Remember the other day when we made that Chile-Cheese Corn Bread? At the time we decided to bake the full recipe as we hoped it would freeze well - we wanted to be able to take out the leftover pieces and use them as a side dish when needed. We heated a few up tonight (and they held up well!) in the toaster oven to have along side our bowls of Chili Dog Chili we made for dinner tonight!
"Huh..." is what Jeff said when he saw me cutting up hot dogs and asked what I was making for dinner. That tells me he was quite skeptical and already had doubts that this was going to taste good! This happens often when he sneaks in to see what's actually going on in the kitchen - I'm used to it though and snicker a little (mushrooms anyone?) when I prove him wrong!
I tinkered a bit with the recipe as it originally called for a pound of hot dogs and a couple pounds of ground beef - this seemed a bit excessive for us, so I pared it down to 12 ounces of hot dogs, 12 ounces of ground sirloin and 8 ounces of ground turkey. The chopped hot dogs are browned first, then removed to allow enough room to evenly brown the ground meat mixture. Diced onions, garlic, a couple jalapeños, chili powder and cumin are then tossed into the meat mixture and allowed to cook until the onions begin to soften.
You can also play around with the amount of liquid - if you like your chili on the thicker side, go with the lower amount of broth called for - if you like it thinner and more soup-y, add up to three cups. When you add the broth, fire-roasted crushed tomatoes, red kidney beans and the browned hot dogs are added back into the pot. The recipe only called for 10 minutes of simmering, but I covered it and let it bubble away for about half an hour or so to give the flavors a chance to develop - we did taste it at the 10 minute mark and thought it definitely could use the extra time. We ended up using about 2 1/4 cups of broth and thought it was just about right for us - perfect for dipping that corn bread in! Chunky, meat-y and quite smoky from the double dose of chili powder and cumin - Jeff quickly decided he was wrong (surprise!) and conceded to the notion that he just might like this. I even caught him red handed dipping into the leftovers! If you like your chili with a spicy punch, add a few shakes of hot sauce (we always use Frank's Red Hot) when you uncover the pot for the last 10 minutes of simmering - I would suggest adding a good dollop of sour cream if you end up doing this though.
Chili Dog Chili