)
  • 4 ounces hard salami (cubed)
  • 4 ounces soppressata (cubed)
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese (cubed)
  • 1 14-ounce jar garlic stuffed olives or pitted Castelvetrano olives (sliced)
  • 1/2 cup red onion (thinly sliced)
  • 1/4 cup julienne-cut sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1-2 fresh jalapenos (thinly sliced)
  • 2 cups arugula
  • 1/4 cup basil leaves (chopped)

Instructions

  1. Dressing

    In a food processor, combine chopped shallot, garlic, red wine vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, honey, pepper, salt, red pepper flakes, and 1/2 tablespoon of everything bagel seasoning. 

    Blend on high until smooth and emulsified. Remove from food processor into a small bowl. Stir in remaining 1/2 tablespoon of everything bagel seasoning and set aside.

  1. Toasted Bread Cubes

    Cut a sourdough baguette into 1/2" cubes. Drizzle and toss bread cubes in a little olive oil and sprinkle with a little everything bagel seasoning. 

    In a pre-heated skillet, over medium heat, add the seasoned bread cubes. Toast the bread cubes for 3-5 minutes, stirring periodically, until toasted. You want them to be crisp but not quite as bone-dry crunchy as a crouton.

    Remove from heat and add to a large salad bowl. Let cool.

  1. Salad

    Next, prepare the remaining salad ingredients. Add to the large bowl containing the toasted bread cubes the salami, soppressata, mozzarella cheese, olives, sun-dried tomatoes, jalapeno, red onion, arugula and basil.

    Gently toss all ingredients together. When you're ready to serve, drizzle dressing over the salad and toss to coat. Take care not to overdress the salad. You want the bread to absorb some of the flavor from the dressing but not to the point where the bread gets soggy. 

    Serve immediately.

Notes


If you want to make this salad ahead, go ahead and mix the all salad ingredients together reserving the bread cubes and arugula out separate until just before serving. Then, when you're ready to serve, toss the bread, arugula, and salad ingredients together and then add the dressing. This will ensure your greens and bread remain crisp until you're ready to dig in.

Black Bottom Coconut-Banana Cream Pie

Black Bottom Coconut-Banana Cream Pie

This sinfully sweet pie starts with a coconut graham cracker crust and gets filled with layers of decadent chocolate fudge, coconut-banana custard, and homemade sweetened whipped cream. Garnished with chocolate hearts and bananas, it’s the perfect dessert to share with someone special on Valentine’s Day.

Hey, remember that time I launched a recipe blog and then my oven broke the very next day? Yeah, so that’s a thing that happened this past week. Oh well, as they say, the show must go on!

Today, I’m sharing something sweet to celebrate it being Valentine’s Day. I did have these wonderful white chocolate raspberry “unbrownies” planned but seeing as I don’t have an oven for a few days, I had to come up with a plan b.

Which brings me to pie. I don’t know about you, but I feel like pie is hugely underappreciated. It just doesn’t get the same love that cookies, cakes, brownies and ice cream get—except on Pi Day.

I like to imagine that all the other (more popular) desserts got together one day and decided to throw pie a pity party and give it a special holiday of its own but in a sneaky, passive-aggressive mean girl way by connecting it to something nerdy like math.

Cake (who is clearly the Regina George of the dessert clique) must have been like, “oh, remember that one dessert that isn’t really bad at all but we just neglect all year and don’t let them sit with us? Let’s show it some love too. It will be good PR for us—the popular desserts! Don’t worry, we won’t give it a super cool holiday. We’ll connect it to something lame—like math—and save all the cool food holidays for ourselves.”

And that’s how I imagine Pi Day began.

Now, returning to reality, I will say that I’m a big fan of pie—I think I may like it more than cake even. Which is why I’m not waiting until March 14th to share this delicious Black Bottom Coconut-Banana Cream Pie.

Cake Regina George will just have to add me to the Burn Book and deal with the fact that I’m letting pie steal the spotlight this Valentine’s Day (even if it’s selfishly because I don’t have an oven right now).

This pie has a lot going on, but trust me, it all comes together into a sinfully sweet and decadent cream pie that your Valentine will be sure to enjoy.

