My husband and I love chili. It’s the perfect stick-to-your-ribs dish for the cold Buffalo winters. However, our preferences for chili differ greatly. My husband prefers kick in the pants spicy with meat. I prefer vegetarian with a hint of spice and lots of beans. Since we can’t seem to agree on which is better, I decided to share our two favorite recipes.
Ash’s Pick: Pumpkin Black Bean Chili
2-15 ounce cans black beans, rinsed and drained
15 ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained (You can use just black beans, but I like the color and texture of two different beans.)
2-14.5 ounce cans diced tomatoes
1 cup pumpkin puree (You can use plain puree or Libby’s pumpkin pie puree. Both work great, even with the addition of the spices. It just depends on how much you like cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves.)
2 cups diced onion (I prefer sweet onions, but you can use whatever suits your tastes.)
1 medium bell pepper, seeded and diced (I like green because they’re cheap, but this is a good way to add some color.)
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1. Mix together all the vegetables and beans in your crock pot.
2. Combine spices in small bowl, then sprinkle over top of your vegetables. Mix until just combined.
3. Cook on high for 8 to 10 hours.
4. Serve with your favorite toppings. For this dish, I prefer just a dollop of Greek yogurt (in place of sour cream. It saves a ton of fat and calories.).
Patrick’s Pick: Srirachili
1.5 pounds ground meat (Patrick prefers beef, but ground turkey would be tasty too.)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 onions, diced (We prefer sweet, but red onions can stand up to the bold flavors of this recipe.)
2 green bell peppers, seeded and diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons cumin
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/4 cup sriracha
12 ounce bottle of beer (We use an IPA, but you can use whatever you like. We suggest something full-bodied or dark so it can stand up to the other strong flavors.)
20 ounce can stewed tomatoes
15 ounce can beans, rinsed and drained (We love black beans, but red kidney beans or cannellini beans also work well here.)
1. Season the meat with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a Dutch oven (or large saucepan that can hold all the ingredients) over medium high heat. Add the meat and begin browning, breaking up the chunks and stirring occasionally. After 5 minutes, add the onions and bell peppers. Reduce the heat to medium and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the onions begin to turn golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes.
2. Add the garlic, cumin, paprika, tomato paste, and sriracha. Cook about one minute, stirring constantly.
3. Deglaze the pan with half the beer, using a wooden spoon to scrape up all the stubborn, tasty brown bits. Once that’s done, add the rest of the beer, as well as the tomatoes and beans.
4. Cover and simmer 1 1/2 to 2 hours, stirring occasionally, until thickened. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
5. Serve with your favorite toppings. We like crushed tortilla chips, shredded cheese and a dollop of Greek yogurt.