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wwheat2

We cut open the Applegate Farms, Oven Roasted Turkey Breast on Friday and the consensus was that it tasted like actual turkey and that is was awesome.  We sell a ton of turkey in the restaurant so I was really concerned that we might not like the new product.  With very few antibiotic-free, sustainable and humanely-raised options available in bulk packaging my quest for better meat could have been stopped dead cold.  Fortunately this is not the case!

We will crack open the ham and the salami this week, but I know they taste great because I have purchased them both at Whole Foods in retail packaging!  I can’t tell you how excited I am to be able to offer sustainable, hormone and antibiotic free, humanely-raised meats at Dish.  As far as I can tell there is not another sandwich place in a 200 mile radius doing anything like we are!

We were also excited because we are now using Niman Ranch bacon.  Niman Ranch, though Bill Niman is gone, still has one of the best hog raising standards in the country.  I’m happy to say we are taking a large amount of $$ out of the factory farmed animal side of things and this is only the beginning.

A couple of other notes to put out there.  HBO is running a new documentary called Death on a Factory Farm.  I suggest you take a look at it.  It starts next week

I’ve mentioned before an organization that labels products with the Certified Humane logo.  Here is their up-to-date listing of producers across the US with links to each company’s website!

Okay so on to bread.  I purchased the book Artisan Bread in Five Minutes per day last year and I love it.  We have made a ton of bread out of the book and the only time it didn’t turn out perfect was when I forgot how much flour I measured into the bucket and guessed wrong!

I would go out and buy this book if you like bread, you want to make your own and you don’t want to spend hours managing the process.  It’s incredibly easy and the results are great.  In fact when I made the honey whole wheat bread I took a loaf to work and all the employees thought it was great.  No easy task with a bunch of foodies!

So take a look at the below recipe, get the book to get all the exact details!

Oh and you can visit Zoe Francois’ (one of the authors of the book) blog to get more details – http://www.zoebakes.com

wwheat1

No Knead Honey Whole Wheat Bread- (makes 5 one-pound loaves)

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
  • 1 1/2 cups lukewarm milk
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons granulated yeast
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 5 tablespoons neutral-flavored oil
  • 6 2/3 cups whole wheat flour

Warm the water and milk to about 100 degrees. Add the yeast, honey, oil and the salt to the water in a 5 or 6 quart, resealable, lidded plastic food container.  You can pick these up at Resco or Smart and Final or other restaurant type food service places.

Now add all of the flour at once.  Mix with a wooden spoon, stand mixer with a dough hook, or a food processor fitted with a dough hook attachment.  You are done when everything is uniformly moist with no dry areas.  Should take no longer than a few minutes.

Cover with a lid, not airtight and allow to rise until it starts to flatten on the top or begins to collapse.  Should be about two hours.  Do not use mason jars with a lid or anything airtight…it could explode. Put the dough in the refrigerator overnight or for at least three hours.

I tried to make it in a loaf pan and didn’t put enough dough so experiment as you see fit.  I like the free-form loaves the best so I haven’t tried it again in the pan.

On baking day, prepare a pizza peel by sprinkling it liberally with cornmeal to prevent it from sticking when you slide it into the oven.

Sprinkle the surface of the refrigerated dough with flour. Pull up and cut off a grapefruit size piece of dough.  Hold the dough, flour your hands if you need to.  Gently stretch the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all four sides, rotating the ball a quarter turn as you go.  You are forming a round ball of dough. The bottom side will be a collection of bunched ends, but it will flatten out during baking. The top will be mostly smooth and cohesive.

Rest the loaf on the pizza peel for 1 hour and 40 minutes. Twenty minutes before you are ready to bake the loaf, preheat the oven to 350 degrees with a baking stone place on the middle rack and a empty metal roasting pan or broiler tray for holding water on the shelf below.

Dust the bread with flour and then slice about 1/8 of an inch slashes into the bread.  You can do them in any pattern you see fit.

