Please note: Eileen Goltz is a freelance kosher food writer. The Orthodox Union makes no endorsements or representations regarding kashrut certification of various products/vendors referred to in her articles, blog or web site.
I’m traveling a lot this year so my regular recipes that take time to prepare aren’t going to cut it. I decided that a big pot of chili with all the fixings and a bunch of store bought snackie stuff (chips, pretzels and the other usual suspects) will round out the menu nicely.
However, that decision being made, I have the difficult task of deciding whether this will be a bean or no-bean kind of chili menu. That brings us to the age-old question of what exactly is the definition of chili.
If you ask Wikipedia, they say the name is modified from the phrase “chili con carne,” which translates to “peppers with meat.” For all intents and purposes, chili is a stew made with some combination of peppers, meat, tomatoes, a variety of spices…and beans if you want them.
This hotly (pun intended) debated dish probably evolved from the cuisine of the early Spanish settlers. It was the perfect dish for using the less expensive tough cuts of meat that were available to those settling in or traveling through the Old West. Chili enthusiasts take their love of the dish to extreme heights with recipe contests, cook-off’s and grudge-match cooking meets of the “beans versus no beans recipes, winner take all” variety (all of what I’m not quite sure, but they do take this seriously).
The perfect recipe is still being debated by cooks from Texas to New York and beyond. You will find my modest contributions to the lists of recipes below. Since there are beaucoup recipes available, I suggest you try them all. Just remember: the hotter they are, the quicker you’ll run out of antacids.
Oh, and one last word: HEY PEYTON, GET BETTER QUICK.
Tip: Use as lean a cut of meat as you can. You may also want to drain the fat from the cooked meat before you add the remaining ingredients. Greasy chili can really sneak up on you…if you catch my meaning!
Tip: Several recipes call for beer; if you don’t drink you can use apple juice instead.
VEGETARIAN CHILI (pareve)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
3 stalks chopped celery
1 red bell pepper, diced
4 tablespoons chopped garlic
2 19 oz. cans red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 19 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 envelope taco seasoning or 1/4 cup taco seasoning
1 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1 15 oz can tomato sauce
3 cups vegetable broth
1 6 oz can tomato paste
1. Heat oil in saucepan. Cook the onions and garlic until they are soft and translucent. Add beans, celery, red bell pepper, taco seasoning, basil, oregano and thyme. Mix to combine.
2. Add the tomato sauce, vegetable broth and tomato paste. Mix to combine and cook covered for at least 1 1/2 hours. Stir every 15 minutes to prevent sticking. Season with salt and pepper.
From my files, source unknown.
TERRIFIC CROCK POT TURKEY CHILI (meat)
2 pounds ground turkey
1 cup chopped onion
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
1 cup green peppers, diced
1 cup chicken broth
2 teaspoon dried cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 cooked and mashed potatoes
2 15 to 16 oz cans of kidney beans (not drained)
1. In a large skillet, brown ground turkey and drain.
2. Add all ingredients to crock pot except the can of refried beans. Cover and cook on low 2 hours.
3. Add the mashed potatoes to chili for thickening. Cover and cook on low for an additional 2 hours.
From my files, source unknown.
CHOCOLATE CHIPOTLE CHILI (meat)
2 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
1 lb. chopped kosher spicy sausage (it’s out there)
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 cup finely chopped onion
8 oz tomato sauce
8 oz chipotle sauce (with tomato base)
1 cup water
1 bottle lite beer (12 oz)
3 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons instant beef bouillon
2 tablespoons cumin, ground
2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons oregano leaves
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon coriander, ground
1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon cornmeal
1 teaspoon flour
1 teaspoon warm water
1. In a large stock pot, brown the meat (the beef and sausage) and drain off the fat. Return the meat to the pan and add the garlic and onion; cook and stir constantly until the onion is translucent.
2. Add the tomato sauces, water, beer, chili powder, bouillon, cumin, paprika, oregano, sugar, coriander and cocoa. Mix well. Bring the chili to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and cook for 2 hours.
3. In a small bowl, stir together the cornmeal and flour, then add the warm water and mix well. Stir into chili and cook, covered, for about 20 more minutes.
Tip: You can serve with pareve sour cream and pareve cheese.
Modified from slacker.blogspot.com (yes, it’s a real blog, I checked it out). This link was sent to me by reader Perry Nicson of NY who loves it.
GOOD OLD-FASHIONED CHILI (meat)
3 pounds lean ground beef
2 medium onions, chopped, divided
2 fresh tomatoes, chopped
2 cans tomato sauce, 1 pound each
1 can tomato puree
1 teaspoon honey
2 teaspoons mustard
1/2 cup ketchup
1 12 oz can beer
2 cans red kidney beans, drained
2 packs chili seasoning
2 teaspoons chili powder
pepper to taste
1. In a large soup pot, cook ground beef. Drain and add 1 chopped onion, 1 pack of chili seasoning and 1/2 can tomato sauce. Mix well and cook for 20 minutes.
2. Add the remaining onion, chopped tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato puree, honey, mustard, ketchup, beer, beans, chili seasoning, chili powder and pepper to taste. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the temperature to a simmer.
3. Cover and cook 45 minutes to an hour, stirring occasionally.
Submitted by Randy Karpton, Tucson, AZ.
NO-BEAN CHILI (meat)
1-1/2 pounds lean ground beef, cooked and drained
1 can (14-1/2 ounces) stewed tomatoes, undrained
1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
1 red onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chilies
1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1-1/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon pepper
optional toppings: pareve cheddar cheese, pareve sour cream and sliced green onions
1. Place all the ingredients into a crockpot. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours or until heated through.
Modified from about.com.
BRISKET CHILI (meat)
1 pound kosher breakfast beef, diced
2 red onions, diced
5 pounds lean brisket, trimmed, cubed
1/3 cup chili powder
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 heaping tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon oregano
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon pepper
1/4 cup green chili peppers, chopped
3 12 oz bottles of beer
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon coriander
1 6 oz can tomato paste
1 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1. In a large pot, cook the breakfast beef, onion and garlic. Drain when cooked. Add the remaining ingredients and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and cover.
2. Stir every 20 minutes or so for the next 2 hours. Check to see if the meat is tender. If not, keep cooking.
Tip: You can add more beer if the chili is too thick.
Submitted by Irene Louis from Chicago, IL.
Eileen Goltz is a freelance kosher food writer who was born and raised in the Chicago area. She graduated from Indiana University and the Cordon Bleu Cooking School in Paris. She lectures on various food-related topics across the U.S. and Canada and writes weekly columns for the Chicago Jewish News, kosher.com and the OU Shabbat Shalom Website. She is the author of the Perfectly Pareve Cookbook (Feldheim) and is a contributing writer for the Chicken Soup for the Soul Book Group, Chicago Sun Times, Detroit Free Press and Woman’s World Magazine. You can visit Eileen’s blog by clicking: Cuisine by Eileen.