What’s For Dinner?
Cajun French Chili - from Cafe at the Corner
(First star is lowest, fourth star is highest)
From the Menu of . . . Cafe at the Corner
636 S. Central Ave., No. 101, Hapeville
Q: We love the chili at Cafe at the Corner in Hapeville. It's not your everyday chili. Every time we go there, we can't resist the chili, no matter how hot it is outside. It would be wonderful to get their recipe. -- Teresa Marshall, Newnan
A: Now that the weather has cooled off, there's no need to worry about eating chili on a hot day. "We started to make this chili just for the winter months, but the customers begged for it in the summer, so we make it year-round now, " said chef-owner Eileen Randman.
Randman created the recipe after being inspired during a trip to New Orleans. "I went to a cooking school for the afternoon, and it was an absolute hoot, " Randman recalled. "I came home and said, 'Well, maybe I should make a chili.' " So she took a few of the classic chili ingredients such as kidney beans and ground beef, and combined them with classic Cajun ingredients, such as andouille sausage and black, white and cayenne pepper, and voila. The result is a hearty stew that's enhanced by the smoky, garlicky flavors of the sausage.
Hands on time: 25 minutes Total time: 3 hours and 30 minutes Serves: 10
3/4 pound (12 ounces) fresh ground round of beef
1 cup finely diced onions (about 1 medium)
1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder, such as McCormick brand, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
Pinch cayenne pepper
2 (28-ounce) cans premium diced or crushed tomatoes, such as Progresso brand
1 (15-ounce) can dark red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 pound smoked andouille sausage, sliced into 1/4-inch rounds
1 green bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
While the beef is cooking, heat the tomatoes in a saucepan. Add the beans and sausage. When the beef is fully cooked, add the tomato mixture to the meat and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching, for about 2 1/2 hours. Do not let it boil and do not cover the pot.
Add the green peppers to the chili and cook for another 30 minutes. This is important to keep the peppers crisp and not add a cooked pepper flavor to the chili.
Buy your meats from a butcher, so you can get the exact amounts you need (you're likely to get a better quality sausage at a butcher shop, too).