After the 20-minute preheat, open the oven. Slide the bread onto the stone. Quickly pour 1 cup of hot water into the roasting pan or broiler tray, shut the door and bake for about 60 minutes until the crust is nicely browned and firm to the touch. Dot not open the oven or the steam will escape. The steam helps make the crust.

Allow to cool on a wire rack and then eat it!

Store the rest of the dough in your lidded, not airtight, container in the refrigerator up to 14 days!

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pot3

I’ve been busy to say the least.  Busy gaining weight, busy eating a ton of food… good and bad, busy trying to learn as much as I can about factory farming, busy trying to start a Slow Food chapter in Reno and busy trying to overhaul the kinds of meat products we are using at Dish.

Let me tell you, it is not easy to source humanely-raised, antibiotic-free, hormone-free meats.  My normal distributor doesn’t carry any of the brands I was looking for.  Well, wait, they do carry them, but the price is triple what we are paying now for ham, roast beef, turkey, bacon and salami.

So I moved on to our secondary distributor and called them.  They didn’t have anything!  Both of these companies are national and the leaders in their industry, but they carry very few organic and pretty much no humanely-raised options of any kind.  Blah… supply and demand I suppose!

I was starting to really get panicked until I thought of calling another company out of Sacramento that services Reno.  They came through… In fact today we received our first shipment of humanely-raised, antibiotic and hormone-free turkey, ham and salami as well as Niman Ranch applewood smoked bacon.  We also are now getting our eggs through  a farm that lets their chickens run around on natural ground with sunlight on their backs!

As for sourcing meats for my home, well that’s a bit more problematic.   None of the supermarkets in town carry anything on the pork side that is even close to humanely raised.  I’ve called quite a few places and have met with everything from laughs to surprise that I would want to buy humanely-raised meats.  What are you supposed to do?

We fortunately have a Whole Foods in town, so I have started to buy anything pork-related from them.  I’ve also looked up all the local farms within 100 miles and have contacted a few of them who raise beef and pigs.  Our plan is to visit each of them to see how they are raising their animals and then put together a group of people to purchase the meat!  I challenge you to do the same thing.  Yes it costs more, but I’ve come to the conclusion that I will just eat half as much meat as I did before!

So the good news is we are starting to make a difference.  Actually based on the amount of meat we use, I would say we are making a huge difference.

So on to Pot Roast.  I found this recipe in Gourmet Magazine a few months back and instantly had to make it.  It was super simple, but included a huge amount of caramelized onions.  Since I started cooking I’ve had quite a bit of a problem really caramelizing onions well.  Either I don’t cook them long enough or I burn the crap out of them.  So keep your eyes on them and don’t walk away for long!

This is the perfect weekend night dinner before the temperatures start heading into the 80s and 90s and a steaming pot of meat doesn’t sound so great!

pot21

Super Rad Pot Roast

Serves 6 to 8

Ingredients:

  • 3 lb onions
  • 1 – 5 pound, grass fed, boneless beef chuck roast, tied
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 2 Turkish bay leaves
  • 2 (12-oz) bottles beer
  • 2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar

Pat beef dry and season all over with 2 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a wide 5- to 6-qt heavy pot over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Brown beef on all sides, about 15 minutes, then transfer to a plate.

Cook onions with bay leaves and 1 teaspoon salt in remaining tablespoon oil in pot, scraping up brown bits from bottom and stirring occasionally, until onions are well browned, about 25 to 35 minutes.  Add beer and vinegar to onions and bring to a boil, stirring and scraping up brown bits. Add beef and meat juices from plate and return to a boil.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees with rack in middle. Cut a round of parchment paper the diameter of the inside of pot (near the top).

Cover with parchment round and lid and braise in oven until meat is very tender when pierced in several places with a meat fork, about 4 1/2 hours.

Transfer beef to a cutting board and let stand, loosely covered, 20 minutes. Cut off string, then slice meat. Skim off fat from sauce and discard bay leaves.

