Recipes | SIMA

One of the benefits of getting older is that when you ask your friends to contribute to a Superbowl potluck, you get dishes more sophisticated and thoughtful than a bag of Tostitos and a jar of salsa. We enjoyed quite a spread last night as we watched Christina Aguilera flub the National Anthem, the Black Eyed Peas deal with technical difficulties and the Green Bay Packers defeat the Pittsburgh Steelers: a Thunderbird salad, homemade crab dip and onion dip with an assortment of chips and crudités, deviled eggs, potato skins with sour cream, chili with corn bread and Fritos, and brownies decorated with footballs. And let’s not forget all of the beer!

For our part, J and I made the chili and corn bread. I scoured the internet for an easy chili with meat and beans recipe that would feed a large group of people. I found one from Real Simple that serves 8, but, being a Jewish gal who is always concerned about not having enough food, I doubled the recipe because we were expecting 12 guests. Only 11 people showed, so we had about two and a half Tupperwares worth of leftovers, which was fine with me because it was so tasty! Next time you’re in the mood for a hearty, not too spicy chili, try this:

Chili for a Crowd

adapted from Real Simple, November 2008

Serves 8| Hands-On Time: 25m | Total Time: 50m


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1 bell peppers, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 6-ounce can tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 12-ounce bottles lager beer
  • 2 19-ounce cans kidney beans
  • 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • corn bread
  • toppings (such as sour cream, radishes, scallions, avocados, jalapenos, cilantro, Cheddar, and toasted pumpkin seeds)
  1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onions, bell peppers, and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, 6 to 8 minutes.
  2. Add the beef and cook, breaking it up with a spoon, until no longer pink, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the tomato paste, chili powder, and cumin and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.
  3. Add the beer, beans, the tomatoes and their juices, 2 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 20 to 25 minutes. Serve with the corn bread and toppings as desired.

Unfortunately, our corn bread didn’t turn out as moist and delicious as we had hoped, which was especially disappointing because J followed a Mark Bittman recipe. This is the second or third time that we’ve failed at making homemade corn bread, so next time, it’s “Jiffy” all the way. Thankfully, nobody seemed to mind about the corn bread… perhaps because we also provided Fritos Scoops!

Briscoe certainly loved all of the attention (and crumbs), and our friends’ kiddos were just as entertaining as the game on TV. Because we used plastic plates and silverware, clean up was a breeze. All in all, a very successful gathering, if I do say so myself.

What did you do for the Superbowl?