Sunday, February 26, 2017

Hallie's Sunday Chili Sundae #Recipe...

HALLIE EPHRON: I love homemade chili. It's easy and delicious, makes the house smell yummy, and a pound of meat feeds us for days. 

 I make mine with (essential ingredient!) canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. They give the chili a smoky taste. 

And (also essential) I serve it like a savory sundae: over rice and under a dollop of sour cream and handfuls of grated cheddar cheese and chopped fresh cilantro.

Dial back the amounts of chili powder and chipotle peppers if you want it less hot.

1-2 T vegetable oil
1 lb. chopped meat
1 large onion chopped
2 large (or more small) garlic clove minced
2 T cumin
2 T chili powder 
2 (or to taste) canned chipotle chiles in adobo, chopped (include some of the goo they're packed in)
1 large (28-oz) can of tomatoes, chopped, with all their juices -- or use 2 lbs of chopped fresh tomatoes (skin, seeds and all) and add some water
1 DRAINED and RINSED can of beans (I like Goya's "small white beans" or black beans) Salt to taste

Sour cream
Chopped cilantro
Shredded cheddar cheese

Steamed rice

1. Heat a dutch oven (or large heavy skillet) over moderately high heat. Add 1 T (or more) vegetable oil and when it's hot, throw in the meat, break up, and sautée until browned through. REMOVE the meat from the pan.
2. Throw onions and garlic into the hot pan over medium heat; sautée until cooked down and starting to brown.
3. Add cumin, chili powder, chopped tomatoes,  chipotle peppers and cooked 2-3 minutes
4. Return the meat to the pan, bring to a simmer, cover, and cook stirring occasionally 1 to 2 hours.
5. When you're ready to eat, add drained beans and heat through.
6. Salt to taste

SERVE over rice and under toppings.

Last time I made it (pictured) I added a chopped zucchini and a chopped green pepper.  It would be great with corn. Some green onions on top wouldn't be amiss, either.

How would you tweak this to your taste?

To our readers: We're testing out a change -- In today's blog 'anonymous' comments are disabled. If this affects you and you have trouble creating an ID for yourself that enables you to comment, PLEASE EMAIL ME (Hallie "at" HallieEphron Dot Com)! I'll walk you through (all you need is a GMAIL account). Even more important we want to be sure this change doesn't stifle the conversation.  WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!


  1. This is a very interesting chili recipe, Hallie. Thanks for sharing it with us.
    I’ve never put the chipotle peppers in my chili nor have I tried serving it over rice. But I’m going to try it the next time I make a pot of chili.

    I don’t know that the recipe needs any tweaking [although the green pepper sounds like a great addition].
    I usually make chili in my crock pot; I include bacon with the stew meat and I always stir in about 1/8 cup unsweetened cocoa powder . . . .

  2. Unsweetened cocoa powder! I'd never have thought of that. Like a Mexican mole.

    1. Hallie, the cocoa powder cuts the acidity without adding sugar.
      If I'm looking to give my chili a bit more heat, I add a splash of jalapeño wine . . . .

  3. This looks fabulous, Hallie. I'll have to try the chipotles in adobo sauce. I also like to add a little can of chopped green chilis, and of course a few drops of habanero sauce. Actually, I often float one habenero on top as stews and soups are simmering. It adds that beautiful flavor without much of the heat. Fish it out and serve it on the table in a little bowl with two spoons. People who like their chili super hot can squeeze some of the juice onto their own dish. (I grow one habanero plant every summer in a big pot. They ripen a bit after the first frost, so I bring in the pot, harvest them all, and always have a bag in the freezer.)

    1. That's so clever Edith! When we've grown hot peppers, we've grown way too many, and then that puts us off them for a couple of years:)

  4. Looks delish Hallie! The chipotles in adobe have a fair amount of sodium, but if the tomatoes and beans were low sodium, I could do it!

    Joan, does the cocoa powder make it taste like chocolate?

    1. No, Lucy, the cocoa powder doesn’t make the chili taste chocolatey [although I suppose it would if you added too much of it to the chili or to your spaghetti sauce].

      Actually, I have to be more careful when I’m adding the jalapeño wine to the chili . . . .

    2. Wouldn't adding cocoa be a bit like creating a mole sauce? Sounds like a great recipe.

  5. I don't have any ideas. Chili for me is like coffee. The smell is amazing and to walk into a house where it's been simmering? Heaven. But I have yet to find a recipe that lives up to the smell. This one has promise, though. Maybe have it with a side of sweet cornbread. The Hubby is a big chili fan.

  6. We love chili! And this recipe sounds yummy… I am mulling this over, and I kind of think I brown the meat with the chopped onions and garlic. To get the garlicky taste into the meet.
    Can that be right?
    I also put in little florets of cauliflower. It sounds weird, but the cauliflower soaks up the chili taste and is quite delicious! It also makes me feel like the chili is healthier. But it's actually healthy anyway, right?
    We top with sour cream, too, and shredded cheese, and black olives! Chopped olives.
    If I had a choice, I would leave out the beans all together… But I usually use half a can of white beans or pinto beans. Just for authenticity.
    It's so much better if it sits for a day! But not necessary to do so… And we feel extra lucky if somehow we have cornbread.
    Are used to put corn in chili, but it just seems so starchy! And that's why, even though I love it with brown rice, we don't need that either.
    YuM Yum! What a delicious post. And now I want to make chili…

  7. I don't think we have your chipotle peppers in adobo sauce here in Quebec and I don't like my chili too hot.
    Mine is vegetarian so I use many vegetables and a can of mixed beans (6): chick peas,white kidney, romano,black-eyed,lima and dark red kidney beans. I like your toppings mostly cheese and cilantro.
    Trying to post on google account but didn't work for a couple of years. That's why I posted on anonymous but signed Danielle-mono.