It all starts with a simple, no-bake graham cracker crust that is made with sweetened coconut which gets topped with layers of rich chocolate fudge and creamy, thick coconut-banana custard.

Finally, the whole thing gets topped with homemade sweetened whipped cream and garnished with chocolate hearts and heart-shaped banana slices.

What I love about this pie is how dense and stable the custard is. Unlike other traditional coconut or banana cream pies, that often fall apart once they are sliced, this one holds its shape pretty well once it’s done chilling.

Last, we have to talk about these adorable banana slices. You can, of course, garnish the pie with regular banana slices but because it is Valentine’s Day, I had to get all mushy and add some hearts!

I use a mini fondant punch (available at most craft stores in their cake decorating aisle) to cut out the banana shapes but a tiny heart cookie cutter would also work fine too.

If you make this pie, please give the recipe a rating and tag me on Instagram (@frydaeblog or #frydae). You can also leave me a comment below too! I love to hear your thoughts on the recipes I’m creating!

What are your Valentine’s Day plans this year? I feel like this holiday is super divided nowadays into people who either love it or hate it! What camp do you fall into? Regardless of your personal sentiments, I hope you all have a great weekend!

Black Bottom Coconut-Banana Cream Pie

This sinfully sweet pie starts with a coconut graham cracker crust and gets filled with layers of decadent chocolate fudge, coconut-banana custard, and homemade sweetened whipped cream.

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Chill Time 5 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 16

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker (finely ground)
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 6 tablespoons salted butter (softened)
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 2 14-ounce cans sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter
  • 4 bananas
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • additional banana slices
  • toasted coconut
  • chocolate shavings
  • chocolate hearts

Instructions

  1. Coconut Graham Cracker Crust

    Using a food processor, blend together graham crackers, sugar and shredded coconut until it resembles fine crumbs. Add in softened butter and pulse until a moist but crumbly dough forms.

    Next, add mixture into a 9-inch springform pan. Using your hands and wax paper, press the crumbs in an even layer up the sides and bottom of the springform pan. You want the crust to rise about 2 to 2.5 inches up the sides of the pan. Refrigerate crust at least 1 hour before filling.

  1. Chocolate Fudge

    When the crust is almost done chilling, begin to make the fillings.  

    Add chocolate chips to a medium glass bowl and set aside. Then, in a small saucepan, warm heavy cream, corn syrup, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla over medium heat until steaming and just starting to simmer. Pour cream mixture over chocolate chips and stir until melted and smooth—about 3 minutes. Next, spread chocolate fudge in an even layer over the chilled crust. Freeze at least 30 minutes.

  1. Coconut-Banana Custard

    While chocolate fudge layer sets, separate eggs and place egg yolks in a small bowl, beat until smooth and then set aside. You won't be needing the egg whites, so go ahead and store those in a container for use in a different recipe.

    Next, in a medium saucepan, add cornstarch and condensed milk whisk together to combine until no lumps remain. Then place the saucepan over medium heat, stirring continuously, until mixture begins to thicken and bubble. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 2 minutes.

    Now, temper the eggs. This step is critical to ensure you don’t end up with scrambled eggs in your pie! Add a little bit (a few tablespoons) of the hot milk mixture to the egg yolks and whisk to combine. Once the eggs have been tempered, transfer the egg mixture to milk/cornstarch mixture and stir to combine.

    Place pan back on the heat and bring to a light boil. Boil for 2 1/2 minutes, stirring continuously, until thickened. Remove from heat and pour custard into a food processor.

    Add two of the bananas, lemon juice, butter, coconut extract and vanilla to hot custard. Blend until smooth and then, using a rubber spatula, gently fold the shredded coconut into the custard.

    Next, gently pour the custard over prepared crust and chocolate fudge layer—which should have firmed up in the freezer. Smooth custard with a spatula or knife and then take plastic wrap and gently lay it directly onto the custard (so it is touching the custard's surface). This plastic wrap will help prevent a film from forming on the surface of the custard while it sets. Return pie to the refrigerator and chill until firm—at least 4 hours (or overnight).

  1. Sweetened Whipped Cream

    In a stand mixer, add heavy cream to a mixing bowl and whip until soft peaks form. Then beat in powdered sugar and vanilla and continue to whip until stiff peaks form. 

