Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Comfort Food- Chili Tortellini

How quickly the landscape can change. We awoke to a winter wonderland.
I declare time for some comfort food. 
Chili Tortellini 
Cook's notes: 
It's the perfect meal on a cold snowy day. Packed with flavor, protein and some unusual ingredients it all adds a bit of twist to the dish. The secret ingredients that really elevate this chili to a whole new level are cinnamon, coffee and unsweetened cocoa powder.
Cinnamon adds a different spice profile than chili powder or red or cayenne pepper would. It also cuts the acid in tomatoes when using 1/4 tsp for a batch of sauce or chili. A bit of cocoa powder and coffee adds a real depth of flavor. The unsweetened cocoa powder in chili helps to balance the heat with a little bit of sweetness. It also gives chili a deep and reddish brown color. Cheese tortellini adds a new dimension not usually found in chili.

  • 1/2 pkg. 1 lb. frozen cheese tortellini 
  • 1 TB. olive oil
  • 1 cup diced onions
  • 2 cups diced celery 
  • 1 TB. minced garlic
  • 1 LB. hamburger 
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 cans (each 14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes garlic, basil,onion
  • 1 small can tomato sauce
  • 16 oz. chicken broth- low sodium
  • 2 cans (each 15 oz.) red kidney beans light and dark
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin 
  • 1-2 TB  chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp. each cinnamon and unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. brown sugar
  • 1 TB. instant coffee granules or espresso granules mixed with 1/2 cup water 
  • Cook cheese tortellini according to package directions but al dente about 5 minutes. Drain and set aside in a covered pot or dish. 
  • In a large frying pan or soup pot heat oil and saute onion, celery and garlic 3-5 minutes. 
  • Add in hamburger, salt and pepper and brown meat. Drain hamburger grease. Return browned hamburger to pot or fry pan. Crumble and add in rest of ingredients. Simmer uncovered on low 30 minutes. Add in cheese tortellini and cook 10 minutes longer.  

Bon Appetit!

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