Warm Up With These Souped Up Chili Recipes
How to Make Chili
Is there anything more comforting than a bowl of chili on a cold and dreary winter’s day? Not really. Though the classic ground meat dish is pretty easy to make, there are methods of preparing chili that take the relatively common food item and kick it up a notch or two.
Whether you enhance the dish by adding some unusual spices, using different sources of protein, or even throwing some coffee grounds in for an unexpected boost of flavor, there really is no shortage of simple ways to elevate the beloved comfort food.
We spoke to restaurant chefs and other cooks from across the country about their favorite elevated chili recipes for you to try at home, whether on National Chili Day (the fourth Thursday in February), or any day you damn well please.
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“This take on the hearty classic comes together with tender ground beef, creamy cannellini beans, a kick of heat from the poblano pepper and a generous dollop of sour cream to cool it all down,” says Claudia Sidoti, head chef at HelloFresh.
Ingredients:2 scallions 2 cloves garlic 1 poblano pepper 1 can cannellini beans 1 tsp olive oil 10 oz ground beef 1 tbsp Mexican spice blend (2 parts chili powder, 1 part oregano, 1 part smoked paprika, 1 part cumin) 1 unit vegetable stock (bouillon cube or packet) 1 can crushed tomatoes 1/2 cup cheddar cheese 4 tbsp sour cream Salt and pepper, to taste
Instructions:Wash and dry all produce. Trim, then thinly slice scallions, keeping greens and whites separate. Mince garlic. Core and seed poblano, then cut into 1/2-inch squares. Drain and rinse beans. Heat a drizzle of oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add beef, breaking it up into pieces. Cook, tossing occasionally, until browned at the edges and no longer pink, 5 to 6 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from pan with a slotted spoon and set aside. Remove pan from heat and carefully pour out and discard any excess grease left by beef. Return to medium-high heat and add scallion whites, poblano, and garlic. Cook, tossing, until lightly browned and softened, 5 to 6 minutes. Add Mexican spice blend to pan and toss to coat veggies. Cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Season with salt and pepper. Add stock concentrate, beans, tomatoes, beef, and 1 cup water to pan and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and let simmer until thick and stewlike, about 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Divide chili between bowls. Sprinkle with cheddar and scallion greens. Dollop with sour cream and serve. Pescan A Feel Good Cookbook
Vegetarians rejoice! This recipe from “Pescan: A Feel Good Cookbook” (Abrams Books, 2019), which was written by actress Abbie Cornish and chef Jacqueline King Schiller, yields a hearty and tasty dish so delicious you won’t notice the lack of meat.
“This is one of my favorites. It’s so warm, comforting and homey, and is packed full of healthy veggies,” says Cornish. “The chili cooks at a low temperature, so rather than prep everything ahead of time, you can chop as you go, which saves time.”
As for what elevates this dish, the “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” actress adds: “There are a few secret ingredients — coffee, cacao, and sriracha — that make it extra special. People invariably ask for this recipe. It’s up to you whether you reveal your secret.”
Ingredients:1 shot espresso or 1⁄2 cup dark roast coffee 2 tbsp olive oil 1 onion, diced 1 shallot, thinly sliced 4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced 1 green bell pepper, diced 3 carrots, sliced into 1/4-inch coins 2 14.5 oz cans stewed tomatoes, preferably Italian style 3 ears corn or 1 15 oz can of corn, drained 3 zucchinis, sliced into 1/4-inch thick coins 1 15 oz can black beans 1 15 oz can kidney beans 1 15 oz can garbanzo beans 1 15 oz can cannellini beans 1 15 oz can pinto beans 2 tsp kosher sea salt 1 tsp black pepper 1 packet chili seasoning (store-bought is fine) 1 tsp raw cacao powder 3/4 teaspoon maple syrup 1/4 teaspoon chipotle chile powder (or pinch of cayenne pepper) Pinch ground cinnamon 2 tsp sriracha 8 oz sliced cremini mushrooms 8 oz cherry or grape tomatoes 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, plus more for garnish
Instructions:Brew coffee or make a shot of espresso and set aside. In a large pot (5-quart/5-L minimum), heat the oil over medium-low heat, add the onion, and stir to coat the onion in the oil. Add the shallot to the onion. Add the garlic to the pot and give it a good stir. Add the bell pepper to the onion, shallot, and garlic mix. Stir in the carrots. Drain the liquid from the canned stewed tomatoes into the pot, then roughly chop the stewed tomatoes and add them in. Cut the kernels off of the corn cobs and add the kernels to the pot (or add the canned corn). Add zucchini slices to the pot and gently stir. Place all of the beans in a colander. Rinse, drain, then add them to the pot and sprinkle with the salt, pepper, and chili seasoning. Pour the coffee or espresso over the beans and stir until the seasonings dissolve. Add the cacao powder, maple syrup, chipotle chile powder, cinnamon, and sriracha and stir again. Add the mushrooms to the beans and cover. Simmer while you cut the fresh tomatoes in half and roughly chop the cilantro. Add the tomatoes and cilantro to the pot and stir. Cover and simmer for 3 minutes more, or until the mushrooms are tender. Serve the chili in bowls and top with sour cream and garnish with fresh cilantro leaves.
