Chili

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E-Rocker

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Do you make it? How?

I eat meat, but some of my gamer buddies are vegetarians, so sometimes, for gaming gatherings, I'll whip up a batch of vegetarian chili. The trouble is, I don't use a recipe; I just throw stuff in the pot until it tastes good. It's always come out well in the past, but I'm worried, what if it doesn't come out well this time? I know, I should just say "eff it" and start cooking anyway, but I'm not feeling very confident at the moment...

So any and all chili-related advice and encouragement is most welcome!
 

E-Rocker

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That's Chili's. Possessives are important :smile:.

Usually, when I have a morning flight out of O'Hare, I get breakfast at the Chili's Too in the airport.
 

spittingimage

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I've never attempted a vegetarian chilli, but I make the meaty stuff occasionally. I think I've got a pretty good seasoning recipe:
  • 1 heaped tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 tablespoon chilli powder
Blend it all up and use 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons per pot. I've also found that this recipe plus 1 tablespoon smoked paprika makes a pretty good dry rub for slowcooker pulled pork.

If I'm making chilli I do like this:
  1. Chop 1 large onion into small pieces and fry until soft with 1 chopped garlic clove.
  2. Add 500g (that's like a pound for freedom-lovers) of minced beef. Stir and break down the lumps until browned, then drain the fat off.
  3. Add the seasoning and stir through for a couple of minutes.
  4. Add 2 x 400g cans of tomatoes and 1 400g can of drained and rinsed kidney beans. Add 1 beef stock cube.
  5. Simmer until the liquid is reduced, usually about 30 - 40 minutes.
 

Nobby-W

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Do you make it? How?

I eat meat, but some of my gamer buddies are vegetarians, so sometimes, for gaming gatherings, I'll whip up a batch of vegetarian chili. The trouble is, I don't use a recipe; I just throw stuff in the pot until it tastes good. It's always come out well in the past, but I'm worried, what if it doesn't come out well this time? I know, I should just say "eff it" and start cooking anyway, but I'm not feeling very confident at the moment...

So any and all chili-related advice and encouragement is most welcome!
Seasoning to go with the chilli. Cumin is good. It's hard to go wrong with Cumin but you could also try Sumac, Corriander, Fenugreek, Garam Marsala or wind down the Chilli a bit and use plain old Black Pepper. You will need some salt and maybe something herby like Oregano, Parsley, Basil or Corriander (Cilantro). Adding ginger and oyster sauce will make it taste more like something Asian. Maybe add some stock like Knorr or similar as a flavour enhancer. After that there's not much to go wrong.

Beans of some sort and/or rice make a nice base but not strictly necessary. Tomato bases are also nice but not necessary. Grating carrots into it will give it a nice texture. Base it on some onions with garlic, cooking the garlic a little with the onions. For something like chilli, use about half a bulb of garlic but do cook it with the onions first.

If your gamer friends are not vegan, putting some milk, butter or other dairy base in it can mellow an acidic flavour like Tomato. You can also use coconut milk. You can also balance the flavour with sweetner such as brown sugar or something to make it a bit more acidic like the juice from half a lime. Quorn make the best pseudo-meat products I've tasted. You could try that if you can get it where you live.

OTOH, If what you're doing works then carry on with it. Confidence can be fragile, but remember that you've made successful chilli in the past, so you're capable of doing it again. Keep a track of roughly what you're doing and try to make it repeatable. As Bach might have said, 'If it ain't baroque, don't fix it.'
 
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dokel

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For a veggie chilli try adding some diced red and yellow bell peppers (sweat them down with the onions) . I tend to cheat with the seasoning and just use sachets of fajita spice mix plus some dried mixed herbs.
 

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Turkey Pumpkin Chili?!? Yes, it's really good. :smile:

TURKEY PUMPKIN CHILI
Serves 6

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small yellow onion, chopped, chopped
1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 pound ground white or dark meat turkey
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, with their liquid
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin purée
1 cup water
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
Ground black pepper, to taste
1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained

Method:
Heat oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Add onion, bell pepper, and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add turkey and cook until browned. Add tomatoes, pumpkin, water, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and add beans. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes more. Ladle chili into bowls and serve.
 

3rik

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AHI_43545237303334343133_1_LowRes_JPG.JPG
 

E-Rocker

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Thanks for the recipes, suggestions, and encouragement! Chili's a-cookin'. I'll let y'all know how it turns out.
 

