Recipes for Auntie

Since it’s National Chili Month, I thought I’d research some “famous” chili recipes from around the nation to share with you readers.

There is absolutely no “one” recipe for chili; some like beans, some don’t. Some like it with game meat, some like it vegetarian style. Some add various vegetables, some don’t add any. What do you like?

Recipes wanted! I’d really like your favorite recipes using peanut butter or you hands-down best holiday recipes. Submitted recipes will be accepted at recipesforauntie@gmail.com, or you can stop by the Albion office and drop a copy off up front. 

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Springfield Chilli

The Illinois version of chili is typically spelled with an extra "l" and features coarse-grind beef. In 1993, the state legislature proclaimed Springfield the "Chilli Capital of the Civilized World."

Ingredients:

1, bacon slice, finely chopped 

2-1/4C onion, finely chopped, divided

2, cloves garlic, minced

1-lb. coarsely ground turkey breast

1/2-lb. coarsely ground sirloin 

1, (12-oz.) can (regular) beer 

3 TBSP chili powder

1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1/4 tsp ground cumin

1, (14 1/2-oz.) can diced tomatoes, undrained

1, (8-oz.) can no-salt-added tomato sauce

1, (15-oz.) can pinto beans, rinsed and drained

1/2C cheddar cheese, shredded 

Oyster crackers, to serve, optional

Directions: Cook bacon in a large Dutch oven over medium heat five minutes or until browned. Stir in 2C onion; cover and cook until onion is tender, about five minutes. Uncover and stir in garlic; cook for one minute.

Increase heat to medium-high; add turkey and sirloin to pan. Cook five minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble. Add beer; cook until liquid is reduced to 1/3C, about seven minutes. Stir in chili powder and next five ingredients. Cover, reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes or until mixture thickens. Stir in beans; cook ten minutes or until thoroughly heated.

Top with cheese and additional onion. Serve with oyster crackers, if desired.

***Recipe courtesy of “Cooking Light”, via MyReipes.com website.*** 

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Skyline Cincinnati Chili (copycat recipe)

Have you ever had Cincinnati chili? It’s totally unique, and not like a traditional chili, but it’s an absolutely delicacy in the Midwest. 

Ingredients:

5C water

6-oz. can of tomato paste

1/2-oz. baking chocolate, unsweetened (I use Baker's brand)

1/4C chili powder

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp cumin

1/4 tsp allspice

1/4 tsp ground cloves

1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, or less, to taste

1/8 tsp black pepper

3/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp sugar

2 TBSP apple cider vinegar

1-1/4-lb. lean ground beef

Directions: Add the water to a large pot/Dutch oven. Add the tomato paste and chocolate and heat over medium heat, stirring to combine for about three minutes (I stir with a whisk to really break up the tomato paste). Add chili powder, cinnamon, garlic powder, cumin, allspice, cloves, red pepper flakes, black pepper, salt, sugar and vinegar.

Next, crumble the raw ground beef into the pot with your fingers, then using a potato masher, whisk or fork to break up the meat into very fine pieces.

Turn heat to high to bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to med-low. Cook, uncovered, for 1 to 1-1/2 hours at a low boil, stirring occasionally until sauce has thickened quite a bit.

Serve over thin spaghetti or a hot dog (or rice).

Note: Optional toppings include shredded cheddar cheese, diced white or yellow onion, kidney beans, oyster crackers and/or hot sauce.

***Recipe courtesy of Amanda, of “The Chunky Chef” blog.*** 

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True Texas Chili

This Texas classic doesn't include beans or tomatoes, only beef, homemade chile paste, and a few flavorings. It's what Texans call a "Bowl o' Red" and tastes intensely of its two main ingredients.

Ingredients:

2-oz. dried, whole New Mexico (California), guajillo or pasilla chiles, or a combination (6 to 8 chiles total)

1-1/2 tsp ground cumin seed

1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Kosher salt

5 TBSP lard, vegetable oil or rendered beef suet

2-1/2-lbs. boneless beef chuck, well trimmed, cut into 3/4-in. cubes

1/3C finely chopped onion

3, large cloves garlic, minced

2C beef stock or canned low-sodium beef broth, plus more as needed

2 1/4C water, plus more as needed

2 TBSP masa harina (corn tortilla flour)

1 TBSP dark brown sugar, firmly packed, plus more as needed

1-1/2 TBSP distilled white vinegar, plus more as needed

Sour cream, to serve

Lime wedges, to serve

Directions: Place the chiles in a straight-sided large skillet over medium-low heat and gently toast the chiles until fragrant, 2-3 minutes per side. Don't let them burn, or they'll turn bitter. Place the chiles in a bowl and cover them with very hot water and soak until soft, 15-45 minutes, turning once or twice.

Drain the chiles; split them and remove stems and seeds (a brief rinse helps remove seeds, but don't wash away the flesh). Place the chiles in the bowl of a blender and add the cumin, black pepper, 1 TBSP salt and 1/4C water. Purée the mixture, adding more water as needed (occasionally scrape down the sides), until a smooth, slightly fluid paste forms (you want to eliminate all but the tiniest bits of skin.) Set the chile paste aside.

Return skillet to medium-high heat and melt 2 TBSP of the lard. When it begins to smoke, swirl skillet to coat and add half of the beef. Lightly brown on at least two sides, about three minutes per side, reducing the heat if the meat threatens to burn. Transfer to a bowl and repeat with two more tablespoons of lard and the remaining beef. Reserve.

