DUELING RECIPES: CHILI!

Christine and I love each other dearly.  We work together to accomplish our goals, take equal part in raising our kids, and agree on most things, like our faith, our desire to share with the world through this blog, and our hope.  However, there is something we do not always agree on, and that is recipes.

My wife and I were both in our thirties before we started dating, and we both love to cook.  As such, there are some things that we like to cook in different ways.  Now with some of those we have swayed each other.  (We always make taco meat my way and mac and cheese her way.)  There are some things, however, on which we have stood our ground.  We each like our own recipes, and that is the end of that discussion, thank you!

It has flared out into war, we have forced our children to choose sides, and our friends have gotten drawn into the battle, often uncomfortably trying to pretend they didn’t like one recipe more than the other.  (Most of that is exaggerated, somewhat.)

This brings us to the first in our series of dueling recipes…chili!

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This is where we draw the line in the sand.  Much like the civil war, where it was brother against brother on the battlefield, our kitchen becomes the theater of war.  Each item thrown in the pot is a volley of weapon fire, each taste of the stewing liquid is a strategic reassessment of our front lines, and tears are shed.  (That last part is mostly as we cut onions.)  We both desire to conquer that economically valuable and resource rich land known as Chili. (Please note, we’re not talking about the South American country of Chile, though it’s a lovely place, I’m sure.)

Chili is a classic American dish, from down in the land of Tex-Mex foods.  In fact it is about as truly American as food can get.  Most of the main bits of it are foods that were around the Americas before Columbus.  Tomatoes, Chili Peppers, Beans.  (The beans are controversial.  Many chili competitions don’t allow beans in the chili.  However, there is evidence of beans in chili recipes since the 1900s.)  It started out as a kind of easily storable trail food for hungry cowboys, but now is mostly eaten by…everyone who likes tomatoes, meat, and spice.  Chili is also one of those things, much like chocolate or cheese sauce, that is put on top of other foods to make them better.  French fries with chili, delicious!  Hot dogs with chili, fantastic! Macaroni and Cheese with chili, outrageous! Liver with chili,…who knows.  I can’t honestly say I would try liver with chili, but it’s not like it could make it any worse.

Enough talk!  To the chili courts, and please enjoy and feel free to let us know which one you like better.

CHUCK’S TURKEY BLACK BEAN CHILI

Ingredients:

    • 2 Lbs Ground Turkey
    • 1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
    • Pepper to Taste (I like four turns of the grinder.)
    • ¼ Cup of Corn Flour (You could use regular flour here, but I like the flavor of the corn flour in chili.)
    • 2 14.5 Oz Cans of Stewed Tomatoes
    • 4 Cups Chicken Stock
    • 2 Cups Chunky Salsa (Whatever spice level you like. I use medium.)
    • ½ Teaspoon Garlic Powder
    • 1 Teaspoon Dried Oregano
    • 1 Teaspoon Onion Powder
    • 2 Teaspoons Cumin
    • 1 Tablespoon + 1 Teaspoon Chili Powder
    • 1 Packet Sazón Goya
    • 1 Chipotle in Adobo Sauce, finely chopped + 1 Teaspoon of the Adobo Sauce (This is a canned product, smoked jalapeños in a spicy tomato sauce. These things are pretty hot, so adjust accordingly. When I say one chipotle I mean one pepper from the can, not one can. Beware!)
    • 1 15.5 Oz Can of Black Beans with Liquid + 1 15.5 Oz Can of Black Beans Drained (The liquid helps thicken the chili, but we don’t want too much bean flavor. It’s a delicate balance.)

(You can click on the picture of one of our favorite ingredients above or any of the ingredient links to buy these products on Amazon.  Doing that helps support Wonderful Joy.  Thank you!)

Directions:

  1. Brown ground turkey in a pot over medium heat.  Drain grease if necessary. (Turkey doesn’t usually have a lot of grease.)
  2. Season meat with salt and pepper.  Add corn flour to meat and stir to mix.
  3. Add stewed tomatoes to pot and mash mixture with potato masher until the tomatoes are small chunks.
  4. Add chicken stock, salsa, garlic powder, oregano, onion powder, cumin, chili powder, Sazón, and chipotle in adobo. Bring back to gentle boil over medium heat.
  5. Add black beans to pot and simmer chili together over medium heat about twenty minutes. (Longer will let the flavors combine even more.)
  6. Serve with chopped red onion, sour cream, and shredded cheddar cheese.
  7. This chili makes fantastic leftovers, but be warned, every time you heat it up it gets a little spicier. (Or maybe that’s just my imagination, but I don’t think so.)

CHRISTINE’S CLASSIC CHILI CON CARNE

Ingredients:

(You can click on the picture of one of our favorite ingredients above or any of the ingredient links to buy these products on Amazon.  Doing that helps support Wonderful Joy.  Thank you!)

Directions:

  1. In a large Dutch oven brown ground meat and diced onion until meat is cooked through and onion is softened. Drain off fat.
  2. Next mix all dry spices into ground meat mixture and cook for 1-2 minutes, this helps bring out the flavor of the spices.
  3. Next add crushed tomatoes, beans (including liquid), 1 cup water, minced garlic, and bouillon cubes.  Stew for 20 minutes then add corn flour into a half cup of water to make slurry, mix into pot of chili and continue to cook 15-20 minutes until chili is thickened.
  4. Chili is ready to serve, but as with any chili it will be even better the next day!
  5. Serve with green or red onion and shredded cheddar cheese.  Feel free to add more cayenne if you like a more spicy chili, this one is about a medium-hot heat, enjoy!

PS: Sorry my chili is better babe, I can’t help it.  (Just kidding…kind of.)

-Chuck and Christine

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