Chef Time!

Chef Time!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Baby, It's Cool Outside

How often have you heard that expression? I hear it quite often, and it's their way of telling me to make either some hot soup or chili. Mostly, its a request for chili. I've asked several of my friends for them to give their favorite recipe for making chili, so that I can share it with all of my readers. The response has been great. Some of the recipes are even tempting me to go and make. So here are the recipes, along with some interesting recipes for hot soup as well.

Flatlander Chili

2 lb.  lean ground beef
1 (46 ounce) can tomato juice
1 (29 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 1/2 c. chopped onion
1/2 c. chopped celery
1/4 c. chopped green bell pepper
1/4 c. chili powder
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. white sugar
1/8 tsp. ground cayenne pepper
2 c. canned red beans, drained and rinsed

Place ground beef in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium-high heat until evenly brown. Drain, crumble, and set aside.
Add all ingredients to a large kettle. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.

Halftime Chili

3 tbsp. olive oil
1 1/2 c. chopped onion
8 large garlic cloves, chopped
2 lb. ground chuck (you can also substitute ground chicken or ground turkey)
1 envelope taco seasoning or 1/4 cup taco seasoning
1 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1 15oz can tomato sauce
3 c. chicken broth or vegetable broth
1 6oz can tomato paste
2 15 to 16oz cans of kidney beans (drained)

Heat oil in heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic. Sauté about 8 minutes or until onions are translucent. 
Add chuck and cook until brown, breaking up meat with a spatula as it cooks. In the picture below, I have used ground chicken as the meat.
Add taco seasoning, basil, oregano, and thyme. Stir 2 minutes.
Mix in tomato sauce, chicken broth and tomato paste. Simmer until thickened to desired consistency, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, about 1 and a half hours. 
Mix in beans. Simmer for 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. 
Refrigerate until cold then reheat over low when ready to serve.

Best Chili

2 1/2 lb. lean chuck, ground
1 lb. lean pork, ground
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 c. finely chopped onion
8 oz. hunt's tomato sauce
1 c. water
1 can beer (12 oz.)
3 tbsp. chili powder 
2 tbsp. instant beef bouillon (or 6 cubes)
2 tbsp. cumin, ground
2 tsp. paprika
2 tsp. oregano leaves 
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 tsp. coriander, ground
1 tsp. unsweetened cocoa 
1/2 tsp. Louisiana hot sauce 
1 tsp. cornmeal
1 tsp. flour
1 tsp. warm water

In a large saucepan brown 1 1/4 pounds of the ground meat (the beef and the pork), drain the fat.
Remove meat (the beef and the pork). Brown the rest of the ground meat; drain all but 2 tablespoons of the fat.
Add the garlic and onion, cook and stir until tender.
Add the other half of the meat and the tomato sauce, water, beer, chili powder, bouillon, cumin, paprika, oregano, sugar, coriander, cocoa, and hot sauce. Mix well.
Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 2 hours.
In a small bowl, stir together the cornmeal and flour, then add the warm water and mix well.
Stir into chili and cook, covered, for an additional 20 minutes.

Tailgate Chili

2 lb. ground beef chuck
1 lb. bulk Italian sausage
3 (15 ounce) cans chili beans, drained
1 (15 ounce) can chili beans in spicy sauce
2 (28 ounce) cans diced tomatoes with juice
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
1 large yellow onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2 green chile peppers, seeded and chopped
1 tbsp. bacon bits
4 cubes beef bouillon
1/2 c. beer
1/4 c. chili powder
1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp. minced garlic
1 tbsp. dried oregano
2 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. hot pepper sauce (e.g. Tabasco)
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp.  paprika
1 tsp. white sugar
1 (10.5 ounce) bag corn chips such as Fritos
1 (8 ounce) package shredded Cheddar cheese

Heat a large stock pot over medium-high heat. Crumble the ground chuck and sausage into the hot pan, and cook until evenly browned. Drain off excess grease.
Pour in the chili beans, spicy chili beans, diced tomatoes and tomato paste. Add the onion, celery, green and red bell peppers, chile peppers, bacon bits, bouillon, and beer. Season with chili powder, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, oregano, cumin, hot pepper sauce, basil, salt, pepper, cayenne, paprika, and sugar. Stir to blend, then cover and simmer over low heat for at least 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
After 2 hours, taste, and adjust salt, pepper, and chili powder if necessary. The longer the chili simmers, the better it will taste. Remove from heat and serve, or refrigerate, and serve the next day.
To serve, ladle into bowls, and top with corn chips and shredded Cheddar cheese.