  8. SO glad you persisted, Danielle-momo! And I love the idea of using those mixed beans. (I would extract the lima beans. :-) )

  9. Hallie, your recipe sounds similar to a chili I made last winter, except it had butternut squash in it. And was served with chunks of avocado as garnish, along with the other ones you recommend. It was so good. Also the only time I've ever used the chilies in adobo.

    Cincinnati chili is made with cocoa, and does not have a chocolate flavor.

  10. Hallie, your recipe sounds similar to a chili I made last winter, except it had butternut squash in it. And was served with chunks of avocado as garnish, along with the other ones you recommend. It was so good. Also the only time I've ever used the chilies in adobo.

    Cincinnati chili is made with cocoa, and does not have a chocolate flavor.

  11. I make chili much the same way but add chopped green chilies, have ever tried the adobo. Note to self, buy chilies in adobo. We used to have a variety of toppings, but recently I've been using only a dash of vinegar, prefer balsamic. Any beans will do but I think pintos are the best. I saw a recipe somewhere last week that had you putting the finished product in a cast iron skillet, heating in the oven, then topping with cornbread batter and back to the oven. It looked stupendous. They topped the cornbread with sliced jalapenos, a step I would forgo. But this is why there're menus in restaurants.

    Then there is Texas Frito Pie:

    Crumble Fritos, and only Fritos for authenticity, in the bottom of a casserole. Top with chili, cheese, chopped onions, and more Fritos. Bake at about 350 until bubbling. Served to school children in all the better school cafeterias all over Texas.

    Re the cocoa, will try that. I always put a teaspoon in pumpkin pie, great for flavor with no chocolate taste.


    There is a comment below the recipe that references a different recipe. However, there were three different Greek families that made and served this kind of chili in Cincinnati, and two of the three used either cocoa or chocolate in their recipes.

  13. So sorry that I've been missing some of the Jungle Red Posts lately. It was my birthday Friday and family has been in, still is, and I've come down sick. I held on through yesterday afternoon with a birthday lunch and cake, but after my daughter and her family, with the grandgirls left, I went to bed at 6:00 p.m. last night and didn't get up until 10:00 a.m. this morning for a bit. I'll probably spend the afternoon in bed, too, with some time for talking to my son before he heads back to his home.

    Anyway, chili. I have a recipe I like, but I would have to get up to share it, so I will another time. Hallie, your recipe sounds great. The first time I realized that sour cream was good on chili was in D.C. a few years back. I was visiting with a friend, and we were eating at Kramer's Books in Dupont Circle. I ordered President Obama's chili that came with sour cream on top. Delilcious! Today, as it's turned cold again, chili sounds good, but I'm going for my Throat Coat tea.

  14. Be careful with the canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce. The first time I used it, I misread the recipe and instead of putting 2 chiles in, I put the entire can of sauce and chiles in my chicken stew. Cleaned out my sinuses and pores in a jiffy.

  15. I am coward when it comes to jalapenos, I use banana peppers, they have less heat. I also add tomatillos and pressed and diced tofu instead of ground beef. I have been known to stir in 2 T chunky peanut butter to create a fusion chili. Thanks for your recipe Hallie, and for the suggestion to use rice as a base. It was 82 degrees yesterday.. we are moving out of chili season.

    Kathy happy belated birthday, I am glad you are on the mend. Fellow Pisces here, I will be 71 on Tuesday.

  16. This looks fantastic! I could probably get away with adding corn but if I tried to slip in zucchini, I'd likely be disowned. I make chili in the crock pot and then serve it on top of a bed of corn chips - we call it chili pie. I do like the crunch of the corn chips for texture. Yum.

  17. Hallie, your recipe sounds great but in recent years I've had to give up peppers and beans of all kinds, which has made it challenging to come up with a chili recipe that won't make me ill. I'm trying to see if I can come up with ways to adapt the recipes shared by you and others here. I do use brown rice in my chili. Karen's chili looks like something I could work with/ around, and Ann-from-Rochester's, too.

    I like the idea of adding cocoa powder. I've often added about two teaspoons (I don't measure) of cinnamon. One of my sisters adds honey to hers.

    Deb Romano

  18. Kathy, poor thing! A big Happy Birthday, from each and every one of us!

    And oh, Fritos!! Yes, indeed. Remembering this for next time.

  19. We always served chili with elbow macaroni in Kansas City -- my home town. I still like it that way.

  20. I just made chili last weekend. I cheat and use either Wick Fowler's Two Alarm or Carroll Shelby's seasoning mix. You brown your meat, add tomato sauce (after draining the fat), add all the seasonings, cook. You can add in some masa to thicken it. Serve with onions, cheese, sour cream or whatever. I had fritos on the bottom of my bowl to enjoy frito pie.

  21. Pat--yes, macaroni! YUM.

    PAt D--you got this! xoxoo

  22. I've all these great comments and the recipe,drooled a little and then realized that I'd be eating chili for a month. (Cooking for one is the pits sometimes) Does this recipe freeze well?