Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Food Whore's Commandment #1

Thou shalt not follow a chili recipe.

I know this may sound a little odd, considering I am going to give you a chili recipe later in this post, but hear me out first. Chili, as with many other things in life, must be tweaked to make it your own. Just like a personalized playlist on your iPod or a pair of pants that needs tailoring, chili must be adapted to suit you best. Why else would there be hundreds (if not thousands) of chili contests across the country each year? Everyone has their personal preference, and you've got to find yours.

So here is my chili recipe, which I am passing along to you on one condition: you may not follow this recipe verbatim. Taste it along the way, add new spices, different sauces...make it your own.

1 1/2 lbs ground turkey
46 oz tomato sauce
1 cup diced red onion
1/2 cup diced chili
1/2 cup diced green pepper
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 1/2 tsps ground cumin
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 can red beans
1 can kidney beans
hot sauce to taste
salt and pepper to taste

1. place ground turkey in a skillet and cook over medium high heat until browned all the way through. Break up the meat as much as possible. Drain the fat when it's cooked.

2. Add all ingredients to a large stock pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally. Serves 6.

The Food Whore's Chili Tips

  • My favorite hot sauce du jour is Smack My Ass and Call Me Sally, available at Tijuana Flats. I love the habenero version. It's so tasty and not too spicy. I've taken to putting it in so many things I cook. If there's not a TF in your area, you can order it online here.

  • Chili is best when served the day after you cook it. I prefer to cook it and then put it on warm in a crock pot over night.

  • Top your chili with cheese, onions, jalapenos, sour cream, or fritos. Yes, fritos. Try it. It's delicious. Serve with a loaf of sour dough bread or crackers.

  • If you don't like really spicy foods, start with smaller amounts of the spices and work your way up. Remember, as the chili cooks down, the seasoning will be absorbed into the chili and will likely taste stronger.

  • Made your chili too spicy? Eat a piece of bread, drink milk or put a tsp of sugar on your tongue to soothe your burning tastebuds.

Bon Appetit!

The Food Whore

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