Let the skillet cool slightly, and place it over medium-low heat. Melt the remaining 1 TBSP of lard in the skillet; add the onion and garlic and cook gently for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the stock, the remaining 2C water and gradually whisk in the masa harina to avoid lumps. Stir in the reserved chile paste, scraping the bottom of the skillet with a spatula to loosen any browned bits. Add the reserved beef (and any juices in the bowl) and bring to a simmer over high heat. Reduce heat to maintain the barest possible simmer (just a few bubbles breaking the surface) and cook, stirring occasionally, until the meat is tender but still somewhat firm, plus 1-1/2 to 2C of thickened, but still liquid, sauce surrounds the cubes of meat, about two hours.

Stir in the brown sugar and vinegar thoroughly and add more salt to taste; gently simmer ten minutes more. At this point, it may look like there is excess sauce. Turn off the heat and let the chili stand for at least 30 minutes, during which time the meat will absorb about half of the remaining sauce in the skillet, leaving the meat bathed in a thick, somewhat fluid sauce. Stir in additional broth or water if the mixture seems too dry. If the mixture seems a bit loose and wet, allow it to simmer a bit more (sometimes we like to partially crush the cubes of beef with the back of a spoon to let them absorb more sauce). Adjust the balance of flavors with a bit of additional salt, sugar or vinegar, if you like.

Reheat gently and serve in individual bowls with a dollop of sour cream on top and a lime wedge on the side.

Note: Whatever combination of dried chiles you use, make sure they're as fresh as possible by buying from a store with good turnover. Dried chiles should be pliable (but not damp) and without signs of mold.

***Recipes courtesy of ‘Lobel’s Meat Bible: All You Need to Know About Meat and Poultry from America's Master Butchers,’ via Epicurious website.***

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Chile Verde (Green Chile Stew)

If there’s one thing that most New Mexican’s love, it’s green chile stew. There’s always one person that you know that makes the best green chile stew. If you’ve always wanted to make it but didn’t know how it’s just about the most simple New Mexican recipe you can tackle.

Ingredients: 

2-lb. pork loin or lean beef round (pork is more traditional), cubed

3C potatoes; cubed/diced

1/4C flour

2C beef or chicken broth, or water

2 TBSP shortening, oil or lard

2, large onions; chopped

1, large clove garlic; minced (or 1/2 tsp garlic powder)

2 tsp salt

3C New Mexico Hatch Green Chiles, roasted, peeled, seeded and chopped; use more or less to taste

1C tomatoes, chopped, optional

Directions: Cube meat, dredge in flour. Place the shortening/oil/lard in a heavy skillet and brown meat at medium heat. Place meat in a large stewing pot.

Saute the onions in the remaining shortening/oil/lard and add to stewing pot. Add all remaining ingredients and simmer on low heat for one hour. You can instead put in a crockpot and cook for six hours on high setting or eight hours on low setting, using enough broth/water to cover. Either way you do it, it’s going to taste delicious. 

Note: If desired, you could add 1 tsp to 1 TBSP ground cumin or a little fresh cilantro.

***Recipes slightly adapted, courtesy of “I Am New Mexico” website.***

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“Classic” Chili

This traditional chili recipe is just like mom used to make with ground beef, beans, and a homemade blend of chili seasonings.

Ingredients: 

1 TBSP olive oil

2, medium onions, diced

2, medium green bell peppers, diced

1-lb. mushrooms, sliced, optional

2-lbs. ground beef, turkey, venison, chicken or a mixture

1, clove garlic, minced

3 TBSP chili powder, use more or less, to taste

1 TBSP ground cumin, optional

1 TBSP paprika

1-1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

1/4 to 1/2 tsp ground cayenne pepper, use more or less, to taste

1/2 TBSP chipotle seasoning, optional

1/8 - 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper, use more or less, to taste, optional

4 TBSP tomato paste

4 (15 oz.) can diced tomatoes (I use regular, flavored, various dice sizes, whatever you have on hand)

4 (16 oz.) cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed (mix light and dark), or use any combination of canned beans

2 (8-12 oz.) cans tomato sauce (I prefer tomato passata, if you can find it)

1-2C beef broth or water, as needed

Directions: Add the olive oil to a large pot and place it over medium-high heat for two minutes. Add the onion and green peppers. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add mushrooms, if using. Cook an additional 2-3 minutes.

Add the ground beef and minced garlic to the pot. Break it apart with a wooden spoon. Cook for 6-7 minutes, until the beef is browned, stirring occasionally.

Add the chili powder, cumin, paprika, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, chipotle seasoning and crushed red pepper, if using. Stir until well combined. Add tomato paste, diced tomatoes (with their juices), drained beans and tomato sauce. Stir well. Add broth/water as needed to thin out, if desired.

Bring to a low boil. Reduce the heat to low or medium-low, and gently simmer uncovered for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add more broth if desired. If it is too thin, add more tomato paste.

Remove the pot from the heat. Serve with crackers, shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream and/or diced onions or even green onions.

Note: I usually add a splash or so of red wine if I’m making from scratch. However, I usually make chili with my homemade sauce base that already has wine in it, then adjust the herbs and spices for chili instead of Italian-style pasta sauce.

Note 2: It’s really important for you to start with the lowest amount (or none) of an ingredient and build up per your tastes. You can always add more spice or flavor, but it’s really hard to adjust it if you over-spiced it (unless you want the amount of chili you have to triple or quadruple!).

***Recipe modified and adapted from Amanda Finks’ of “The Wholesome Dish” blog.***