Thursday, April 21, 2011

What's for dinner?

Today I'm sharing my favorite chili recipe with you. It's very simple so no chance of ruining it. Even though the weather has been getting nicer and I usually cook this hearty dish in winter only, this is still comfort food that goes for almost any day of the year. A lot of people will argue that you are not supposed to add beans, or corn, or whatever kind of ingredient to chili. But this is my favorite, and it has all those things!

These are the ingredients for about 4 people.

The Chili

  • A good splash of olive oil to coat the bottom of your pot (use a big one, because this will be a lot of food!)
  • 1 pound of ground beef
  • 2 onions 
  • 1 red pepper (seeded and chopped)
  • 1 green pepper (seeded and chopped)
  • 1 jalapeno pepper (seeded and chopped)
  • 1 red poblano pepper (seeded and chopped)
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 14 oz. cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 14 oz. can black beans
  • 1 14 oz. can dark red kidney beans
  • 1 can vegetarian refried beans (I like to use the kind with chipotles, to get that smokey flavor)
  • A couple of tablespoons of canned corn (no more than a cup)
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin (this is a key ingredient, don't skip it!)
  • 1 tablespoon of spicy red pepper paste (I buy this at the Turkish market, where it's called Biber Salcasi. It has the consistency of concentrated tomato paste but it is spicier and has a pepper flavor. You can try to use tomato paste instead if you can't find it.)
  • 1 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon paprika powder (sweet or hot, whichever you prefer)
  • 1 tablespoon hot pepper sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of ground red chilies
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar

The Garnish 

  • Some grated cheese (I like cheddar)
  • a dollop of sour cream
  • some fresh cilantro
  • some sliced jalapenos (from a jar)


In a large pot, add olive oil and warm over medium heat.  Add beef and onions and saute for a few minutes until the onions are translucent and the beef is starting to brown (but not too brown. It's not supposed to get dry). Add all your garlic and peppers and saute until the veggies have softened a bit. Be careful not to burn anything, especially not the garlic. Add all your spices and powders, and add the red pepper paste. Stir until all is coated in the paste. Add tomatoes, black beans, kidney beans and corn, stirring well to combine.  Add hot sauce, salt and sugar. Stir in refried beans to thicken chili. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes to let the flavors get all yummy.

Done! Garnish and serve with nachos, bread or rice.

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