Serve braised beef with onions and sauce and devour!

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hmm1

It’s winter and I’m craving braised foods, casseroles, soups and long-cooked meals.  Actually I’ve been craving this kind of food for months, but I was having a hard time getting the rest of my family to desire a long-cooked braised meat and potatoes when it was 90 degrees outside.  Well that’s not the problem any longer, it’s 30 to 40 degrees around here now.  Exciting!

The other exciting news is that I’m going to take my first college culinary class starting in January.  Most everything I’ve learned in my life, computer programming, photography, how to play golf or tennis has been through reading books, a ton of practice and trial and error.  By myself I can usually increase my skills to the level of advanced amateur pretty quickly, but when things start to get hard, I usually give up and move on to something else.

Well I’ve decided that I’m going to try and take my cooking and culinary knowledge to the next level.  At the same time I’m terrified of going back to college after 20 years.  I’m sure there will be a certain level of boredom at times since I do have pretty good knife skills and I do know how to cook but I really need to learn the basics.  I’m one of those people who often times skips the basics and this limits my abilities in the long run.

Well no pain no gain right?  I’ve been working at the restaurant for almost two years now and I’m cooking quite a few things.  It seems like this is going to be my long-term career so I better make sure I’m good at it. I also figure even if I spend the majority of my time on the business side of the restaurant, the more culinary knowledge I have the better off we are!

So on to Grillades… in Creole parlance, it means thinly sliced beef, sometime veal, braised in a roux-thickened stock and served over buttered grits.  We found a ton of rice in the pantry last month so I decided to serve them over rice instead. This recipe is from Molly Stevens’ book All About Braising, which I highly recommend.  I’ve cooked multiple recipes from this book and all are great!

The roux made from the peanut oil and flour in the drippings of the meat was out of control.  The braising liquid was awesome, thick and rich.  The meat was also perfect.  I will be making this again, over polenta/grits next time!

Grillades & Rice

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds of boneless beef steaks (chuck, flat iron or top round) about 1/2″ thick
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 6 tablespoons of peanut oil
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 large yellow onion, cut into 1/4″ dice
  • 1 large green bell pepper, cored, seeded, and chopped into 3/8″ pieces
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped into 3/8″ pieces
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon Hungarian paprika
  • 2 cups beef or chicken stock

Slice the steaks crosswise into 2-inch-wide strips. Season all over with salt and pepper.  Using a meat mallet or the bottom of a small heavy saucepan, pound the strips to a 1/4-inch thickness.

Heat three tablespoons of the oil in a large deep heavy skillet or a Dutch oven (5 or 6 quarts) over medium-high heat.  Lift a strip of steak with tongs and lower just the tip into the hot fat – if it doesn’t sizzle immediately, wait another 20 to 30 seconds before trying again.  Once the fat is hot, add only as many strips of steak as will fit without crowding and sear them, flipping once, until mahogany-colored in spots and around the edges, two to three minutes per side.  Set aside on a large plate without stacking and continue searing the remaining steaks.

Once all the steak strips are browned, reduce the heat to medium-low and add the remaining 3 tablespoons oil to the skillet.  Add the flour and stir with a wooden spoon to make a smooth paste, which is known as a roux.  Expect to see black specks in the roux left from browning the meat; the roux itself will be dirty beige.  Continue to stir gently but continuously until the roux begins to glisten, about five minutes.

Stir in the onion, green pepper and celery until evenly coated with the roux.  Cook, still over medium-low, stirring often, until the vegetables begin to become limp and fragrant (you’ll smell the bell pepper most), about 20 minutes. The roux will darken from a dirty beige color to more like caramel, and the moisture released from the vegetables will help keep it from scorching.  Don’t stray far from the stove, through, when the roux and vegetables are cooking.  You have to be vigilant about stirring every few minutes so that nothing sticks or scorches.

