Putting a special spin on this favorite dish!
I’ve never entered a chili cook-off and am perfectly content to believe that my chili is the best chili out there. But like other employees, students, and family members of the Auburn University Harrison School of Pharmacy, I did help judge its Fourth Annual Chili Cook-off.
Each region of the country has its own chili tradition. Even in this group of twenty participating faculty and students, I was amazed by the different styles and flavors. I picked three of the twenty that I truly liked and begged for the recipes. I mention the begging because my own chili recipe is almost sacred. I cannot get upset when my requests are refused. But two of the chefs were generous, and I must thank the two young chefs profusely. I know how hard it is to write down exactly what you did to make the best pot of chili ever.
Before I give you the recipes, here are some tips to help you create your own signature chili.
- The spices you add to your chili will add a more flavorful depth if you toast them with your meat.
- If you’re using ground beef, drain the fat before you add spices. It doesn’t add any flavor and if you try to remove it after the chili cools, you could lose the spices and herbs you added.
- When using fresh herbs, add them at the end of cooking. If using dry, add them just before simmering.
- If you are reheating a pot of chili, a handful of fresh herbs will brighten the flavor.
- Finally, to help alleviate the after effects of the beans (this is something my sister taught me after she worked for a year as a cook in a government facility), cut a whole apple in quarters, core it, and add it to the pot. Let it simmer in the chili; it will not change the taste. Before serving the chili, remove the apple and throw it away.
At my house we eat chili over shell noodles. I have friends who like it over rice and some who eat it over cornbread. There is no wrong way to eat chili.
The Colored Chili
Mohammad (Mo) Rahman, a third year pharmacy student, and a few of his cronies, created this fresh tasting chili.
- 3 pounds of ground turkey
- 1 ½ bell pepper (a mix of red and green)
- 2 small onions, chopped
- 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
- 2 tablespoon of olive oil
- 4 tablespoon of chili powder
- 4 tablespoon of cumin
- 4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper sauce
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 3 cups of frozen corn
- 2 (32-ounce) can chunky-style crushed tomatoes
- 3 cups of chicken stock
- 1 ½ tablespoons of brown sugar
- 12 ounce bag of Aidells Chicken Meatballs (Hawaiian style with pineapples)
- Green onion and sour cream to garnish
Sauté the vegetables and ground turkey in separate pans. Put both in a crock-pot along with all ingredients except meatballs, green onions, and sour cream. Prepare the meatballs as instructed on the package, chop to small pieces, and add to the crock-pot. Cook 2 hours on high. Serve with green onion and sour cream.
Jacob’s Red Rooster Chili
Jacob Boydston is a second year pharmacy student. I really liked the way he used black beans as well as pinto beans in his pot.
- 2 pounds ground chuck
- 1 tablespoon freshly cracked black pepper
- 1 29-ounce can tomato sauce
- 1 29-ounce can whole tomatoes, quartered
- 1 15-ounce can black beans
- 1 15-ounce can pinto beans
- 1-2 tablespoons canned jalapenos, diced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4-5 cloves of garlic, diced
- 1 medium-large yellow onion, diced
- 2 tablespoons Mexican oregano
- 1 ½ cups beef broth
- 3 tablespoons ancho chili powder
- 1 tablespoon chipotle chili powder
- Cayenne pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- Salt to taste
Season ground chuck with one half tablespoon of fresh cracked black pepper and brown in a skillet. Drain and add to crock-pot along with tomato sauce, whole tomatoes, black beans, pinto beans, and jalapenos. In another skillet add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, just enough to cover the bottom. When oil is hot, add garlic, onions, the remaining half tablespoon black pepper, and 1 tablespoon of Mexican oregano. Sauté over medium heat stirring several times to keep from scorching. When onions are translucent, add to the crock-pot. Add beef broth, ancho chili powder, chipotle chili powder, cayenne, cumin, paprika, sugar, and salt to the crock pot and stir. Cook on highest setting the highest for 1 to 2 hours and taste. Adjust spices and add more beef broth as needed. Cook for additional 1 to 2 hours.
I’ve been making chili for so many years it’s really hard to write down my recipe. This is a much simplified version. I generally make three times this much and, depending on the season, will use fresh ingredients as well as canned.
- 1 pound ground beef
- ½ pound hot pork sausage, without casing
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 green pepper, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 3-ounce can chilies, chopped
- 1 tablespoon jalapeños, chopped (optional)
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon white pepper
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ½ teaspoon ancho chili powder
- ¼ teaspoon chipotle chili powder
- 1 tablespoon hot Mexican chili powder
- 2 cans red beans
- 2 cans tomato sauce
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons ketchup
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons dried basil
Brown the ground beef and sausage in a large Dutch oven. Simmer uncovered until the liquid cooks off; drain and discard fat. Stir in onion, green pepper, garlic, chilies, and jalapenos. In a separate small bowl, mix sugar, ground peppers, cloves, and chili powders. Sprinkle the spice mixture onto the meat mixture and stir about a minute to toast the spices. Add beans, tomato sauce, tomatoes, and ketchup. Bring this mixture to a boil; turn down the heat and add bay leaf, dried oregano, and basil. Simmer the chili uncovered one hour, or longer for thicker chili.
Winter White Chili
This is a much milder chili and a different style. It’s great with hot pepper cheese, and if you really want it hot, pass the jalapenos. If it’s too spicy, a dollop of sour cream will take the sizzle out.
- ½ cup onions, chopped
- ½ cup green pepper, chopped
- ½ cup celery, chopped
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 15-ounce cans great northern beans
- 1 cup chicken broth
- ½ cup green salsa
- 1 3-ounce can green chilies, chopped
- 2 cups cooked chicken, chopped
- 1 tablespoon Emeril’s Chicken Rub
- Cooked rice for serving
Sauté the onions, pepper, and celery in olive oil. Add the beans, broth, salsa, green chilies, and cooked chicken. Bring to a simmer and stir in the Emeril’s chicken rub. Simmer for about 30 minutes and serve over rice.