    Prior to spreading whipped cream, slice the remaining two bananas and arrange on top of the set custard. Then, spread a medium layer whipped cream over the top of the pie. Reserve a little of the whipped cream for piping rosettes.

  1. Garnish

    With remaining whipped cream, spoon into a piping bag and decorate pie with remaining whipped cream as desired.

    Using a heart-shaped fondant punch or extra small cookie cutter, cut out heart-shaped banana pieces from a slice of a ripe banana.

    Gently toss banana hearts in a little lemon juice to slow them from browning. They should stay fresh looking for a few hours but won’t last overnight so hold off on adding fresh banana hearts (or regular slices) until just before serving for best results.

    Arrange banana hearts on pie and sprinkle with additional toppings like toasted coconut, chocolate shavings or chocolate hearts.

    Serve immediately and enjoy. Keep refrigerated.

Marbled Jalapeño & Cheddar Cornbread

Marbled Jalapeño & Cheddar Cornbread

This uniquely marbled cornbread gets its appearance from spicy jalapeños and fresh cilantro that are puréed and mixed into a portion of the batter. Then everything gets swirled together to create a gorgeous pan of moist, melt-in-your-mouth goodness. Serve with your favorite bowl of soup or hearty chili.

Living in Wisconsin for most of my life, one thing you learn early on is that the only NFL team you can root for is the Green Bay Packers. I mean, we’ll coexist peacefully with other fans (yes, even if you root for the Bears). But there’s something infectious about the Packers and Lambeau Field that creates a passionate love for football from a very young age.

Perhaps it stems from eating lots of chili at Packer parties growing up, but the only food I want to eat throughout football season is a big bowl of chili with all the fixings—including cornbread.

Now, I know cornbread can get a bad rap for being dry and flavorless, so I set out to make a flavorful cornbread that is great dunked in a bowl of spicy chili or eaten on its own. I also wanted this cornbread to be a festive side dish when we host Packer games. So naturally, I had to figure out a way to make it green and gold!

Spicy jalapeños and fresh cilantro are puréed and mixed into a portion of the batter and then swirled with the rest of the batter for a gorgeous marbled pan of moist, melt-in-your-mouth goodness.

Something else that makes this cornbread unique is that it’s made with cornmeal and Masa Harina. If you’re unfamiliar, it’s a finely ground corn flour that is traditionally used to make corn tortillas and tamales. I find that it also makes wonderfully light and fluffy cornbread too.

You can find Masa Harina at most Hispanic markets but Bob’s Red Mill also makes some that you can typically find in the baking aisle at your local grocery store too!

Oh, and before I forget, this cornbread also has cheese! Lots of freshly grated cheddar cheese—because this wouldn’t be a cornbread fit for droves of Packer fans if it didn’t have at least a little cheese mixed in there.

You don’t have to be a fan of the “Green and Gold” to love this cornbread. You don’t have to even like football. All you need is love in your heart for carbs, cheese, cilantro and jalapeños! That’s a team we can all root for right?!

Try this cornbread recipe out alongside a bowl of Drunken Short Rib Chili. Oh, and if green bread freaks you out, no worries, I’m working on a few less green variations of this marbled delight. Stay tuned!

If you try out this delicious cornbread, please leave me a comment below and give this recipe a rating! I love hearing from you all and do my best to respond to each and every one of you. Also, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram (@frydaeblog or #frydae) if you try this recipe out. I love to see what my fellow foodies are whipping up in their kitchens!

Marbled Jalapeño & Cheddar Cornbread

Spicy jalapeños and fresh cilantro are puréed and mixed into a portion of the batter and then swirled with the rest for a gorgeous marbled pan of moist, melt-in-your-mouth goodness.

Course Bread
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 8

Ingredients

  • 1 cup masa harina
  • 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups half and half (fat-free)
  • 3 Tbsp sour cream
  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter (melted)
  • 1/4 cup cilantro (leaves and stems are fine)
  • 2 jalapeños (seeded)
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

    In a blender or food processor puree cilantro and jalapenos until smooth. Set aside.

    In a separate large bowl, place masa harina, cornmeal, flour, baking powder, sugar and salt together and stir to combine.

    Next, in a small bowl, whisk half and half, sour cream, eggs and melted butter together.

    Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir to combine. Take care to not over-mix.

