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Chili is always a crowd-pleaser. This flavorful recipe gets a boost from cascabel chile sauce, which can easily be doubled to use for enchiladas or pork stew, says Avila. Serve the chili with onions and cheese or enjoy it atop hot dogs or corn chips.

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 cups diced onion, divided use
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 pound bulk chorizo
1 can (10.5 ounces) chili sauce
1 can (15 ounces) pinto beans, drained
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
1 1/2 teaspoons oregano
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes, optional
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper, optional
Salt and pepper, to taste
4 cascabel chiles
2 large cloves garlic
2 cups water
Shredded cheddar cheese, for topping

1. Into a stock pot or Dutch oven set over medium heat, pour the vegetable oil. When the oil is hot, add 1 cup diced onion and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes.

2. Add ground beef and chorizo and cook until browned. Stir in chili sauce, pinto beans, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, seasoned salt, cumin and bay leaf. Add crushed red pepper flakes and cayenne pepper, if using, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer on medium-low while you make the red sauce.

3. To make the red sauce, remove stems and seeds from cascabel chiles, then rinse under warm water. Add to a small saucepan with garlic and cover with water. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 10 minutes, or until chiles are soft. Let cool slightly, then pour chiles, garlic and cooking water into a blender and purée, taking care to let steam escape. Strain if desired, then stir into chili.

4. Cook chili another 5 minutes to let flavors meld, then serve with remaining diced onion and cheddar cheese.

Serves 8.

September 2020 Recipe Contest