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The Only Chili Recipe You’ll Ever Need

December 3, 2010

It seems that winter is finally upon us, at least in New York City. This week I had to bust out the gloves, hat, scarf combo for the first time, and even dusted off my winter coat. In this colder clime, is there anything that warms the soul faster than spicy, smoky chili? (Short answer: no.)

Now for confession time: I don’t eat a lot of chili. I love the idea of it, but I’m so afraid. Most chilis are too salty, some are way too spicy and others are just all wrong. The idea of making it myself never occurred to me, and the few times that it did, I talked myself out of it. A lot of chili recipes I’ve seen require hours of simmering, which I just didn’t have time for. But my cousin and I decided we had to have chili for dinner last night, and I immediately picked this recipe from Martha Stewart. It took under an hour to make, for one. And it was touted as “lighter” for its use of ground sirloin, rather than the fattier chuck, which is always a plus. But this chili is light in name only. It’s everything you want on a cold night: meaty, full of beans and tomatoes, with plenty of flavor and a good kick. I fooled around with her recipe naturally, the main change being that I didn’t have chili powder on hand, so I improvised. Topped with a little sour cream and some cheese, it was perfect.

– 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

– 1 medium yellow onion, chopped

– 5 cloves garlic, chopped

– 1-1/2 jalapeños, seeded and diced

– 2 tablespoons tomato paste

– 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

– 3 teaspoons paprika

– 2 teaspoons cumin

– 1/2 teaspoon oregano

– 2 teaspoons garlic powder

– 1 pound ground sirloin (90% lean)

– 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice

– 1 14.5-ounce can kidney beans, rinsed and drained

– 1 14.5-ounce black beans, rinsed and drained

– salt and pepper, to taste

1) Heat the oil in a large pot. Add the onions and garlic and cook on medium-high heat until softened, about 3 to 5 minutes.

2) Stir in the tomato paste, cocoa powder, paprika, cumin, oregano and garlic powder. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the beef, breaking up with the spoon, and brown slightly, about 5 minutes.

3) Add the beans and tomatoes, with their juice. Bring to a boil on high heat, and then reduce the heat to medium so that the chili simmers and thickens to your desired consistency. Serve with toppings of your choice — we went with sour cream, shredded cheese and a little whole wheat baguette.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Keith permalink
    December 6, 2010 1:17 pm

    it’s prob not as good as BLT chili…or wendy’s. teehee, just kidding.

  2. December 10, 2010 2:57 pm

    umm i made a huge batch of this last week when i was cold and hungry and suddenly realized why i was craving chili (because i saw this post). i ate a lot and put the rest in the freezer. it was delicious. i knew great good could come of stalking your food blog. 🙂 thanks clyde.

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