Stir the garlic, thyme, tomato paste, paprika, cayenne and a healthy sprinkling of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring once or twice, for another three minutes. Slowly pour in the stock, stirring until smooth, increase the heat to medium and boil for a minute or two, stirring once twice, until the sauce thickens to the consistency of gravy.

Adjust the heat to low and wait for the sauce to slow to a quiet simmer.  Return the steak to the skillet, along with any juices that pooled on the plate, stir to combine the meat with the sauce and the vegetables, and cover tightly.  After about five minutes, check to see that the sauce is only simmering sluggishly – if it is too close to a boil, you’ll wind up with tough steak.  If necessary, lower the heat or place a heat diffuser beneath the pan.  Continue to braise, lifting the lid every 25 minutes or so to stir, until the steaks are fork-tender and the sauce is quite thick, about one hour.

During the last 45 minutes make the rice.

Remove the grillades from the heat and taste for salt, pepper and cayenne.  The sauce should be piquant.  Serve over the rice.

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par1

Okay, let’s start with some good news!

I’ve been exercising again now for almost two weeks.  Every day and I feel great.  Thanksgiving was the final straw as I ate almost half of a pumpkin pie, in one night, and a fair amount of my pumpkin cheesecake, same night.  Sitting there, or better yet laying there I was thinking about how lousy I felt and that I couldn’t let the first seven months of the year go to waste.  So I’m back at it.

As for cooking, well…I haven’t had a ton of time, but I did make this parsnip soup not long ago and I loved it.  In fact we made a modified version for the restaurant this week. I fell in love with parsnips a few weeks back when I made them with the pot roast.  I ran across this recipe in Delicious, which is a Australian magazine and though pricey, I really like the recipes and the photography.  I’ve been picking it up at Barnes and Noble since it cost something like $100 for a subscription…they have to mail it from down under.

As for my time, well we have been super busy at the restaurant.  We’ve been working six days a week, 11 to 12 hours per day.  The economic downturn has affected us a bit, but we are still up over 12% from last year which was up 40% over the year before so I think we are doing well.  We’ve been turning down business all year long because of limited kitchen space so as things tighten in the market we have been able to replace any lost business with those jobs that we would have turned down in the past.

We have incredible customers and of course I believe we make incredible food with the best customer service so I’m not too worried. I told somebody a few days ago, on a scale of one to ten, one being not worried at all and ten being scared shitless, I’m about a five.  In fact we still have multiple opportunities to pick up business in areas we are certain will work, we just haven’t had the time to focus on them.

My heart goes out though to all those who have lost jobs and are struggling with our current economic condition.  I pray each day that our business will continue to thrive and succeed and I wish all of my readers the same.

So try out this recipe if you like parsnips. You will enjoy it and it was easy to make.

Parsnip Soup with Toasted Pecans and Feta (serves 8)

Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 large leeks, white part only, sliced
  • 2 pounds parsnips, peeled, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 pound potatoes, peeled cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 3 cups water
  • 2/3 cup half and half
  • 6 tablespoons pecans, toasted, chopped
  • Extra virgin olive oil, to drizzle
  • 5 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
  • Chopped flat-leaf parsley, for garnish

Melt the butter in a large saucepan over low heat.  Add the leeks and sweat, stirring regularly for eight minutes or until softened.  Stir in the potato and parsnips and cook for ten minutes, stirring every few minutes so that the vegetables don’t color.

Add the stock and water plus 1 tablespoon salt.  Increase heat to high and bring to a boil.  As soon as it’s boiling, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 40 minutes or until potato and parsnip are tender.  Remove from the heat.

Cool slightly, then blend with a stick blender (or in batches with a regular blender) until smooth.  Stir in the cream and then taste.  Add more salt if necessary.  Reheat gently over low heat – don’t allow to boil or your cream will separate.

Just before serving, mix pecans with a small drizzle of oil to give them a nice gloss.  Ladle soup into bowls and top with feta.  Sprinkle over the pecans, add a grinding of black pepper, drizzle with olive oil and garnish with parsley.

Devour!

