Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Democratic Chili

Here in Montana, the Democrats' campaign efforts are coming to a head as the primary election takes place today, June 3. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have made several visits to various cities and towns, and Bill Clinton just finished up a round of stumping engagements on the behalf of his wife. Starting this past weekend, local campaign volunteers for both presidential hopefuls were out and about in full force. Obama supporters set up information tables at the local farmer's markets before marching down one of the main streets lead by a pair of bagpipers. Those promoting Clinton staked out corners at busy intersections today, urging passing cars to "honk for Hillary."

I'm not all that interested in politics. An independent voter, I won't be participating in tomorrow's primary election. John McCain is looking better and better to me, especially as I've often said during elections past that I would definitely vote for him should the man ever run. This year's election looks like it will be my chance. But honestly, I'm woefully uninformed about the pressing issues. None of the candidates are all that impressive.

As for local politics, it looks like Obama is all set to sweep Montana. He led Hillary in a late May poll by a whopping 52 percent to Clinton's 35 percent, and it doesn't look like that lead is about to falter at today's primary. (Read more about the presidential hopefuls' western Montana campaign efforts in my featured AC news article!) It will be interesting to see which candidate will get the nomination, but I'm honestly not too concerned. I don't know that I'd vote Democrat this year regardless of the primary outcome. At the same time, I can't say that I'll definitely vote for McCain either.

What I do know is that Obama has one good-looking family chili recipe working for him. A food reporter for our local liberal newspaper, The Missoula Independent, interviewed Obama for last week's issue. In the short Q &A session, the candidate discussed his thoughts on the Farm Bill, the rise of obesity in American of all ages, and most of the secrets of his family's tried and true chili recipe. From the look of it, the chili sounds pretty darn tasty -- the red wine vinegar intrigues me. Plus it seems like a recipe that would be easy to tweak, either by making it diet or vegetarian/vegan friendly, or adding your own special ingredients to the concoction. For example, I would make the recipe a little lighter by using canola oil cooking spray instead of olive oil, and either use lean turkey or replace it with white beans to contrast the red kidney beans. Try the Obamas' recipe out and play with it yourself! For the rest of the interview with Obama, visit The Independent.

The Obama Family Chili Recipe

1 large onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
Several cloves of garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound ground turkey or beef
1/4 teaspoon (each) of ground cumin, ground oregano, ground turmeric, and ground basil
1 tablespoon chili powder
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Several tomatoes, depending on size, chopped
1 can red kidney beans

Sauté onions, green pepper and garlic in olive oil until soft. Add ground meat and brown. Combine spices together into a mixture, then add to ground meat. Add red wine vinegar. Add tomatoes and let simmer, until tomatoes cook down. Add kidney beans and cook for a few more minutes. Serve over white or brown rice. Garnish with grated cheddar cheese, onions and sour cream.

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