For Superbowl Sunday, our tradition is to invite a few friends over for some homemade chili made with unsweetened chocolate tablets from the Philippines.
My mother often sends us packs of Batangas Tablea de Cacao to use for hot chocolate (tsokolate eh) or chocolate rice porridge (champorado). We often have a surplus of tablets so we use them to make our chili dark and rich. The chocolate adds a deep extra layer to the strong flavors of chili powder and tomatoes, as in some Mexican molé sauces.
Other than the chocolate, this chili cannot be far from traditional, calling out for the bold flavors of chili, paprika and cumin, as well as the meaty taste of ground beef.
We begin by sautéing our usual suspects, garlic and onion.
The spices are our friends, and we use them like there’s no tomorrow.
Mix in the spices, creating a deep, rich color and aroma.
Add the ground beef and saute until brown.
Browned ground beef is separated and tender.
Whole peeled tomatoes are manually crushed.
Grate the chocolate tablets into the stew.
Simmer for 2-3 hours on low heat.
Serve with cilantro leaves, cheese, onions and yogurt (in place of sour cream).
For Superbowl Sunday, we made a side of coleslaw.
We also served a tray of cornbread.
The evening’s offerings. Go Giants!
Chili with Batangas Tablea Chocolate
1 whole red onion, chopped
1 head garlic, chopped
3 large cans whole canned tomatoes
2 cans red kidney beans, washed
1 can black beans, washed
1 beef boullion
2 pounds ground beef
1/3 cup chili powder
2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon paprika
2-3 tablets Batangas tablea, available in good Asian/Filipino markets
(if not available, substitute 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder. Do not use Spanish tablea with cinnamon!)
Chopped onions, cilantro leaves, and 0% plain Greek yogurt for topping.
In a large pot, saute garlic and onions. Brown the ground beef and add the spices. Crush the whole canned tomatoes with your hands and add to the mixture. Stir and add tomato paste, tablea or cocoa, and bouilllon. Let simmer covered on low heat for 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally. Adjust seasoning to taste.
Serve hot topped with cilantro, onions and Greek yogurt (in place of sour cream).