E-Rocker

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Man, I've cooked so much chili since my state shut down in mid-March, it's hard to fathom that last July I was feeling insecure in my chili-making abilities. Usually I've been going with beef stew-meat and black beans as main ingredients, but this weekend I decided to mix it up and go with ground pork and red beans.

I cooked two pounds of ground pork in a cast-iron skillet with a little salt, then removed the pork from the pan and cooked six chopped celery stalks, six minced garlic cloves, two large chopped red onions, and one chopped jalapeno in the pork fat. Threw all that in the crock pot, which had it nearly full! But there was just enough room for one 28 oz can of tomatoes, one 15 oz can of red beans in chili sauce, and one 12 oz can of V8. Yeah, it would probably be better if I didn't use any canned stuff, but sometimes convenience wins. Put in 2 tablespoons of chili powder, 1 tablespoon of chipotle powder, 1 teaspoon of cumin, and one teaspoon of coriander, and cooked on low for about seven hours. Came out quite nicely! :smile: Made some drop biscuits for a side and served the chili with cheddar cheese. Now I've got six servings worth in the freezer and two more in the fridge.
 

Brock Savage

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The Mrs and I eat lean turkey chili frequently. My recipe won't impress a chili connoisseur like you guys but I can bang it out in under 20 minutes and it gets the job done. I am keeping an eye on this thread for ideas I can steal so please keep them coming.
 

Valdus

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I make something we call in Cuba "Picadillo" and here is a basic recipe. I usually use ground turkey and my son demands I go heavy on the olives. Some people even throw in fried potato cubes.

Allrecipes Cuban Picadillo

BUT as far as chili, traditional chili?
  1. This is to be done over an open flame or dutch oven style cooking with coals on the pot.
  2. Char about three- four onions in cast iron.
  3. Throw in GOOD chili powder, do not be shy!
  4. Throw in a few diced green or spicy peppers if you wish.
  5. Throw in ground meat until it looks like carnivorous oatmeal!
  6. Simmer for hours on low.
NOTE: Tomato kills cast iron, don't do it!

"Brown, hot, and plenty of it"
 

3rik

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I'm familiar with Mexican picadillo, of which my wife usually cooks an improvised variant when we have only Dutch ingredients available. It has chipotle, so it's good.
 

Fenris-77

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My secret chili ingredients are cocoa and peanut butter. Not too much of either, but they do a wonderful job smoothing out the acidity of the the tomatoes. In a normal sized pot of chili I'd probably add a teaspoon of each to start.

I started using cocoa when I started making chili at work regularly (I'm not a chef currently, but I was one for many years). Obviously you cant add peanuts to something for general consumption. Lots of Mexican mole recipes use cocoa in the same way, so it seemed like a good bet for chili. I was right. Now I use both in my own batches.
 

E-Rocker

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I'm allergic to peanut butter, so that's a no-go for me, but I'll try cocoa!
 

spittingimage

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Man, I need to get in touch with the Sinaloa cartel and see if they're willing to traffic some Mexican chefs down to New Zealand. I always enjoy visiting my in-laws halfway down the country because they have a Mexican restaurant there.
 

3rik

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Man, I need to get in touch with the Sinaloa cartel and see if they're willing to traffic some Mexican chefs down to New Zealand. I always enjoy visiting my in-laws halfway down the country because they have a Mexican restaurant there.
Or marry a Mexican woman :wink:
 

Fenris-77

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Another technique that has really upped my chili game is braising the meat. I'll cook all the meat off and take it out, and then cook the long veg like onions and whatnot. Towards the marvelous translucent phase of onion cookery I'll add the spices so they get hit with some direct heat. After sauteeing for a while I'll drop in some stock and braise the everliving shit out of it. The longer the better. Then I'll start adding thenneans and veg and whatnot. I find it cute down a little on the 'it's always better the next day' thing.
 

Fenris-77

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Hah. I also add the meat back in the braise. That part is somewhat key.
 

spittingimage

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I think I know what the HEPCATS' next mission is now! :grin:
Find the secret formula for the perfect five-alarm chili! The correct blend of fresh and smoked peppers will kick your psyche free of your body and let you travel astrally... the incorrect blend may set your ring on fire - for good!
 

E-Rocker

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I've gotten proficient enough at making chili that I was able to throw a batch together and put it in the crock pot in the 20 minutes when I was briefly home on my lunch break. I used ground lamb this time instead of beef. Looking forward to serving myself up a bowl this evening.
 

