And with everyone's wallets stretched thin this year, The Early Show Saturday Edition asked Tim Love, executive chef and owner of the Lonesome Dove Western Bistro in Fort Worth, Texas, to try to do a big Super Bowl bash on our skimpy, "Chef on a Shoestring," recession-busting budget of $35 - with a menu sure to satisfy even the hungriest football fan! After all, who better than a Texan to create a great tailgate spread?!
Love accepted our challenge.
We also entered his total on our "How Low Can You Go?" tote board. If he beats the budgets of our other "shoestring" chefs, he'll be back to cook up our big, blowout holiday meal at the end of the year.
At the Lonesome Dove, Love serves up what he calls "urban Western cuisine," a tantalizing blend of Spanish, French, German, Asian, Native American, Mexican and Italian influences that reflect the backgrounds of this country's pioneers.
Chili with Ground Pork & Green Chilies
1-1/2 pounds ground pork
3 tablespoons blackening spice
1 tablespoon cumin, ground
3/8 teaspoon nutmeg, ground
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1-1/2 (6 inch) tortillas
1 teaspoon oregano leaves, dried
2-1/2 cups yellow onions, diced
2 cups green bell peppers, chopped
1-1/4 cups green chile peppers, roasted and diced with juices
1/4 cup fresh jalapeno peppers, minced
1-1/2 teaspoon fresh garlic, minced
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
5 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoon black pepper
2 tablespoon Guajillo chile powder
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon oregano
1 tablespoon thyme
1 tablespoon cumin
Mix all ingredients, well.
Combine 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon of the blackening spice, ½ teaspoon of the cumin, and 1/8 teaspoon of the nutmeg.
Sprinkle the pork evenly with this mixture, and mix by hand until thoroughly combined.
Heat the oil in a heavy 4 quart pot over high heat.
Add the meat and, stirring as necessary, cook just until browned.
Remove the meat with a slotted spoon, getting as many of the tiny pieces out as possible, and set aside.
In the same oil, fry the tortillas over high heat until browned and very crisp, and then drain on paper towels.
Combine the remaining blackening spice, cumin, nutmeg, and the oregano in a small bowl, and then add to the hot oil.
Cook the seasonings over high heat, stirring constantly, until they roast, about 10 to 15 seconds.
Add 1 1/2 cups of the onions, and cook, stirring constantly and scraping the pan bottom well, for 10 to 15 seconds.
Stir in 1 cup of the bell peppers, 1/2 cup of the green chilies, and 2 tablespoons of the jalapeno peppers.
Cook for 8 minutes, stirring fairly often, constantly toward the end of cooking time, and scraping the pan bottom well each time. Stir in the garlic, cook, and stir a few seconds.
Add the flour, stirring until well blended and scraping the pan bottom clean, and cook for 2 - 3 minutes, stirring and scraping almost constantly to make sure the mixture doesn't scorch.
Add 1 cup of the stock, scraping the pan bottom until all the browned bits are dissolved, and then add the remaining 4 cups of stock.
Stir until well blended, and scrape the pan bottom clean again. Continue cooking over high heat, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, remove 1 cup of the stock from this mixture, and place in a food processor. Crumble the fried tortillas, add them to the processor, and process until the tortillas are finely chopped, about 30 to 45 seconds.
Stir the tortilla mixture into the cooking stock mixture.
Stir in the remaining onions and bell peppers, and then add the meat, stirring well.
Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally, then reduce the heat and simmer, stirring and scraping fairly often (be careful not to let the mixture scorch) for 50 minutes. Stir in the remaining green chilies and jalapeno peppers, and simmer and stir for 15 minutes.
Skim off any oil from the surface, and serve immediately. Use water to thin if necessary, or when reheating.
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