Fall’s approaching, and I’m gearing up for Halloween. I’m already at work on the menu for my annual Halloween celebration. As usual, I’ve picked out more dishes than we can eat. If I’m thinking about serving a certain dish but I’m not sure if it will work with the party theme, I’ll make it in advance just to make sure. I cooked up a few ideas this weekend.
This year it’s going to be all about dark chocolate.
I’m starting with a caldron full of chocolate chili. Because it’s Halloween, it needs to have a sharp bite with lots of heat. I’m going to create balance by adding Hershey’s Special Dark Chocolate cocoa and brown sugar to the chili. A couple of jalapeños and a bit of chipotle pepper simmering in the dark chocolate and brown sugar is sure to be a crowd pleaser (we loved it). It’s even more appealing when it’s served in a Lodge half pint cast iron serving kettle (they look like little caldrons—so cute).
I’m not sure it will keep the ghouls at bay, but it’s quick and easy to make, which is a must for large parties with screaming kids.
- 2 pounds ground chuck or ground beef
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3-4 cloves of garlic minced
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1 cup chopped green bell pepper
- 2 jalapeños seeded and diced
- 3-4 cups diced tomatoes
- 4 cups cooked dark red kidney beans in liquid
- 4 cups cooked light red kidney beans in liquid
- 2 tablespoons Hershey's Special Dark Chocolate Cocoa
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dry oregano
- 1 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- In a large sauce pot, sauté the peppers, onion, and garlic in oil until tender. Remove from pan; add the ground chuck and cook until almost brown.
- Return sautéed vegetables to pot with beef; add tomatoes, beans, and spices. Add additional diced tomatoes, water, or broth to the chili if it's too thick. Simmer on medium-low heat for about an hour.
Splurge: Serve chili in Lodge 1/2 pint cast iron serving kettles. Replace the ground chuck with stew beef.
Save: Serve chili in paper cups. Decorate cups with Halloween stickers.