A few weeks ago I decided to try my hand at making chili. I grew up eating chili and quite enjoy it, I even buy it at lunch from time to time, but in all my 33 years, it has never occurred to me to make it. Never, EVER!!!
Being a chili newbie I was at a disadvantage… I didn’t have a go to recipe. I also didn’t leave much time to canvas friends and family for their recipes. I decided I wanted to make chili and I went for it. Type chili recipes into the internet and you are bombarded with options. To be honest, it was overwhelming. I decided that the best course of action was to focus on a few sources I have found reliable in the past.
I ended up, as I often do, on the Food 52 website, sifting through one of their recent recipe competitions – this one on chili recipes.
1) I already had stewing beef in the fridge. I ended up using ground Turkey as the 2nd meat.
2) The recipe called for a can of beer and I liked that the required quantity was 1 can or bottle minus one sip.
3) The comments were very positive and included ways to make it even better (ie. use less sugar or it’s too sweet).
4) Openness to substitutions. I ended up adding chopped green and red peppers, can of corn (right at the end), a can of black beans instead of white beans and cubes of fresh avocado when I was ready to serve and eat it. I also left out the carrots, which just seemed a bit weird to me.
I really loved this chili and would make it again in a heart beat. The real measure of success with a dish like this is a person’s willingness to eat it for multiple meals for the week after it was made.
If I could improve the recipe at all, I would add a bit more heat to it. I used 1 Serrano chili and next time I would consider 2 or 3. The ones I had were quite small and didn’t make much impact.