A good friend of mine submitted this recipe. Her name is Jane Evans Bonacci. You can check out this recipes and many more recipes at her website at

Mexicali Chili Party!

1/4 cup olive oil
2 cups chopped onions
6 cloves garlic, sliced
1 red bell pepper, cored and chopped
1 lb. mild or hot Italian sausages, casings removed
2 lb. sirloin or London broil, cubed
2 stalks celery, trimmed and chopped
1 carrot, scrubbed clean and chopped
3 tbsp. ancho chili powder
2 tsp. chipotle chili powder, or to taste
3 tbsp. ground cumin
2 tbsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. baking cocoa powder
2 cups beef broth
12 oz tomato paste
2 (28 oz) cans fire-roasted crushed tomatoes
2 cups red wine or beer
2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup finely ground cornmeal


Shredded cheddar cheese, chopped green onions, sour cream, lime wedges, sliced jalapenos, fried tortilla strips, etc.
2 to 3 cans black or red beans, cooked separately

In a large Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat. Sauté onions, garlic, and bell peppers until softened, stirring often, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove vegetables and reserve. Add meats to the pan, about 1/3 at a time, and brown well. When all the meat is done, return the cooked onion mixture to the pan. Add the celery, carrots, and all meat to the pan. Stir to combine.
In a small bowl, combine ancho and chipotle chili powders, cumin, oregano, cinnamon, and cocoa powder.
In a large bowl, combine the beef broth, tomato paste, tomatoes, wine, and Worcestershire. Stir in dried seasonings. Taste and adjust seasonings with salt and pepper. Add more chili powder or cayenne pepper if you want the mixture hotter. Just remember that it will get hotter with time so don’t add too much now.
Pour tomato-chile mixture into pot with meats and cook over low heat for 1 to 2 hours, stirring occasionally, until the meats are tender and flavors have blended. Skim any accumulated grease from top and discard.
Sprinkle the cornmeal over the top of the chili and stir in, breaking up any lumps. Simmer, stirring until thickened, about 5 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings. Add a pinch of sugar if it is too acidic.
Portion into bowls and pass garnishes. Allow people to add the black beans if they want (they help cool it down) or they can eat them on the side. Garnish the bowls with lime wedges for a pop of color and splash of bright flavor. Add a hunk of cornbread and you are ready to go!

Apple Pumpkin Soup

1 large onion, chopped 
1/2 pound of bacon, chopped
1-15-ounce can of pumpkin
1 c. water
2 c. apple cider 
1/4 c. brown sugar
4 cubes chicken bouillon 
1 apple, chopped and unpeeled  
dash of liquid smoke
salt, to taste
2 tsp. white pepper
1/3 c. crystallized ginger, chopped 

Sauté onion and bacon lightly in large pot. Add pumpkin, water, apple cider, brown sugar, chicken bouillon, apple, liquid smoke salt, white pepper, and crystallized ginger to the pot. Cover and simmer for 1 hour. Stir frequently. Blend to thicken in blender-size batches. Serve with sour cream: one teaspoon  on each serving.


2 tbsp. olive oil
3/4 c. chopped shallots
1/2 c. chopped onion
2 tsp. grated fresh ginger
1/4 c. all-purpose flour
4 c. chicken broth
1/2 c. apple cider
1 (15- or 16-ounce) can pumpkin
1/3 c. pure maple syrup
2 bay leaves
1/4 tsp. dried thyme, crushed
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 c. half-and-half or whipping cream
1/2 tsp. vanilla
Whipping cream (optional)
Fresh thyme (optional)

In a 3-quart saucepan heat oil over medium heat. Add the shallots, 
onion, and ginger; cook until tender. Stir in the flour. Carefully 
add the chicken broth and cider all at once. Cook and stir over 
medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Stir in the pumpkin, maple 
syrup, bay leaves, dried thyme, cinnamon, pepper, and cloves. 
Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 20 minutes.

