Before I get into today’s post, I wanted to remind everyone that today is the last day to vote for your favorite Foodbuzz Award Nominees! Don’t forget to vote!!! Yes, Tokyo Terrace is a nominee in two categories: Best New Blog and Blogger you would most like to make you a cocktail.
And by the way, you can vote even if you aren’t a member of Foodbuzz. Here is the list of nominees. Good luck to everyone!
Ok, on to today’s post! Sorry about the finger prints on the wine glass in the photo above. Apparently I got a little thirsty and had messy little fingers…whoops!
With Halloween literally around the corner there are plenty of opportunities to make some delicious food for parties or for quiet family dinners while the doorbell rings away. This recipe is fast, easy and delicious for whatever you have planned for All Hallows Eve.
My family traditionally has chili on Halloween. I don’t remember this being a long time tradition, but over the past few years it has become the norm. For my chili recipe, I’ve added a couple secret ingredients to add depth of flavor: cinnamon and whiskey. Yep. You read that correctly. Hey, nothing wrong with adding a little something different, right?
The cinnamon creates an amazing aroma to the chili and creates a warm, comforting flavor to the pork. The whisky, which I used because I didn’t have any beer around, helped to round out the flavor of the cinnamon a bit. These flavors combined with melt-in-your-mouth pork are what I like to call deliciousness in a bowl! And not even a little bit scary…even though it is Halloween.
I don’t have a crockpot here in Tokyo, but if I did I would use it for this recipe. So, if you have one, break it out of the closet and fire it up! The pork will be super tender. Mine was tender too, but it was just missing that slow cooker finesse. (I added a note in the recipe about which steps you should do prior to the slow cooker steppin’ in to do the work for you.)
I did not add all the vegetables I normally would, simply because I did not have them on hand, but this scaled down version was quite scrumptious. You could of course add any veggies you please- mushrooms, peppers, carrots, etc. The simple garnish of creamy avocado slices and shredded cheese was plenty for me on this particular day. Oh, and crunchy saltine crackers are a must!
Pork Chili for Halloween
2 lbs pork shoulder or tenderloin, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 28oz can whole Italian tomatoes, crushed
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 tablespoon cumin
2 tablespoons chili powder
1/4 cup whiskey
1 cup chicken broth or water
salt and black pepper
Sprinkle the pork with salt and pepper on all sides (after cutting into cubes). Heat the oil in the bottom of a heavy pot over medium high heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until slightly softened, about 2 minutes. Add the pork, cinnamon, cumin and chili powder. Stir to coat the pork well. Cook until pork is well browned on all sides. (If you have a slow cooker, put everything in there RIGHT NOW! You can do the rest by setting the timer or whatever else you crazy crock pot owners do… It’s been so long I’ve forgotten how to operate one of those things!)
Add the tomatoes and whiskey. Bring to a slow simmer and add the chicken broth (or water). Bring back to a simmer, then cover and turn the heat down to medium low. Cook for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. If the chili is boiling too much, turn the heat down slightly.
Ladle the chili into serving bowls and top with the avocado slices and cheese. Serve with saltines or tortilla chips and enjoy!