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Nov 6, 2009 06:07 AM

Things to add to chili recipe?

I have been using a very simple chili recipe - ground beef, taco seasoning, onion powder, garlic powder, ground cumin, cheese, kidney and pinto beans, and salsa - and plan to make a pot this weekend.

I'd like to punch it up. What are some unique items I could add, and at what point in the cooking process should I add them?

I'm considering adding raw onion instead of onion powder, and maybe some chopped green pepper. Thought about some smoked paprika.

I'd love other suggestions, spices, whatever. Thanks!

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  1. Chop onion add to pot with some oil, mince some garlic add to pot, add 1 can of those diced green chillies, get some good chili powder ( I like Penzey's) add to pot, ;et it release their juices so to speak. Now add in your ground meat add brown with the other ing.. I like to use the diced tomatoes in juices and a can of tomato sauce. Now add a dash of cinnamon along with some tequila or beer. let this simmer for awhile, then add your beans. serve with chopped onions, cheese, and avacado. Hot sauce on the side of those who want it hotter.

    1 Reply
    1. re: JEN10

      I second the beer recommendation. I find that bottle of darkish slightly malty beer (e.g., Negra Modelo, Dos Equis amber) added to chili or to a spicy pot of beans contributes depth and little bit of sweetness to the broth.

    2. If you like it spicy, add chipotle or ancho chiles. One of our standby recipes is loosely based on this: . We use about 1 lb ground turkey, 1 lb chorizo (brown and drain each separately), and 3 cans of pinto or black beans. Most of the rest of the ingredients are the same.

      1 Reply
      1. re: truman

        I concur with the suggestion for chipotle peppers. 2-4 peppers diced will do the trick nicely. A little of the adobo sauce from the can is also a nice flavor enhancement. Last time I made my chili I seeded the chipotles before dicing... to tone down the heat a bit, but the change was imperceptible. This is the only heat I add to the pot, but a helthy amount of chili powder is also added.

        I use a recipe from Cook's Illustrated with the title Texas Chili. It is AWESOME. It uses chunks of beef (I cut to ~1/2" cubes) rether than ground meat.

      2. A small amount of cornmeal or crushed corn chips for a little toasted corn flavor and some texture.

        1. Some grape jelly and cocoa powder. Adds just a hint of sweet. Especially good with chili powder.

          1. I've had good luck using Rotel spicy tomatoes. You can experiment with various degrees of heat until you get a combo that suits you. The smoked paprika sounds good but be careful with anything smoky. I've tried chipotlies before and you can get "over smoky" real fast.