Curried Sunflower Brittle has a lot of promise, but I think the recipe could use some tweaking. Raw sunflower seeds and curry powder are first toasted (separately) and then mixed into a very hot sugar mixture. After spreading very thin and allowed to cool, you can easily break the brittle into shards. The recipe calls for cooking the sugar mixture for about 3 minutes, until you smell the first sign of caramel fragrance, but that is kind of hard to do when the air is filled with toasted curry powder. I let it go for about 4 minutes total, and while about half of it is crisp and firm, some of the mixture is a little chewy and sticks to your teeth. Other than the chewy texture, we both really loved the taste of this brittle. The brittle color is not as clear/see through because I used brown rice syrup in lieu of light corn syrup as we try to shy away from high fructose corn syrup when we can.
The new take on cornbread tonight was Cheddar Corn Bread with Pepitas. This is a moist and more savory cornbread filled with sharp white cheddar, green chiles and topped off with crunchy pepitas. Since we have recently started using chiles in food, it seemed a bit too heavily chile-flavored , but the more we had I think we could have eaten the whole pan. Thankfully, we had something else to go with it tonight and only had a couple servings. Peptias are raw pumpkin seeds with the shells removed and bring a great texture on top. Definitely worth looking for.
Okay, so the main portion of tonight's dish is something that I steered clear of while growing up. Whenever my family made this, I was no where to be found as just the sound of the stuff that went in it made me nauseous (yes, I was a really picky eater!) Jeff always said he didn't like it either so I figured we were safe, but I finally overcame my fear and went ahead with a recipe called All-American Chili. What's to be afraid of about chili right? Beans and other unknown stuff that even though I've never tasted when I was younger, I just knew I would never like it.
Boy was I stupid for not even trying it a long time ago! We both thoroughly enjoyed this so much. Color me surprised! Thick, hearty and full of flavor with a bit of spice to heat things up. Even though the recipe uses lean Hot Italian turkey sausage and ground sirlion, they bring enough meaty flavor to make up for it. The recipe did originally call for brown sugar, but I set it aside until the end as I thought with all of the Merlot in the recipe it might not need it. When I tasted it as the timer was almost done, I'm glad I left it out. If you like your chili on the sweeter side, feel free to add in a couple tablespoons. This opens up so many other recipes we've skipped over because of certain ingredients we "thought" we would never like.