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A good chili is all about the details...

 
 
Reply Fri 30 Apr, 2004 03:23 pm
Some time ago, farmerman started a thread on chili, and chili advice. I thought I'd revive the thought. To me, a good chili is about the quality of the ingredients, and deft mixing of the chilis (I like a variety of fresh and dried) and spices. So...how do you like your chili? What cuts of meat do you like? What spices? Let's keep this peaceful folks, this is not a chili war, just a discussion, so them folks who like beans in it, or no meat at all, must be treated with respect. Very Happy
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Type: Discussion • Score: 3 • Views: 4,320 • Replies: 40
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cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Fri 30 Apr, 2004 03:30 pm
Me! I'm always looking for a good tamale. I purchased one at the Vallco farmers market this morning and had it for lunch, but it was a big disappointment, because it was mostly masa. The flavor was decent, but there was hardly any chicken in it. Oh well, keep looking - as the case may be.
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farmerman
 
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Reply Fri 30 Apr, 2004 04:21 pm
Ive been finding, from the information Id gotten , that some of the "finishings" make a difference also. I now use chopped fresh onions to top the chili, even though sweet onion slabs are cooked within the chili. We are particular about pennzy's spices they have a nice coupla chili blends. Also adding some coriander seeds and a few teeny chunks of habeneros add a nice zing.

I can take it with or withhout beans but the meat's gotta be chuck chunks, it seems that the tougher the meat, the more flavor.

A Brunswick stew made the Piedmont way, has a flavor reminiscent of a chili made with game. (take out any of the redneck veggies like okra, crowders, and butter beans , also lose the corn, and itll be like a mild gamey chili)
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cjhsa
 
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Reply Fri 30 Apr, 2004 04:42 pm
I like to use dried ancho chili pods (known as poblano when fresh), stemmed, seeded and reconstituted in hot water. Then I puree them in a blender with some garlic and oregano, and add this to the rest of the dish. You can use other chilis, or a blend, but to me, I like the anchos all by themselves. If you use habaneros, use them whole and fish them out before serving. You want to perfume the dish with them, not commit manslaughter.
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cicerone imposter
 
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Reply Fri 30 Apr, 2004 06:11 pm
When I eat chili, it's about once or twice a month when I serve on grand jury service when I'm in downtown San Jose. I get a small bowl of chili and ask for onion and cheese on mine. They serve it with saltine crackers. Nothing to write home about.
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sozobe
 
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Reply Fri 30 Apr, 2004 08:18 pm
Penzey's is really quite good! We thought they were local for some reason. I have a boring standard chili recipe that I've been making for ages, and it suddenly became infinitely better when we got some Penzey's chili powder.
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msolga
 
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Reply Fri 30 Apr, 2004 08:28 pm
I buy my chili at a local middle eastern shop. They roast (?) their own & sell it in huge quantities, very cheaply. How do I like to use it? Well, I've taken to adding a smidgeon, not a lot, to many things I cook - soups, casseroles, curries, tomato based pasta sauces, etc ... So it's salt + pepper + chili + often herbs, too = very tasty food! I also sometimes sprinkle a bit on bland/boring food to give it a bit if a kick. It's a handy little ingredient!
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cavfancier
 
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Reply Fri 30 Apr, 2004 08:51 pm
Onions and cheese are great toppings. I like a really spicy chili topped with nice chunks of grilled Vidalia onions, and a sharp cheddar.
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cavfancier
 
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Reply Fri 30 Apr, 2004 08:51 pm
Maybe even a handful of coriander leaves.
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msolga
 
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Reply Fri 30 Apr, 2004 08:53 pm
YUM!
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msolga
 
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Reply Fri 30 Apr, 2004 09:03 pm
Ah, cav, I now understand that you are talking about chili, the concoction, not chili the ingredient! Oops! Embarrassed
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cavfancier
 
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Reply Mon 3 May, 2004 01:14 pm
msolga, as regarding chili the ingredient, I like to mix guajillo, anchos, chipotle and chili de arbol.
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msolga
 
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Reply Mon 3 May, 2004 11:21 pm
Thanks for that cav. I suspect that all the ingredients of your mixture might not be available here, where I live. But I get the gist. This chili stuff is a very serious business, isn't it? Smile
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cavfancier
 
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Reply Tue 4 May, 2004 06:18 am
Yes, msolga, chili is serious business, and a great source of debate amongst afficionados.
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Eva
 
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Reply Tue 4 May, 2004 08:28 am
Especially down here in my part of the US. We have big chili festivals & cook-offs every year. Recipes often include unusual ingredients, and large sums of money change hands for winning recipes. The biggest debate seems to be beans vs. no beans. (I am firmly in the "no beans" camp.) Many cook-offs have two divisions for this reason.

Very serious business indeed.

BYOB (Bring Your Own Beer)
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farmerman
 
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Reply Tue 4 May, 2004 08:31 am
I like my peppers with more zing, scotch bonnet or habaneros


One thing I do not like is too much cumin in the chili powder. I hate cumin
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cavfancier
 
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Reply Wed 5 May, 2004 12:11 pm
farmerman, I just use the dried ones for the powder itself. I also add fresh chilies as well, and the scotch bonnets are best for me. We don't get fresh habaneros up here, but hey, one may be from Scotland and the other from Mexico, but they are still kissing cousins.
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cavfancier
 
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Reply Wed 5 May, 2004 12:12 pm
Oh, and I agree, too much cumin ruins a good chili, and also a good salsa.
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Aldistar
 
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Reply Mon 10 May, 2004 05:13 pm
Cayenne powder is a definite for me; I like mine hot enough to break out in a slight sweat but not so hot that you lose your ability to taste the final product. Jalapenos are good too. I use ground beef for the main meat ingredient, but I will usually throw in some cubed venison as well. As a topping I like a dollop of sourcream with chives and cheese.

For the record i'm a 'no beans' person.
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dyslexia
 
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Reply Mon 10 May, 2004 05:21 pm
proper chili, as I know it, begins with venison and ends with Hatch's chili peppers, but then I am a product of my environment and heritage.
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