Friday, February 11, 2011

Viva Chili

Note to readers: I am very proud and excited to present to you Angela, a guest writer for Quanto Basta. Angela is an amazing food enthusiast. I have had the opportunity to taste her most recent creation and it is absolutely wonderful. I hope you enjoy her post and pictures as much as I did! Welcome Angela!

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Hi! I’m Angela. I’m so excited that Asif has agreed to let me guest-post on his blog. What an honour! I love reading his posts and I feel like I learn something new in each one.

My love of food and cooking can be traced back to my childhood watching and helping my grandmothers in their kitchens. My Nonna was Italian and my Beppe was from Frysland, a province in the Netherlands. As a result, I’m passionate about cooking everything from meatballs and rapini to griesmeel pudding, speculaas and kniepertijes, preserving the family recipes for the next generation.

These days I love experimenting and cooking all sorts of healthy and hearty food for my family.

Is there anything better on a frigid February night than a bowl of hot steaming chili? One of the most comforting meals around, chili will warm you from the inside out.

There are as many different chili recipes out there as there are cooks, but the original comes from the Spanish Canary Islanders of San Antonio, Texas and was first served sometime in the late 1800’s.

These days you can find all sorts of variations including:

Texas-style chili- containing no beans, and no other vegetables whatsoever besides chili peppers.

Vegetarian chili- can contain all sorts of combinations of vegetables, and sometimes includes meat substitutes like tofu

Cincinnati-style chili- usually eaten as a topping for hot dogs

Louisville-style chili-includes spaghetti pasta

Let me tell you about my recipe and after you try it, you can let me know what you think. You will need:
·        lean ground beef (about 450g or 1lb)
·        one large onion, diced
·        5 cloves of garlic, minced

Cook the above ingredients in a pan/skillet and when the meat is almost brown, add 2 tbsp of ground cumin, 1 tsp salt and freshly ground black pepper. Stir.

I prepare the tomatoes and veggies while the meat is browning. In a food processor grind 4 cups of canned whole plum tomatoes and pour into your crock pot or large soup pot. You can use pre-ground tomatoes, if you have them, but I prefer to grind my own.

To the tomatoes add:
·         ·        3-4 stalks of celery, chopped
·         ·        3-4 carrots, chopped
·         ·        1 sweet red pepper, chopped
·         ·        2 jalapeno peppers, seeds removed and finely chopped
·         ·        2 cups corn (canned or frozen)
·         ·        1 can of black beans or kidney beans, rinsed

Stir the mixture and add 2-3 cups of homemade chicken, beef or veggie stock. You can use canned if you don’t have homemade, but once you start making your own stock you’ll never go back....but that’s another post altogether!  Add the stock slowly, stirring in between. Be careful not to add too much stock or you’ll end up with chili soup!

Once the meat mixture is fully browned, add it to the tomatoes and veggies. Stir to combine. Set your crock pot or soup pot on low and simmer for 6-8 hours. The longer you let your chili simmer, the more the flavours will meld together. If your chili gets too thick you can add a little more stock.

You may notice that I haven’t used a lot of salt. We are trying to use less salt around my house, but you may want to add some to your taste.

You can serve your chili on nachos or chili-dogs, with pita bread, whole wheat toast, or just by itself.

My favourite accompaniment is Asif’s amazing corn bread! (Click here for the recipe.)



  1. Yay! Thanks Asif! That was fun. I found it very challenging to write down a recipe that I usually just improvise, but it was a good challenge.

    Glad to hear you liked you chili sample. I brought some to the office today and it got good reviews as well.

    Love your blog, as always!

  2. Chili never looked so good. As a food fan (similar to an enthusiast but enjoy eating more than cooking...) I enjoy the photos the most. Thanks for posting!

  3. Angela, I'm so glad that you enjoyed the project. I would love to hear your take on making broth/stock!...Perhaps it may become another blog entry?

  4. Hi Asif: the chili is very similar to the one I make except can you tell me why, once i add the cumin, it tends to stick and burn.

  5. Hi Zia Cathy,
    I'm not sure why your meat starts to burn when you add the cumin, but I always use a little olive oil and lower the heat once I add the cumin and garlic. I like to add my garlic and spices once the meat is almost finished browning because I really dislike the taste of burnt garlic.
    I also heard somewhere, but I can't remember where, that you should always add your spices near the end of your cooking since they lose their flavour the longer you cook them. It doesn't apply in all recipes, but definitely in this one.


  6. Asif,
    I would love to do a post about making chicken stock. It's something we do at least once a week around here. My husband also makes an excellent veggie stock. I'll take some photos the next time we make it.


  7. Hi, I would be very interested in Angela's chicken stock; i make it once a week the way mom used to make it. looking forward to
    Angela's recipe