Fall weather, with tailgating and campfires, just screams CHILI! Strolling through the Market last Saturday I saw loads of great chili ingredients. From fresh local onions, peppers, garlic, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and more; to roasted peppers (Artisano’s), herbs & spices (Redwine Farms), hot sauces (Farmer’s Sassy Sauce), and local naturally pastured meats – it’s a chili lovers paradise.

One of the best things about chili is that it is so customizable to your individual taste. Whether you’re a die-hard carnivore, or a devoted vegetarian, these chili recipes should give you some good ideas, and a great place to start. Then get creative and make it your own.

Classic Chili

recipe adapted from Classic Chili in Food Network Magazine

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 lbs. ground beef or other meat
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 15-ounce cans kidney or pinto beans (do not drain)
  • 3 lbs. tomatoes, trimmed, peeled, and diced (or use 42 oz. canned)

Directions:

  1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook, stirring, until softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the tomato paste, chili powder, cumin, coriander and oregano. Cook, stirring, about 2 minutes.
  2. Add the beef, 1 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper and continue to cook, stirring, until no longer pink, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the beans, tomatoes, 1 cup water and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Bring to a simmer and cook, adjusting the heat as needed and stirring occasionally, until thickened, 35 to 45 minutes. Season with salt. Makes 8 servings.

Cook’s Note: This recipe only calls for bell peppers, but add your favorite hot peppers as well if you like a little heat. (Scoville Scale here.)

White Chicken Chili

recipe from Simply Recipes

Ingredients

  • 2 (15-ounce) cans white beans, drained
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced (about 1 teaspoon)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 8 ounces mild green chiles, seeded and chopped
  • 1 small hot pepper of choice, seeded and finely chopped, optional
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts, trimmed and diced into ½ pieces
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 cups grated Monterey Jack or white cheddar cheese, optional

Directions:

  1. In a large thick-bottomed pot, sauté onions in olive oil on medium high heat until tender, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic, cumin, cloves, and cayenne and cook a minute more. Add the green chiles and dried oregano. Add the minced hot chile pepper if using.
  2. Add the chicken and chicken stock. Increase the heat to high, bring to a simmer, reduce the heat to low, cover and maintain the simmer for 20 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through.
  3. Add the beans and cook for 15 minutes more. Taste for seasonings and add more salt to taste. Depending on how salty your chicken stock and beans are, you may need to add a teaspoon or more.
  4. Top with grated cheese. Garnish with cilantro, chopped fresh tomato, salsa, chopped scallions, and/or guacamole. Serve with fresh warmed flour tortillas or tortilla chips. Makes 4-5 servings.

Cook’s Note: Puree some beans to add a creamy texture.

Vegetarian Chili with Roasted Sweet Potatoes

recipe from Bobby Flay Fit

Ingredients:

  • 2 sweet potatoes peeled and cut into ½-inch dice
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • 1 medium red onion finely diced
  • 1 large poblano or other chile, seeded and finely diced (can use roasted poblanos or hotter variety)
  • 1 bell pepper, seeded and finely diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon pure chile powder (such as ancho)*
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 lbs. tomatoes, peeled and crushed or pureed (or use 28 oz. canned)
  • 1 15.5 oz. can black beans, drained, rinsed, and drained again
  • 1 15.5 oz. can chickpeas, drained, rinsed, and drained again
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro
  • 3 green onions, dark and pale green parts, thinly sliced
  • Hot sauce or pepper vinegar, optional

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the sweet potatoes with 2 tablespoons of the oil and season with salt and pepper. Spread the sweet potatoes in an even layer and roast, turning once, until soft and lightly golden brown, about 25 minutes.
  2. While the sweet potatoes are roasting, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat until it begins to shimmer. Add the onion, poblanos, and bell pepper and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the chili powder, cumin, coriander, cayenne, and oregano and cook for 2 minutes.
  3. Add the stock and tomatoes and bring to a boil, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until x and slightly thickened, about 30 minutes. Add the beans and chickpeas and cook for 15 minutes longer. Add the sweet potatoes and cook until just heated through, about 5 minutes. Check for seasoning and stir in the cilantro and green onions.
  4. Ladle the chili into bowls, and add a few dashes of hot sauce or pepper vinegar.

*Note that chile powder is different than chili powder. Chile powder with an “e” is a pure powder of a specific dried chile pepper. Chili powder with an “i” is a blend of powdered chiles and other spices. If you can’t find a pure chile powder (named for the variety of chile it comes from – ancho is from dried poblanos); you can substitute paprika (sweet, hot, or smoked) plus a dash of cayenne pepper; or a chili powder blend with a pinch or two of red pepper flakes for heat. Redwine Farms has ancho chile powder and most of these substitutes and also Mexican Oregano. You can also find pure chile powders at Artisano’s Oils & Spices brick and mortar shop, or Penzey’s Spices.

Not feeling motivated to slice and dice? Pick up one of U-Relish’s slow cooker chili kits and let them do the work for you. Choose from Cincinnati Chili, White Hot Chili, or Campfire Black Bean Chili.

 

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