Brock Savage

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I've gotten proficient enough at making chili that I was able to throw a batch together and put it in the crock pot in the 20 minutes when I was briefly home on my lunch break. I used ground lamb this time instead of beef. Looking forward to serving myself up a bowl this evening.
Hey man mind sharing your recipe? Ground lamb sounds great I gotta find some, Bunny and I love lamb.
 

Fenris-77

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I might add a touch of North Africa to a lamb chili. Even just a garnish of fresh mint would be lovely. I might add some tumeric, and possibly just a touch of curry powder toward the end of the cooking. Not a lot, you don't want it to taste like curry, just a touch to add a light tone to your emerging symphony. I could also be talked into some lemon zest in this case, and perhaps just a touch of something sweet.
 
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CRKrueger

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Meat - Ground beef, shredded pork, small cubed ribeye or chuck
Spices - Cumin, Chili Powder, Turmeric, Paprika, Cayenne Pepper, Oregano, Salt, Coriander
Veggies - Onions, Garlic, Chopped Serrano Peppers, Kidney Beans, Pinto Beans, sometimes Black Beans
Other - Beef broth, Tomato Paste, sometimes Unsweetened Cocoa or some Stout
Low Carb Version - no beans or tomato paste
Cook it all day, leave it on warm all night
 

E-Rocker

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Hey man mind sharing your recipe? Ground lamb sounds great I gotta find some, Bunny and I love lamb.

Sure! For the lamb, I had a pound of ground lamb from the grocery store that I browned in a frying pan over medium heat, with half a chopped yellow onion and a little salt. Drained the fat and threw the meat & onion in the pot with the other stuff.

I don't exactly have a recipe for chili. It's more of a jazz-type thing, where the general idea of the song is there, but it's a little different each time the jazzbo plays it.

There's a small Mexican grocery store two blocks from me where I get my ingredients.

My basic concoction is a 28 oz can of stewed tomatoes, 15 oz can black beans rinsed and drained, and 15 oz red beans. The red beans @ my grocer come packaged in chili sauce, so I don't rinse and drain those. Sometimes I'll throw in an extra can of black beans. Sometimes I'll throw in a can of corn kernels, rinsed and drained.

For a little kick, I take between 1 and 3 fresh jalapeno peppers and dice them. I leave the seeds in. If you want it less spicy, remove the seeds.

When I have time, I'll put some chopped veggies in the pot, like celery, bell peppers, etc. Yesterday's rush-chili didn't allow for that, though.

I change up the spices a bit each time, but I'll always put in at least a tablespoon of chili powder, maybe two, as well as some garlic and cumin. I prefer using fresh garlic, but yesterday it was garlic powder.

This time, I also used some oregano, orange peel, and cayenne pepper, about a teaspoon each.

Also, based on an up-thread suggestion from Fenris-77 Fenris-77 , I've put a teaspoon of cocoa powder in my last few batches.

I cook it in a crock pot on low for 6-8 hours. Typically yields between 5 and 8 servings for me.

The lamb version came out pretty well, although I wish I'd seen Fenris-77's suggestion to add a little tumeric and curry powder at the end while I was still cooking. That sounds really good!

I've generally been happy with how my chili turns out based on this "recipe." One time I made it way too hot, and the next time I overcorrected and made it too bland, but I can usually get it pretty nice.
 

E-Rocker

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Today one of my coworkers mentioned making chili, so I asked about her method. It's quite similar to mine, except that she puts in a bit of sugar to cut down the acidity. I've never tried that.
 

Fenris-77

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Sugar works, I use it occasionally depending on the exact palette I'm going for. Peanut butter does the same job.
 

Lofgeornost

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Sugar works, I use it occasionally depending on the exact palette I'm going for. Peanut butter does the same job.

Yeah, I like to use about a teaspoon of brown sugar for a pot of chili (1 pound meat, 1 can black beans, 1 can diced tomatoes). Just a dash of cinnamon is nice, too.
 

Lofgeornost

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Does anybody but me use a little masa (or just finely ground cornmeal) as a thickener for chili? It's a trick I picked up from one of the 'chili in a box' brands. You have to rehydrate the masa in cold water first, though.
 

E-Rocker

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Nope, but I'll add it to the list of chili-things-to-try.
 
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