Remove from heat. Discard bay leaves. Cool slightly. Pour one-fourth 
to one-third of mixture into a blender container or food processor 
bowl. Cover and blend or process until smooth. Pour into a bowl. 
Repeat with remaining mixture until all is processed. Return the 
mixture to the saucepan. Stir in the 1 cup half-and-half or whipping 
cream and the vanilla. Heat through, but do not boil. Ladle into soup bowls. 
If desired, swirl a little whipping cream into each serving; garnish with fresh thyme. 
Makes 8 to 10 servings.

Honey Mustard Pumpkin Soup

1 small pumpkin (about 10 cups diced)
3 carrots
3/4 tsp. black mustard seed
1/4 to 1/2 cup vegetable broth (chicken broth is OK too)
1/2 onion, chopped 
1/2 tsp. turmeric 
1/2 tsp. cumin 
1/2 tsp. cinnamon 
1/4 tsp. ginger 
3/4 c. powdered skim milk 
2 tsp. honey
1 tsp. salt 

Peel and chop pumpkin and carrots, and simmer in water to cover until tender. Toward the end of cooking time, heat nonstick skillet over medium heat. When hot, add mustard seeds. Cover pan and keep over medium-high heat until popping sound of mustard seeds begins to die down a bit, then immediately add broth (starting with 1/4 c. and adding more as needed) and onion and reduce heat. Cook and stir until onion is translucent. Measure spices while the onion is cooking; then stir them into the mixture and allow to cook on low heat for a minute or so until fragrant. Turn into the pumpkin pot, using a cup or so of the cooking water to rinse the spice pan into the soup pot. Puree seasoned pumpkin and carrots in their cooking liquid, adding milk, honey and salt to mixture in the processor. Add salt to taste. Makes 10 cups.

Spicy Pumpkin Soup Recipe

4 tbsp. unsalted butter
2 medium yellow onions, chopped
2 tsp. minced garlic
1/8 to 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
2 tsp. curry powder
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
Pinch ground cayenne pepper (optional)
3 (15 oz) cans 100 percent pumpkin or 6 cups of chopped roasted pumpkin*
5 c. of chicken broth (or vegetable broth for vegetarian option)**
2 c. milk
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. heavy cream

*To make pumpkin purée, cut a sugar pumpkin in half, scoop out the seeds and stringy stuff, lie face down on a tin-foil lined baking pan. Bake at 350°F until soft, about 45 min to an hour. Cool, scoop out the flesh. Freeze whatever you don't use for future use.
**If cooking gluten-free, use gluten-free broth.

Melt butter in a 4-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 4 minutes. Add spices and stir for a minute more.
Add pumpkin and 5 cups of chicken broth; blend well. Bring to a boil and reduce heat, simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.
Transfer soup, in batches, to a blender or food processor. Cover tightly and blend until smooth. Return soup to saucepan.
With the soup on low heat, add brown sugar and mix. Slowly add milk while stirring to incorporate. Add cream. Adjust seasonings to taste. If a little too spicy, add more cream to cool it down. You might want to add a teaspoon of salt.
Serve in individual bowls. Sprinkle the top of each with toasted pumpkin seeds.

Thai Pumpkin Soup

2 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp. brown sugar
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 small pumpkin, skinned and chopped into 1-inch chunks
2 1/4 c. water
1 2/3 c. canned coconut cream
1 tbsp. hot sweet Thai chili sauce 
1 tbsp. lemon grass, finely chopped*
1 tbsp. fish sauce 
freshly ground pepper
1/4 c. fresh cilantro
chopped cilantro leaves, for garnish

In a large pot, heat oil and gently cook onion with brown sugar and garlic over low heat until softened (8-10 minutes).
Add chopped pumpkin, water, coconut cream, chili, lemongrass or rind and fish sauce.
Season with freshly ground pepper. 
Simmer for about 25 minutes until tender.
Remove and puree until smooth.
Just before serving, adjust seasoning to taste.
Mix in chopped coriander.
Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with a fresh coriander leaf.

*The same amount of grated lemon peel can be substituted.

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