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  • The Chopping Blog

Wintertime is Chili Time

Posted by Jess on Dec 21, 2015

December is one of my favorite months. It's the last month of the year, my birthday month, there are holidays are being celebrated, and then there's the start of winter. This year, meteorological winter starts on December 21st. I'm not a fan of polar vortexes, but I am a huge fan of indulging in a hearty chili and an overstuffed belly on a cold evening! I have yet to make my chili this year, but I am happy to say that's because it's been abnormally warm in Chicago for this time of year. However, I am secretly excited for the cold to commence so I can make some chili.

Chili is a dinner table staple here in America, and a lot of us have our own recipes already. The beauty of cooking is to take existing recipes and make them your own, tailored to your favorite flavors. This is exactly what I did with this chili recipe. The foundation of this recipe is your standard ground beef and kidney beans type of chili, but the additions I've made to it make it much more flavorful than a canned chili! It's best to use a nice big pot like a French or Dutch oven. An important note is to use one pot for this recipe, for both browning the ground beef and to caramelize the onions and peppers in. This will maximize the flavors and it's a much easier cleanup! First I start by roasting some red, yellow, serrano and poblano peppers on the range.

Then I start to caramelize some diced onions in some of the grease from the ground beef that has been strained and removed from the pot for a moment. When the onions are translucent, I add fresh garlic. Once I can smell the garlic about 30 seconds after adding it, I toss in the cooled and diced peppers.

diced pepperThrow the ground beef back into the mix. At this point, I also add some dry spices (sweet and smoky paprika, chili powder, a tiny bit of cumin), brown sugar,  and salt and pepper.

Now it's time to add plenty of undrained diced or whole tomatoes, some tomato sauce, a small can of tomato paste, beans, and some more spices to taste. I also add cilantro at the end for garnish, which is perfect for the sweet and spicy nature of this chili. Then I obviously add some cheese and sour cream!
sauceIf you want to learn a different version of chili, try our Cast Iron and Crock Pot Cookery class coming up at The Chopping Block Lincoln Square in January. We'll make Cumin-Spiced Turkey Chili and lots of other winter comfort food. Yum!


Topics: Chili, Recipes

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