There’s a funny thing about True Blood: sometimes I actually care more about the characters in the background than the ones you’re supposed to be tuning in every week for. Sookie’s latest dramas aren’t ever interesting unless they involve shirtless Eric and/or Alcide; Billith….not even going to go there. But stick in a little bit of Terry action and I am there. Terry is never not entertaining. Even when he’s fighting his PTSD and going crazy over an Ifrit, I still always want to see his face.
(Though he will always hold a place in my heart as Zach. Gilmores for lyfe.)
It probably has a lot to do with the fact that the rest of the show is so out there and the list of relatable main characters has gotten so short (um. Sometimes Jessica and Jason, and that’s about it for me) but it’s the guys on the sidelines that make the show seem more down to earth. Yeah, in the last two seasons Terry and Arlene have dealt with 1) the potential demonic possession of their child, 2) the actual haunting of their child by the tormented ghost of a murdered woman, and 3) that whole business with the Ifrit, but they’ve handled it all like people. Arlene freaked out, Terry told her to calm down (and then freaked out later), and we all watched and thought that might actually be a reaction to the above situations that a normal person might have had.
And Terry, rest assured that out of all the characters on TB, you’re high on the list of people I would let handle my kids. Good job, man.
On today’s edition of Cook the Book: True Blood: Terry Bellefleur’s jailhouse chili. Apparently he made this for the men in his unit overseas, and apparently it’s not the same without the Fritos. I’ll be taking the intro’s word for it, since Terry’s not really around for me to ask.
I promise you one of these days I’ll be cooking complicated things again. One day real soon, honest. But this is weeknight food, man. And if Terry wants to help me make food real easy on a Wednesday, I’m going to let him.
Salting of the chili was minimal, and with very, very good reason. See, also, the serving suggestion of this chili:
Terry’s Jailhouse Chili
Adapted from the True Blood Cookbook
- 2 pounds ground beef
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 cup chopped yellow onion
- 2 chopped bell peppers
- 2 chilis, diced
- 2 15oz cans kidney or cannelini beans
- 2 cups canned diced tomatoes, with their juices
- 6 oz tomato paste
- 3 tablespoons chili powder
- cayenne pepper
- shredded cheddar cheese
- corn chips
- Heat the vegetable oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Brown the meat, crumbling with a wooden spoon until you can’t see any more pink.
- Add the onions, chilis, and peppers; cook until softened, about eight or ten minutes.
- Add the beans, tomatoes, and tomato paste; stir to combine. Season with chili (2 tablespoons for milder, 3 for hotter) and cayenne.
- Reduce heat to medium-low and let simmer, uncovered, for an hour and a half. Keep an eye on it and add more liquid if it appears too dry.
- Serve hot in bowls with shredded cheddar and crumbled corn chips.