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I was going to post this before I left for the weekend, but time was short. So please read this like it was last Thursday or Friday!

Everyone is getting sick of chili in the house. This is the fourth version in the past two weeks. I made a buffalo chili this week, but didn’t like it so I’m not going to post about it. Not that it was bad, it was just not exciting in the least.

If you missed the first two versions you can find them here – Springfield Chilli & White Bean & Chicken Chili. Keep in mind that all three of these recipes are adapted from Cooking Light. They are not the full-fat versions!

We’ve continued to work on the business plan for the new restaurant and are almost done with the list of restaurants we are going to visit in San Francisco this weekend. There are so many cool places we want to visit to get inspiration for the interior of the new place.

I’m very much looking forward to visiting my friends, Diane and Brain’s, very cool, very unique candy store in San Francisco called The Candy Store. You can check it out here. Diane and I used to work together in the city back in the Internet hay days! Diane was one of my best friends in the city and I’m so excited that their store is successful. It had been a dream of hers for as long as I’ve known her, but the cost and expense of doing business is San Francisco is so high. She persevered and finally last year they were able to swing it. If you are ever in San Fran go take a look, it will be well worth it! And tell Diane Joe sent you.

As to my other major endeavor, keeping myself in shape…I’ve decided that I’m not going to worry about exercising or eating right until I come back from the city this weekend. Then I will get myself back on track. Though this chili is from Cooking Light so that’s helpful. Another picture below!

I did blow it big time last night. This will either make you queasy, laugh or make you feel sorry for me, but about six months ago we ran out of milk. We always have the fat-free variety in the house, so I decided to use some half and half. I loved it! Now I know that the caloric content is about 10 million times more so I don’t often do this, but every once in awhile I break down and have cereal with half and half. Last night was one of those nights. Two bowls at 9:00pm of a very cool Canadian cereal called Shreddies (my wife grew up in Canada) and a fair amount of cream. YUM! I’ve even tried it with heavy cream once, yes 40% fat, but this was a bit too much!

So how about more chili? This version is from Cincinnati and has pasta of all things. According to the Greater Cincinnati Convention and Visitors Bureau, Cincinnatians consume more than two million pounds of chili each year, topped with 850,000 pounds of shredded cheddar cheese. Wow, I guess I need to put A LOT more cheese on this next time. I did a Google image search and found some crazy pictures with so much cheese I couldn’t even begin to believe it. I guess this is fast food in Cincinnati.

Anyone from Cincinnati who can set me straight on what the real deal is let me know!

I liked it, not as much as the Springfield Chilli or the Chicken Chili, but it was a completely different taste profile and meal. Give it a try and let me know what you think. It was well worth the minimal effort to put it together.

Cincinnati Five-Way Chili (serves 4)

(adapted from Cooking Light Magazine)

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1/2 pound ground sirloin
  • 2 1/2 cups chopped onion (about 2 medium), divided
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 3 tablespoons spicy barbecue sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 teaspoons white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 ounce unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 1 (10 3/4-ounce) can tomato puree
  • 3 1/2 cups hot cooked spaghetti (about 8 ounces uncooked pasta)
  • 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, rinsed, drained, and warmed
  • Oyster crackers (optional)

Heat oil a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add both the turkey and the sirloin to the pan and cook for 5 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble.

Add 2 cups of the onion and all of the garlic. Cook for 5 minutes or until onion is tender, stirring occasionally.

Stir in 1 cup water along with the ingredients on the list up to and including the tomato puree. Bring the mixture to a boil then cover, reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes.

Make the spaghetti when the meat mixture is almost done. Heat up the kidney beans in the microwave for one minute.

Place about 3/4 cup spaghetti into each of 4 bowls. Ladle 1.5 cups chili into each bowl. Top each serving with some onion, cheese, and beans. Serve with crackers and devour!

PS – I just picked up a cool Greek Cookbook. I’ve been wanting to try some Greek recipes for a while, not many good Greek places in Reno, so stay tuned. I think I will make pastitsio next week!

