Tuesday, April 22, 2008


I knew I'd posted a general chili recipe before.

Riggstad asked for one in the table chat. That's as good as any. Chili is generally an improvised recipe for me, but here are some tips:

- It's not chili without some sort of chili peppers or chili powder. This adds that colour you love, chili flavour, etc..

- Sweat the onions, brown the beef, combine, and then add the rest.

- You can add just about anything. I've seen recipes with peanut butter, lime, etc., etc.. My usual has tomatoes, tomato paste, onions, garlic, green peppers, ground beef, kidney beans, and a whack of spices.

- Cook it slow and low. Slow cookers are great for chili, although I've never used one. After bringing it all to a boil, I simmer for an hour at least.

- If there's kidney beans (which are also pretty much required as far as I'm concerned), they get added near the end of the simmering.

- Chili, like soup, salsa, stew, and any other melange, is waaay better after a day or two in the fridge and the flavours blend and strengthen.

- Cheese melted on top of a bowl of chili just adds something amazing to it. Cheddar works well, as would Jack. My favourite, bar none, is English applewood smoked cheddar.

- Don't forget salt, and adjust everything to taste.

- Interestingly, competition chili is different than most homemade chilies. No beans, chunks of meat instead of ground, and nothing but the meat can be discernible in the the final product.

A few thoughts on flavours I may try sometime:

- Chickpeas instead of kidney beans
- Heavy on Asian flavours (ginger, lemongrass, garlic, szechuan pepper, water chestnuts, soy/teriyaki-marinated beef, etc.)
- Citrus accents, maybe with ground chicken/turkey. Or perhaps orange with beef.
- Spice the hell out of it. Hot peppers, sauces, powders... it's been a long time since I've had chili that required an entire loaf of bread to get rid of the burn. And that was in the middle of Algonquin park.
- Part of me wants to temper that heat with fruit... raspberry-jalepeno or something.

1 comment:

jjok said...

Being in Texas, it's like a birthrite to have a good chili.

And you bring excellent advice.

1. Slo or no
2. Gotta have beans

I am a fan of just straight up adding jalapenos to the mix. No offsetting with sweet. Just plain ol', good ol' spicy

Looking forward to WAM man......