This chili recipe from chef Alfredo Nogueria of Cane & Table in New Orleans is an interesting take on the classic dish that’s inspired by everybody’s favorite meal — brunch! It features three different types of chiles mixed with ground meat and an array of spices, including Mexican oregano.
“This is more of a northern Mexican Tex-Mex style chili and goes well with poached eggs and cornbread for brunch,” Nogueria explains. “It is a crowd pleaser!”
Ingredients:5 juanitos chiles, stemmed and seeded 3 ancho chiles, stemmed and seeded 1 can of chipotle chiles 2 lbs of ground beef or chicken 1 medium onion, minced 1 poblano, minced 1 jalapeño, minced 1 tbsp garlic, minced 1 tbsp Mexican oregano 1 tbsp cumin 1 tbsp coriander 1 tbsp salt 1 quart tomato puree 1 quart chicken stock 1 16 oz can of black beans
Instructions:In a skillet, toast the dried chiles until fragrant. Put them into a bowl and cover them with hot water from a tea kettle. Let steep for 20 minutes until soft and pliable. Remove chiles and put them in a blender. Add can of chipotle chiles to make a puree. Set aside. Brown the meat in a large Dutch oven. Add the onion, poblano, and jalapeño peppers and sweat down. Add the garlic, Mexican oregano, cumin, coriander, and salt. Add chili adobo from blender and cook down for 15 minutes. Add tomato puree and cook down for another 15 to 25 minutes. Add chicken stock and beans and bring to boil, then reduce to simmer. Serve with poached eggs and cornbread. P.J. Whelihan’s
Chef Rich Friedrich, the culinary director for the New Jersey-based PJW Restaurant Group, relies on a meaty combo to heat up his chili.
“Use fresh chorizo in addition to ground beef to add a kick to traditional chili. I also use a combo of jalapeños, cayenne, and chili powder for a fiery finish,” he explains.
The chef also suggests frying your own tortillas to impress guests. You can either use fried tortilla strips as garnish or DIY tortilla chips. “Cut flour tortillas into strips or triangles (a pizza cutter works great for this). Heat a half inch of vegetable oil in a large pan, add strips in a single layer and fry for a minute on each side. Drain over paper towels and sprinkle with salt. Repeat as needed,” he advises.
Ingredients:1 tbsp vegetable oil 1 onion, diced 1 lb ground beef 1 lb chorizo 3 cloves garlic, minced 2 16 oz cans kidney beans 6 cups beef broth 1 16 oz can diced tomatoes 1 6 oz can tomato paste 1 jalapeno pepper, diced 1 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper 2 tbsp chili powder 1 tbsp dried oregano 1 tbsp coriander 1/2 tsp Kosher salt 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
Instructions:Heat the oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onions, beef, and chorizo, and brown for about 8 to 10 minutes, stirring infrequently and allowing the onions and meat to brown on one side. Break apart any large clumps of ground meat. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for about 1 minute. Add all additional ingredients and bring to a boil. Cover the pot and reduce to a simmer for about 45 minutes. If you find a lot of liquid forming on top of the chili, stir and continue to cook with the lid removed until liquid evaporates. Garnish with sour cream and chives and serve with tortilla strips. Went Here 8 This
Danielle Wolter, a food blogger at Went Here 8 This, develops recipes using ingredients from cuisines around the world, and her chili recipe uses a spicy sausage that originated in France. The dish, which can be made in the Instant Pot, also features chunks of juicy turkey, corn, green chilies and Fritos.
“The addition of andouille sausage adds a slightly spicy, smoky component to the dish,” she says. “The crunchy Fritos corn chips on top of the chili really elevate it to the next level with flavor and texture."
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Ingredients:2 cups cooked turkey, diced 1 can chili beans 12 oz andouille sausage, diced 1green pepper, diced 1/2 onion, diced 2 15 oz cans crushed tomatoes 1 6 oz can diced green chilies 1 15 oz can corn 1 tbsp tomato paste 1/2 can beer (optional) 1/2 cup chicken or turkey stock 2 bay leaves 1 tbsp Cajun seasoning 1 tbsp coconut sugar 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon 1/2 tsp chili powder Fritos, for garnish Sour cream, for garnish Chives/diced green onions, for garnish Grated cheddar cheese, for garnish
Instructions:Turn the Instant Pot to the saute setting and brown the andouille sausage. Add the remaining ingredients and pressure cook on high for 20 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes, then use the manual release for the remaining pressure. Serve the chili in bowls with one to two tablespoons of sour cream, 1/4 cup cheddar cheese, and 1/4 cup Fritos. Garnish with chives.
Now that you’re armed with these elevated chili recipes, go ahead and make a hearty bowl of this wintertime favorite to call your own!
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