I will admit, I was a picky eater growing up. And while I am trying to expand my “gourmet palette,” it took a while to like chili. Can I just say, chili beans. I didn’t like them in any way, shape or form.
A few years ago, I worked as a food editor for a newspaper. I LOVED it, but a lot of people went to a lot of trouble to fix food for me. I was compelled by reasonably good manners (and let’s just say I had to say that to myself every time) to eat what was prepared for me. (The voice of my mother and both grandmothers resonating through my head.) Eventually, I had to eat a bowl of chili. At first, I just picked around the beans. After the next couple of times, I like it. I do not cook it, but I have grown to LOVE IT! (This is also from a girl who would not eat pizza until high school.)
These days, I love chili for special occasions and events. I LOVE the chili that Danyelle and Scott Yeatman make as a fundraiser for their shooting sports 4-H program! It is a secret recipe and they sell out every single year. But Danyelle did say she liked hamburger meat and beans with sour cream and cheese on top!
Danyelle was one of many Facebook and Twitter friends and followers who shared their favorite ways to make chili. I asked them what was in their favorite bowl of chili? A traditionalist with hamburger meat and beans? White chili and chicken? Cheese and/or sour cream on top? With rice?
Bryan Carruba said he likes pork or beef, small cubes, lots of garlic, “various and sundry” dried ground chilis, cumin, diced tomatoes, salt, pepper, a little beer and simmer “low and slow.” Carruba said, “Never add beans!”
Laurie Turnipseed said she loves steak and black bean chili.
Rob Turner said for a good bowl of chili on the road, it is hard to beat Wendy’s or Waffle House. “Two different tastes but equally good. Gotta get a grilled cheese to go with it at Waffle House,” Turner said.
I have heard from Kimberly Cleveland, that Frank Ballard’s chili is the best, but I don’t think Frank wants to share his recipe!
Here’s one I may have to try this Fall!
2 pounds ground beef chuck
1 pound bulk Italian sausage
3 (15 ounce) cans chili beans, drained
1 (15 ounce) can chili beans in spicy sauce
2 (28 ounce) cans diced tomatoes with juice
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
1 large yellow onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2 green chile peppers, seeded and chopped
1 tablespoon bacon bits
4 cubes beef bouillon
1/4 cup chili powder
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons hot pepper sauce (e.g. Tabasco(TM))
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 (10.5 ounce) bag corn chips
1 (8 ounce) package shredded Cheddar cheese
1. Heat a large stock pot over medium-high heat. Crumble the ground chuck and sausage into the hot pan, and cook until evenly browned. Drain off excess grease.
2. Pour in the chili beans, spicy chili beans, diced tomatoes and tomato paste. Add the onion, celery, green and red bell peppers, chile peppers, bacon bits, bouillon, and beer. Season with chili powder, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, oregano, cumin, hot pepper sauce, basil, salt, pepper, cayenne, paprika, and sugar. Stir to blend, then cover and simmer over low heat for at least 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
3. After 2 hours, taste, and adjust salt, pepper, and chili powder if necessary. The longer the chili simmers, the better it will taste. Remove from heat and serve, or refrigerate, and serve the next day.
4. To serve, ladle into bowls, and top with corn chips and shredded Cheddar cheese.
Have a chili recipe to share, email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.