February 5, 2011

In Honor of the Super Bowl: Drago Family Chili con Carne

The Super Bowl is a very special holiday to me, as I am sure it is for many of you. Since I have yet to understand the game of football (believe me, I've tried), it's clearly not really about what's going on in the game, but instead, what's coming out of the kitchen. The Super Bowl is a day for awesomely all-American fare... it doesn't get much better than bottomless bowls of chips and dip, spicy wings, and, of course chili. 

My college friends will never let me live down first Super Bowl together. Five of us girls sat piled on those crunchy, vinyl-covered extra-long twin beds with open boxes of calzones spread across the comforter, happy for a reason to avoid the dining hall as we waited for entertainment during the commercial breaks. As we dug in and stared at the tiny 13" TV, I asked, "Is the Super Bowl live?"

Let me tell you, it's been seven years and I am still being made fun of. Deep down, I of course knew the game was live, but since the little square of text on the bottom of the screen that usually says "LIVE" wasn't there, I was just verifying. Jeez. Anyway, I'm careful never to ask questions like that in the years since, and now that I enjoy hosting my own Super Bowl get-togethers, I mainly keep my comments to myself.

Avoiding less-than intelligent questions leaves me more time for digging in to the food, anyway, like this delicious chili recipe from my fiance's family. It is wonderfully comforting, as most chilis are, but it's also fun to eat. The Drago family piles big, piping hot scoops on top of warm egg noodles and top it with lots of cheese (and perhaps a handful of crunchy Fritos, too!) 


·        3Tbs olive oil
·        1 large white onion, chopped
·        1 lb ground beef (or turkey*)
·        1 can (14oz+) diced* (preferable) tomatoes or whole tomatoes
·        1 can Campbell’s Tomato soup
·        Graded cheese – cheddar or Parmesan*
·        1 can corn - drained
·        3 carrots* - peeled and sliced
·        1 can black beans*
·        1 can white beans (Cannellini or Navy)*
·        1 can red kidney beans
·        1 green bell pepper – chopped coarsely
·        1 yellow bell pepper *– chopped coarsely
·        1 red bell pepper*– chopped coarsely
·        1 clove garlic - chopped
·        2 baking potatoes – cubed into bite-sized pieces
·        2 bags of wide egg noodles – cook separately
·        Either a premixed chili seasoning or paprika, cayenne pepper, chili powder, salt, bay leaf

Brown the oil, onion and ground beef together

Add other ingredients:
Do NOT add noodles
Drain corn before adding
Do NOT drain beans

Cook 1 hour with
            1 tsp salt
1 Bay leaf
1 Tbs premix chili seasoning OR
1/2 tsp paprika
            1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
            1 tsp chili powder

Adjust seasonings to taste – chili is done when potatoes are soft
Boil noodles in large pot
Serve chili in bowls with noodles and cheese

Based on a recipe from Edna Morris Smith. Items with a * were added to the original recipe by Joseph Drago, Edna's favorite nephew and my future father in law!


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  2. Well, in honor of the Drago family, I'll make this some time.



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