    Then, remove 1 cup of the batter and place into a separate bowl. Add the pureed jalapeno/cilantro mixture and stir to combine. The batter should be nice and green.

    Next, fold the cheddar cheese into the remaining plain batter.

    Spray or grease a 9x13 pan or 10-inch cast iron skillet and spoon the plain batter into the pan and smooth the top. Now, take spoonfuls of the green batter and put on top of the plain batter. Make sure some yellow is still peaking through. Then, make it pretty! Using a knife, swirl the two batters together until well marbled.

    Bake for 20 to 25 minutes—or until the edges are browned and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

    Cool on a rack slightly before serving. Serve warm.

Notes


If you want to take a shortcut, you can also use a cornbread mix—I recommend Trader Joe’s Cornbread Mix. Just follow the package instructions and reserve 1 cup of the batter and add the jalapeños and cilantro puree. Then marble as directed above and bake per the baking mix's instructions.

Mole-Inspired Drunken Short Rib Chili

Mole-Inspired Drunken Short Rib Chili

A mole-inspired chili made with tender short rib, roasted poblanos, chipotle chilis in adobo and chocolate. There’s also a healthy splash of beer and coffee that adds extra depth and flavor. Garnish with sour cream, cheese, avocado and your other favorite chili fixings.

We have an inside joke in my house about chili. Growing up, my church would host soup suppers during Lent where members of the congregation would all bring in their favorite soups before worship and everyone could enjoy a bowl of hearty warm goodness before the service.

My mother always brought chili. One time, when I was probably 9 or 10, she decided to try transporting it in the crockpot directly rather than bringing it in separate Tupperware containers and transferring it to the crockpot once we arrived.

In theory, this should have worked, but we were living in the foothills of Colorado and let’s just say an extra full crockpot of hot chili in a car going up and down the mountain hills was not a good combination.

My mother rarely swears but we heard quite a few expletives on the ride to church that day as my father drove and my mom tried her best to balance the chili on the lap without spilling it everywhere. Good thing she was heading to church, right?! She did a few extra Hail Marys that night!

It probably didn’t help that my sister and I were laughing hysterically in the back as we drove. As I said, my mother rarely swore so it was nuts to see her using that type of language so profusely. Since my sister and I were still young, my parents told us “those words” were bad and that “chili words” were not okay for us to repeat.

So, to this day, our family still calls swear words “chili words” whenever we are together. My mother will never live that one down!

Anyway, enough story time. Let’s talk chili! This recipe I’ve tweaked and played with over the last few years—more spice, less spice, sweeter, smokier…you get the idea. After trying my hand at scratch-made mole earlier this year, I thought the addition of chocolate and dried chilis would add some extra depth to the overall flavor. I used dried ancho chilis since those are usually the most readily available at most grocery stores but if you have a good Mexican grocery store in your area, don’t be afraid to add others like pasilla or mulato.

When it comes to the fresh peppers, I also tend to change up what I use every time depending on the heat tolerance of the crowd I’m feeding. I’ll typically swap in extra peppers or hotter peppers but the recipe below is for a relatively mild version using just jalapeños that will typically please even the faintest of heart. One thing I do the same every time, however, is the roasted poblanos. Popping them under the broiler for just a few minutes until the skin blisters is a step I’ve always found worth the extra work.

Then, of course, there’s the alcohol (and caffeine). I’ve always enjoyed making stews with beer as a cooking liquid so it seemed like a natural addition to chili. In this recipe, I recommend using a nice dark beer that has chocolate and coffee notes in it, but really any beer will do nicely since you’re going to add in a healthy shot (or two) of strong coffee too.

My moms famous “chili words” chili was more traditional with ground beef, but this one also includes chunks of tender short rib too. I also like to put a lot of different beans in my chili to add color and texture, so this chili has four, yes you heard me right, four kinds of beans in it.

I like to serve it with all the fixings including oyster crackers, avocado, cilantro, sour cream, cheddar cheese, queso fresco, and my favorite Marbled Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread.

Oh, and if you grew up eating chili in the Midwest as my husband did, you’ll know they like their chili with noodles in it too. So I typically serve this with some al dente small shell or ditalini pasta.

