Every Grammy night, I have a bit of a tradition. I make a pot of Jambalaya or Chili, curl up on the couch and enjoy Music’s Biggest Night. No need to read the tabloids or recaps – just enjoy the talent of the artists and collaborations that rock the Grammy stage. Where else are you going to see a classical pianist rock the stage with Metallica, listen to a one time only performance of Daft Punk with Stevie Wonder, Nile Rogers and Pharrell or watch musical success story Macklemore & Ryan Lewis perform with Madonna and Queen Latifah? Plus – who doesn’t love the fashion that you see on the red carpet.
During my recovering publicist days, I had the opportunity to attend the Grammys and that experience was memorable. I had a blast watching memorable performances (like this performance of Rich Girl by Gwen Stefani & Eve), danced up a storm at the after party with friends while The Black Eyed Peas performed (interesting sidenote – Food Network was there filming “Behind the Bash” with Giada de Laurentiis), had a starstruck/speechless moment with Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, and learned that sometimes one should never dye their hair at 4am before a flight cross country. While I’m not an active member of the academy and that life is behind me, I still have a soft spot for the awards. These performances are from the heart and the awards are from their peers so when you see an artist get a Grammy, you know it will be cherished.
As it has been record breaking cold temps here in Philly, I decided that chili would be on the menu except I was going to change it up a bit. I love using Italian Sausage in recipes lately, and I got some fabulous chicken Italian sausage at Whole Foods. This recipe was out of the world amazing – spicy, flavorful and with a touch of Greek yogurt and monterey jack cheese, this Italian Sausage Chili was worthy of its own Grammy.
To take off the winter chill, make a pot of this, cozy up on the couch and enjoy!
On to the recipe:
Gather your ingredients
To quote Anne Burrell – there’s flavor in the brown!
Time to bloom the spices
Time to simmer (sidenote – I adore these Ruhlman Acacia wooden paddles – perfect for getting every last bit of flavor)
Now – don’t you want a bowl?
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 1 pound of Italian Sausage (I used 3 sweet Italian sausage & 1 hot Italian sausage), casings removed
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon of chili powder
- ¾ teaspoon of smoked paprika
- 1½ teaspoons of cumin
- 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
- ½ - ¾ teaspoon of salt
- ⅛ - ¼ teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper
- 1 8 ounce can of tomato sauce
- 1 14 ounce can of fire roasted diced tomatoes
- 1 14 ounce can of dark red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- ½ cup of water
- Greek yogurt or sour cream
- Shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- Over medium heat, add the olive oil to a large dutch oven.
- Add the Italian sausage and brown, using a wooden spoon to break up large chunks.
- Remove the browned sausage to a bowl and add the onions.
- Saute the onions until slightly browned, about 5 minutes or so.
- Add the minced garlic and saute for one minute.
- Add the chili powder, smoked paprika, cumin, and oregano. Saute for another minute or so to bloom the spices.
- Add the salt and pepper, followed by the tomato sauce.
- While the tomato sauce comes to a bubble, using a wooden spoon, scrape up any fond from the bottom of the pan.
- Add the diced tomatoes, kidney beans and water, and return the browned sausage to the pan.
- Stir to combine.
- Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer.
- Partially cover and simmer for about 30 minutes.
- Serve with a bit of Greek yogurt and Monterey Jack cheese and enjoy!
Did you check out the Grammys last night? What did you think?
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