Sunday, May 17, 2009

Chipotle Cheese-Fries Chili

I am so furious with Chase Bank right now I could just spit. I really need to get some work done, but I'm so mad, I can't concentrate. So I'll finish this post for the Chili Cook-Off Challenge, and I'll feel better, LOL!

Yes, it's time once more for Gloria's Chili Cookoff over at Foods and Flavors of San Antonio. This month has really flown by!

I recently watched DC and DS eagerly devour a plate full of greasy french fries covered with melted cheese goo and some chili, with apparent enjoyment. Perhaps it's because I lack the Y chromosome, but the charm of chili cheese fries simply eludes me. For one thing, the chili and cheese make the fries soggy. Then when you pick up a french fry to eat it, all the chili and cheese fall off, leaving you with a naked piece of sodden potato.

There really must be a better way to enjoy the tastes and textures of chili, cheese, and fries. So just for fun, I decided to create a recipe for

Chipotle-Cheese-Fries Chili
By DomesticMuse

1 1/4 lb. ground sirloin

1 lb. hot pork breakfast sausage

1 large onion, chopped

6 cloves garlic, minced
1 green pepper, chopped
2 serrano peppers, seeded and minced
2 T chili powder
1 t. oregano
1 T dark brown sugar
1 t. salt
1/2 t, freshly ground black pepper
1 T ground cumin
2 t. chipotle chile powder
1/2 can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, chopped
1 can Rotel tomatoes with green chiles
2 cans Mexican-style stewed tomatoes
2 cans kidney beans
1 1 lb. bag frozen corn
5-6 c. V-8 juice
1/2 bag mini tater tots
1/2 lb. Velveeta, cut into 1/4 in." cubes

For serving:

sour cream
chopped scallions
crumbled bacon
finely shredded Mexican-blend cheese

First, brown the pork sausage and the ground sirloin. When well browned, remove from the pot with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Add 2 T extra virgin olive oil and saute the onion, pepper, garlic, and serrano over medium heat.

Return the ground sirloin and sausage to the pot. Add the chili powder, chipotle chile powder, cumin, oregano, salt, pepper, and brown sugar. Cook together for 1-2 minutes. Then add the Rotel tomatoes, the Mexican-style stewed tomatoes, the chipotle peppers, the kidney beans, the corn, and the V-8 juice. Bring to a boil and simmer, partially covered, for 1 1/2 -2 hrs., until thickened. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Chili is just starting to cook:


About 3o minutes before serving the chili, preheat the oven to 450F. Spread the tater tots on a baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until browned and crisp.

Now it's time to build our chili masterpiece!

Put some of the hot tots in an individual serving bowl.

My velveeta cubes: You know, the Mexican-style Velveeta would have been really good here, but the Teeter didn't have it.

Put some of the cubed Velveeta on top of the tots.

Ladle some of the hot chili over the cheese and tater tots.
Then add some of this:

And some of this:

And some sour cream and some shredded Mex blend cheese.

Voila! Chili heaven!

I was amazed at how delcious this chili turned out to be! We really enjoyed the combination of flavors, from the smoky heat of the chipotles to the creaminess of the Velveeta to the earthy crunch of the potatoes. Yeah, I know Velveeta isn't real cheese. But some dishes just wouldn't be right without it! The melting factor is kind of critical here. Perhaps I should have called this "White Trash Chipotle-Cheese-Fries Chili." :)

Between the serranos, the chipotles in adobo, and the chipotle chile powder, this is some seriously spicy chili! The heat from the chili and the tater tots melts the Velveeta cubes, which blend right into the chili and, along with the sour cream, tame the spiciness perfectly. For maximum crunch, you could put the tater tots on top of the chili rather than underneath it.

To go with the chili, I made a very refreshing salad of julienned jicama and pineapple tidbits tossed with the juice of one fresh lime, salt, pepper, ancho chile powder, a litttle pineapple juice, and some olive oil. I'm crazy about the juicy crunchiness of jicama, so I was glad that DC and DS enjoyed the salad too. The anchopowder had an unfortunate effect on the color of the jicama, but it tasted good!

For dessert, I made homemade lavender and lemonade ice cream, but we ate dinner so late we didn't get around to dessert. I'll have to report on that another time.

!Buen provecho!


  1. Your a genius!! The chili itself looks amazing with the sausage and all those hot peppers! I made chili tonight and mine pales in comparison in the heat department. I think velveeta is the perfect cheese for this. And the tater tots! Reminds me of Charlotte's Web - that's "some" chili!

  2. This is awesome, Karen!! Lovin' it :) Tater tots..I must try this one..everybody around here would love it. Wanna send it over to me for my chile pepper roundup and giveaway for May??? (Gloria won't mind....she's part of the giveaway)!!

  3. OH MY GAH. This is totally chili heaven. I want some right now. I don't usually crave chili, but reading this post, oh man, I need it! So creative!! Hope that this post got you a little bit over your bank frustration :) Sorry that I’ve been an absent commenter; I just finished up my law school exams and am finally getting around to my google reader.

  4. Hi Karen- You are becoming such the culinary genious, truly spectacular well thought out dish! And tater tots in the mix, how cool is that! Nicely executed.

  5. This chili sounds just heavenly! Love the idea of the fries there and the chipotle flavor is just awesome!

  6. Hi, Karen!
    I just know my kids would love this chili fries!!
    Thank you!!

  7. Karen, your chili looks AWESOME!! You're very brave, using half a can of chipotle peppers. I love this recipe... it has everything going on... tater tots, bacon, etc., -- YUM! Thanks for entering it in the chili cook-off.
    I read girlichef's comment above -- I don't mind; it would be great if you send it over to Heather, too. :)

  8. Reenie-- Awwww, thanks!! It was HOT, but fun to make. But not at all too hot to eat!

    Heather-- thanks!! & thanks Gloria!!

    Elyse-- yeah, we've missed you, I totally know the feeling. So glad you enjoyed the post, and hope you will try the chili!

    Donna-- thanks so much for your kind words! I have so missed reading your blog, I can't wait until this trip is over and I can catch my breath!

    Natasha-- thanks so much! Your trip sounded like a blast, I was envious!

    Hi, Suzie-- LMK if you try it-- it's a lot of fun. Loved the mother's day card your kids gave you, btw! Too funny, and sweet!

    Gloria-- thanks so much for the nice comments! I did send the recipe over to Heather. I was amazed it needed 1/2 a can of chipotles, too-- I kept adding and tasting, and thinking, no, it needs more! We had leftovers today and I was a little worried the heat factor may have increased but it was fine. OTOH, if I put more than 2 chipotles in my black bean soup with masa dumplings, it's so hot as to be inedible! I guess you notice it more in a brothy dish rather than a thick stew. :)

  9. This looks terrific, I no everybody in my house will be happy with it!

  10. I must admit the Chili-Cheese Fry combo eludes me too but yours look pretty darn tasty and I think the alternate name ("White Trash Chipotle-Cheese-Fries Chili") is hilarious LOL


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