This chili is extra AF and it’s my absolute favorite to eat any time of the year. Plus, it always makes me think of my mom, her very sporadic foul language and…Jesus??? I doubt it will have the same effect on you, but damn (sorry for the chili words) is it tasty.

If you try out this recipe, please rate it and leave a comment below. Also, don’t forget to take a picture and tag me on Instagram (@frydaeblog or #frydae) if you try out this recipe. I love seeing my recipes come to life in other people’s kitchens!

mole-inspired short rib chili with jalapeños, dried ancho chiles and black beans
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Mole-Inspired Drunken Short Rib Chili

A mole-inspired chili made with tender short rib, roasted poblanos, chipotle chilis in adobo and chocolate. There's also a healthy splash of beer and coffee that adds extra depth and flavor.

Course Soup
Cuisine Southwest
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 45 minutes
Servings 10

Ingredients

  • 3 slices thick-cut bacon (diced)
  • 1.5 pounds ground beef
  • 1.5 pounds beef short ribs (boneless)
  • 1 onion (diced)
  • 4 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 3 poblano peppers (roasted, then diced)
  • 2 chipotle chilis in adobo (diced)
  • 1-2 jalapeños (diced)
  • 5 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 14.5 ounces canned fire-roasted tomatoes (low sodium)
  • 1 cup canned pinto beans (no salt added, drained and rinsed)
  • 1 cup canned black beans (no salt added, drained and rinsed)
  • 1 cup canned kidney beans (no salt added, drained and rinsed)
  • 1 cup canned great northern beans (no salt added, drained and rinsed)
  • 12 ounces beer of choice
  • 4 cups beef stock (low-sodium)
  • 8 ounces strong-brewed coffee
  • 2 ounces dark chocolate
  • cheddar cheese (shredded)
  • queso fresco (crumbled)
  • sour cream
  • avocado (diced)
  • cilantro
  • fresh jalapeño (diced)
  • red onion (diced)
  • lime wedges
  • macaroni noodles (cooked and drained)
  • tortilla chips
  • oyster crackers

Instructions

  1. Roasting the Poblanos

    Note, that this step is optional, but I think totally worth it. If you want to skip roasting, simply dice the poblanos and add them to the chili when you saute the onions.

    First, preheat your broiler, with your oven rack in the top position. While your broiler is preheating, fill a large mixing bowl with ice water and set aside.

    Once the broiler is preheated, place the whole poblano peppers directly on the rack and broil for 5-8 minutes turning as the skin starts to blister and turn black.

    When peppers are well charred, remove and place immediately into the ice water. The cold water will help pull the blistered skin away from the flesh of the pepper making them easier to peel.

    Let the peppers soak for 5 minutes and then begin to peel away the skin. If part of the skin doesn't peel away, no worries, they can stay. Just try to get them as clean as possible.

    Once peeled, seed and dice the poblanos and set aside.

  1. Making the Chili

    Heat a large stockpot over medium heat. Add diced bacon to the pot and cook for 5-6 minutes until crispy. Remove from pan and let drain on paper towel.

    Next, dice the short ribs into bite-sized pieces and add to the stock pot along with the ground beef. Cook until brown. Now, add the diced onion, jalapeños and garlic and saute until the onions begin to turn translucent and the jalapeños soften. Add the reserved bacon, roasted poblanos and diced chipotle chiles in adobo. Stir to combine.

    Next, add chili powder, oregano, cumin, salt, pepper and cinnamon and cook until fragrant—less than 1 minute.

    Next, add the canned fire-roasted tomatoes and canned beans to the pot. Stir to combine.

    Pour beer into the pot, stirring to deglaze the bottom and scrape up all those yummy charred bits. Add beef stock and coffee and then bring the chili to a boil. Reduce the heat and then let the chili simmer. Partially cover and cook until the short rib is nice and tender—about 2 hours but you can also just let this simmer all day on low too and really let the flavors come together. If the chili starts to get too thick, you can add a little extra beef stock to the pot.

    Just before serving, add the chocolate and stir to combine. 

    Ladle into bowls and serve with your favorite toppings. If you're in the Midwest (or is it just a Wisconsin thing?) you know that people up here have strong feelings about adding noodles to their chili. Any small shape pasta like macaroni, ditalini or shells works great.

    Enjoy! 

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