Velvet Hammer Chili

Today I went down to the Borders on Wall Street and attended the book signing by Lee Child.  Don't get me wrong, I am not a big autograph hound.  In fact, I have only ever gotten 3 autographs in my life ("and why Burt Reynolds?" my friends ask with curiosity!).  It was rather embarrassing to be grinning from ear to ear but, I must say, it was a real treat meeting my favorite author.

In case you are not of the cognoscenti, the hero in the Lee Child books is a loner named Jack Reacher who is always in search of a great cup of coffee and a big meal in a diner. He is the perfect man, I would say: strong and silent, but willing to crack skulls for you in a pinch.  Also able to perform in the boudoir....need I say more?

Anyway, I loved the name of this coffee so much that I had to invent a recipe to name after it  - and now I am dedicating it to Lee Child and his alter-ego, Jack Reacher......

Velvet Hammer Chili

  • I cup strongly brewed coffee
  • 1 lb ground turkey (or beef, it's up to you)
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 6 Baby Bella mushrooms, quartered
  • 1/4 cup black olives
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 8 oz can Fire Roasted Tomatoes with Green Chilies 
  • (Note: I get that at Trader Joe's
  • but if you can't, substitute a can of chopped tomatoes
  • and a small can of green chilies)
  • 1 small can  of plum tomatoes
  • 1 can white kidney beans
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp smoked Spanish Paprika
  • 1 tblsp Molasses
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • ground pepper
  • 2-4 drops Habanero hot sauce (to taste)
  • grated cheddar cheese
  • sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
The cooking process is exceedingly simple - saute the onions and mushrooms until they are golden, then add the garlic.  In a separate frying pan, cook up the ground turkey (or beef) - strain out the liquid, and add the meat to the onion mixture.  Add the coffee and molasses.  Add all the spices, and tomatoes.  Bring to a boil and then simmer for about an hour.  At the last minute, correct the seasonings with the hot sauce, salt and pepper.   Serve in a big bowl and top with sour cream. or yogurt, and grated cheddar.  I think you should serve it with a nice corn bread and a big green salad.  Note to self: next time, best to cook on Friday night because of the beans!

I would like to find a stew that will give me heartburn immediately, instead of at three o'clock in the morning.  ~John Barrymore


  1. Wow, awesome! I love Lee Child, too.........

  2. Looks tasty, but why add coffee? That's an interesting ingredient. Now I want to try to make it.

  3. got to give this one a must be from the southern parts

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Ooops sorry, I accidentally deleted that one....I meant to say the you are invited over for dinner anytime, Arlene

  6. This looks delicious!First time to come across a recipe with coffee added to one but I'd love to try it.I saw your blog from the foodie blog roll and I like what you have here.if you won't mind I'd love to guide Foodista readers to this post.Just add the foodista widget at the end of this post and it's all set, Thanks!

  7. Thanks Alisa, I'll be glad to share a link with you...X Franny