Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Silver Palate Chili - Entertaining For a Crowd

In the 1980's a wondrous jewel of a food store opened on Manhattan's Upper West Side. It was christened The Silver Palate. Tiny though it was, the shop's gem-like offerings - from tempting salads to whole meals and heavenly desserts - quickly attracted customers from far and wide. The spot became a refuge for harried executives, neighborhood couples, families and solitary diners who yearned for exciting, honest foods but who didn't have lots of time to prepare them. Sheila Lukins, and Julie Rosso, the owners of the store and co writers of The Silver Palate Cookbook were sort of  precursors to Ina Garten of The Barefoot Contessa in East Hampton and, I'm sure, the inspiration for her style of cooking. 

My cookbook is so tattered from use, I bought the Silver Edition when it came out a few years ago.

The Silver Palate Chili is the best chili recipe I have ever made and always gets raves when I serve it.  It is simple to make and a wonderful addition to your Super Bowl menu.

When choosing chopped meat for chili, you'll find that beef chuck adds great flavor. And you never can have too many spices. Look for dark red kidney beans. Lemon juice brightens all the tastes!  I skip the black olives as I do not feel they add anything to the dish but it's up to you.

Servings: 20


2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 pound yellow onions, coarsely chopped

1 pound sweet Italian sausage, removed from casings

4 pounds beef chuck, ground

1 12 ounce can tomato paste

1 ½ tablespoons minced garlic

1/3 cup ground cumin

½ cup chili powder

¼ cup Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons dried basil

2 tablespoons dried oregano

1 ½ tablespoon salt, or to taste

1 ½ tablespoons freshly ground black pepper

3 28 ounce cans Italian plum tomatoes, drained

¼ cup dry red wine

2 tablespoons lemon juice

¼ cup chopped fresh dill

¼ cup chopped parsley

2 16 ounce cans dark-red kidney beans, drained

2 5/12 ounce cans pitted black olives, drained


Heat the olive oil in a very large pot. Add the onions and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until wilted, about 15 minutes. Add the sausage meat and ground chuck and cook over medium-high heat, stirring, until the meats are well browned. Spoon off any excess fat and discard.

Stir in the tomato paste, garlic, cumin, chili powder, mustard, basil, oregano, salt, and pepper. Add the tomatoes, wine, lemon juice, dill, parsley, and kidney beans. Stir well and simmer uncovered, for another 15 minutes.

Taste and adjust the seasonings. Add olives and simmer for 5 minutes more the heat through. Serve immediately.

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