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Warming up in chili weather.


The famed humorist Will Rogers once said he could judge a town by the chili it served. Rogers never met a man he didn't like, but he did once soundly lecture a California cafe owner for serving him a bowl of inferior chili.

The best chili, some say, is found in Texas, for in all probability chili originated among the Texas frontiersmen in the early 1800s, and that state still retains a loyal population of chili purists. President Lyndon Johnson was one: He stocked his Washington, D.C., kitchen with canned Texas chili to tide him over until he could get back home for more.

Real Texas chili is composed of cuts of beef or other meats cooked slowly for hours in "boon companionship' with fiery chili-pepper pods. The ratio of pappers to meat varies with the stocism of the individual chili fan.

To many, however, chili in its pristine state is simply too volatile to be thoroughly enjoyed. Thus new versions have continued to appear. Today, as people seek to lower their consumption of fat (an almost essential ingredient in Texas-brand chili) new chili recipes have evolved that substitute chicken for beef or exclude meat entirely. Vegetarian chili recipes are declicious, full of protein, and popular.

Those who prefer chili with red meat should use the most lean cuts of ground meat available. To further defat the meat, cook it in a skillet and drain off the fat residue; then place the meat in a colander and put two cups of hot water over it to rinse away any remaining fat. Finally, mix the meat with the other ingredients.

Unless you are a Texas purist, you may enjoy sampling some of the following chili varieties for a change: a vegetarian chili with beans and bulgur wheat; two tasty versions of Cincinnati-style chili (with spaghetti), microwave and conventional; a delectable chicken-based Rhode Island Red Chili; and two tasty chilies con queso.

Cincinnati Chili

(Makes 8 3/4 cups or 8 servings)

1 1/2 pounds ground beef

2 cups chopped onion

2 large cloves garlic, minced

2 teaspoons chili powder

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Dash ground clove

1 can (46 oz.) V-8 vegetable juice

2 cans (16 oz. each) kidney beans, undrained

Hot cooked spaghetti

In 6-quart Dutch oven over medium heat, cook ground beef, onion, and garlic until beef is browned and onion is tender; stir to separate meat. Spoon off fat. Add chili powder, cinnamon, and clove; cock 2 minutes. Add juice; heat to boiling. Reduce heat to low. Cover; simmer 30 minutes. Add beans; simmer, covered, 15 minutes more. Stir occasionally: serve over hot cooked spaghetti.

Cincinnati 5-Way Chili

(Makes 6 servings)

2 pounds ground beef

2 cups chopped onions

2-3 cloves garlic, minced

1 ounce unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped

3-4 tablespoons chili powder

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric

1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom

4 whole cloves

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon salt substitute

1 1/2 cups water

1 tablespoon beef-flavor instant bouillon

2 tablespoons cider vinegar

1/3 cup tomato puree

Cooked spaghetti

Kidney beans, drained

Cheddar cheese, shredded

Place ground beef in microwave steamer or plastic colander; place in microwave casserole or bowl. Cover steamer with Glad Microwave Wrap and vent one edge; microwave at High until beef is no longer pink (about 7 minutes); stir and break up beef after 4 minutes.

Place beef in 1 1/2-quart microwave casserole; stir in onion, garlic, chocolate, spices, salt substitute, water, bouillon, vinegar, and tomato puree. Cover casserole with microwave wrap and vent one edge; microwave at High 10 minutes, stir. Microwave, covered, at Medium (50 percent) 15 minutes; stir after 7 minutes. Remove bay leaf.

Serve chili over spaghetti; add beans, more onion, and cheese if you should desire.

Microwave tip: Chili flavor is improved if chili is made one or two days in advance, for flavors will blend.

To reheat chili: Microwave, loosely covered with wrap, at High until heated through (about 5 minutes); stir occasionally.

Rhode Island Red Chili (Makes 4 1/2 cups or 4 servings)

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast or thighs

2 tablespoons salad oil

1 cup chopped onion

2 teaspoons chili powder

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves, crushed

1 can (12 oz.) vegetable juice

1/2 cup Swanson clear, ready-to-serve chicken broth

1 can (16 oz.) pinto beans, undrained

Hot cooked rice

Cut chicken into 1/2-inch pieces. In 2-quart saucepan over medium heat, in hot oil, cook chicken, onion, chili powder, cumin, and oregano until chicken turns white and onion is almost tender. Stir in juice and broth. Heat to boiling; reduce heat to low. Cover; simmer 15 minutes.

Add beans; simmer, covered, 15 minutes more and stir occasionally. Serve over hot cooked rice.

Chili con Queso (Makes 6 to 8 servings)

1 pound kidney beans

Vegetable oil

1 large onion, diced

3 carrots, sliced

1 small green pepper, chopped

1 can tomatoes

1 small can tomato paste

3 cups broth or water

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tablespoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/2 teaspoon oregano

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1 cup grated Cheddar cheese

Soak beans overnight, then cook them 1 hour in pressure cooker, or follow directions on package.

Heat a little vegetable oil in large, heavy skillet or soup pot. Add chopped onion and cook; stir frequently, until onion is transparent but not browned. Add carrots, green pepper, tomatoes, tomato paste, broth, seasonings, and cooked beans. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or longer. Serve in soup bowls; sprinkle with grated cheese.

Leftovers: Store leftover Chili con Queso in refrigerator. Use it to make Southwestern Rice-Bean dish, or reheat and spoon into tortillas with grated cheese and chopped lettuce to make tacos.

Vegetarian Chili with Bulgur (Makes 7 2/3 cups or 7 servings)

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup chopped onion

1/2 cup chopped green pepper

2 medium cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves, crushed

4 cans (6 oz. each) "V-8' Spicy-Hot Vegetable Juice

1 can (about 4 oz.) chopped green chilies, drained

1/4 cup bulgur

1 can (16 oz.) kidney beans, undrained

1 can (16 oz.) pinto beans, undrained

In 3-quart saucepan over medium heat, in hot oil, cook onion, green pepper, garlic, chili powder, and oregano until onion is tender.

Stir in juice, green chilies, and bulgur. Heat to boiling; reduce heat to low. Cover; simmer 15 minutes.

Add beans; simmer, covered, 15 minutes more. Stir occasionally.

Olive Chili con Queso (Makes about 2 cups dip)

1/2 cup finely chopped onion

1 tablespoon margarine

2 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped

1/2 cup Lindsay Colossal Pitted Ripe Olives, drained and chopped

1 can (4 oz.) green chili peppers, rinsed, seeded, and chopped

1/8 teaspoon salt substitute

4 oz. (about 1 cup) shredded Cheddar cheese

4 oz. shredded Monterey jack cheese food (about 1 cup)


Tortilla chips or corn chips

In medium saucepan, cook onion in margarine until tender but not brown. Stir in tomatoes, olives, chili peppers, and salt substitute. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes.

Add Cheddar cheese and Monterey jack cheese food, a little at a time; stir just until melted after each addition. Stir in a little milk if mixture becomes too thick. Cook and stir over low heat until heated through. Transfer mixture to small serving bowl; serve warm with chips.

Photo: Even chili purists are warming up to meatless variations such as Vegetarian Chili with Bulgur (right), a decidedly spicy recipe with chopped green chilies, hot vegetable juice, and two kinds of beans.
COPYRIGHT 1986 Saturday Evening Post Society
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1986 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:includes recipes
Author:Simon, Allen
Publication:Saturday Evening Post
Date:Mar 1, 1986
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