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Let me start by saying that I didn’t misspell Chilli in the title.  From what I read in Cooking Light, where this recipe was adapted from, there is a version of chili from Springfield, Illinois where they spell it with two Ls.  If anyone from Illinois is reading this please enlighten us!

So, I’m sure some of you are dying to know how I’m doing on my list of ten.  Well I would give myself a solid B-. I’ve pretty much hit all the goals so far with the exception of everything to do with getting up early and eating less and exercising.

I’m actually really disappointed that I haven’t kicked myself back into gear.  I’m doing my old habit of, “I’ll get around to it tomorrow”.  I’m a bit concerned because I’m not good at focusing on too many things at one time.  I was focusing on working out and the blog, but now I’m focusing on the new restaurant, family and the blog.  I’ve been here before.  I’ve lost weight many times only to have it all reappear over the next year. This time has to be different though.  No excuses, I just need to hunker down and do it!

Oh well, let’s move on.  We are in the throes of writing our business plan right now.  Nancy and I went out to a casual dinner tonight and literally spent two hours making a list of the items that we need to discuss.  Forget about discussing details, we just spent the time coming up with a list of discussion points.

We are asking ourselves questions like – What is our concept for the new place? What does the new menu look like? How many different types of cookies and baked good items are we going to have? Are we open from 7am to 5pm or 7am to 6pm? Weekends? Different hours on the weekends? different menu on Saturaday morning? Full breakfast each day? What is lacking in the surrounding area? What do our current customers like? What don’t they love? What new items will we add? How many people do we need? What are the positions? Does the restaurant look like the current restaurant? Does it have comfy seats? Modern seats? Holy cow, fun but nerve racking at the same time! Lucky for us we actually already have a restaurant to go by.  I don’t know what we would do otherwise.

This weekend we are headed to San Francisco to do some research.  I grew up in the Bay Area so I always love a trip to the city.  Tomorrow night we are making a list of all the places we want to visit to get more inspiration, menus and design ideas.  We are not really telling any friends that we will be down there because we hope to visit as many places as we can.  I will post the list on my next blog entry.  If you have any ideas for fun breakfast/lunch places in the city, please pass them along in the comments!

So on to the chili.  Rather the chilli. This was a great recipe.  I found it along with the Chicken Chili I made recently in Cooking Light.  I adapted a few things, but nothing major.  Both Randy and Jacob are self proclaimed Chili haters and they both had seconds, see picture below.  Haha.

If you like some kick you could add a tablespoon of Tabasco, but overall I thought the chili was excellent.  The bacon added a nice sweetness to the flavor and well, it had cumin, which I love right now!

Both this recipe and the Chicken Chili were excellent and both were loved by the kids and Nancy. You can’t go wrong with either!  Here is the recipe for the cornbread, which I followed, but both of the boys like sugar so I added two more tablespoons!

Springfield Chilli (serves 4)

Ingredients

  • 2 bacon slices, finely chopped
  • 2 1/4 cups finely chopped onion (about 2 medium)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 3/4 pound ground beef
  • 1 (12-ounce) can beer (pale ale worked well)
  • 4 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese (we like Tillamook Sharp Cheddar)
  • Oyster crackers
  • Sour Cream

Cook bacon in a large Dutch oven over medium heat 5 minutes or until browned. Stir in 2 cups onion; cover and cook until onion is tender (about 5-7 minutes). Uncover and stir in garlic; cook for 1 minute.

Increase the heat to medium-high and add the turkey and ground beef to pan. Cook 5 minutes or until browned, break up with wooden spoon while cooking. Add beer; cook until liquid is reduced to 1/3 cup (about 7 minutes).

Stir in chili powder, Worecestershire, salt, cumin, diced tomatoes and tomato sauce. Cover, reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes or until mixture thickens. Stir in beans; cook uncovered for 10 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Ladle chili into your bowls, top with cheese, sour cream, crackers and 2 teaspoons onion. Devour!

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