Chill out Chili

This is not chili in my book, but that’s the name of the recipe. It was a first-prize winner in a Pace Picante contest. Apparently it’s an original creation of Barbara Morgan of Concord, CA. Thank you, Barbara! We really love this dish.

  • 1-1/2 pounds pork tenderloin, cut into 3/4 -inch pieces (I cut up lean boneless pork sirloin chops. Also, I’ve never tried it, but I bet you could substitute Chicken if you’re not into pork.)
  • 2  cups coarsely chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or chopped finely
  • 1 TBSP vegetable oil
  • 1 TBSP chili powder
  • 1-1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1-3/4 cups Pace Picante Sauce (I usually buy the medium heat)
  • 1 can (15 oz) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (15 oz) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • About 2/3 can (15 oz) corn, rinsed and drained (recipe calls for 10-oz frozen whole kernel corn, thawed, but the canned corn is fine)
  • Optional Toppings: sour cream, chopped green onions

Cook meat, onion and garlic in oil in large saucepan or Dutch oven, stirring frequently, just until meat loses its pink color, about 8 to 10 minutes. (I usually sear meat first before adding onions. Once I had grilled pork leftover so I used it in this recipe and that was the best, but anyway you cook it is fine.)

Sprinkle chili powder, cumin, oregano, and salt over meat; mix well to coat evenly.  Add remaining ingredients except toppings; mix well. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 20 minutes or until meat and vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. Ladle into bowls; top as desired and serve with additional Pace Picante Sauce. Makes 6 to 8 servings, about 8 cups chili.

As usual in my kitchen, I will swap out the beans according to what I have in the cupboard.  I always use the black beans and corn, but I may substitute pinto or white beans if I don’t have kidney. I like to let this meld overnight, or if you can’t wait, it’s good to eat immediately as well. But leftovers are always very good. We use warm whole wheat flour tortillas to sop up all the good sauce.

If you don’t eat pork, you could probably use chicken or beef and just adjust the cooking times so the meat is tender. If you try a different meat let me know how it tastes.

Published in: on October 26, 2012 at 7:58 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Nothing like a little belly-warming chile on a day of clouds and drizzle. Ev doesn’t make basic chile – she makes one with complex and delicate flavors.

She is so far from basic chile, as she almost finished cooking she said, hmm something is missing – but what??

I had to tell her: BEANS!

It is was yummy – but I had to dumb mine down by adding some jalapeño peppers. I also had to promise not to comment on who the sour cream piglet was in the duo, as seen in the photo  =)

Now I bet I get in trouble….


Turkey Chili  (From The Gourmet Gazelle Cookbook by Ellen Brown)

I usually make chili pulling from many different recipes, but here is one that has a nice “full-bodied” taste, so I can just follow this one without adding from other recipes. Nevertheless no recipe is sacred to me; I always make changes and adjustments according to what I have in the kitchen. I got this recipe from a newspaper so I was curious about the cookbook and did a little sleuthing on the Internet.  It dates back to 1989, and one reviewer wrote:  “Brown says that she wants her food to be sensual in the most literal sense of the word and to that extent her recipes are often aromatic and frequently sharpened by the addition of chilies or hot spices.”

Aromatic. That’s a good description for this chili with cocoa, coffee and tarragon vinegar in it.

 (6 servings)

  • 1 TBSP veg. oil
  • 1 onion, peeled and chopped  (peeled? really? who WOULDN’T peel an onion first?)
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced  (see previous comment about peeled…)
  • 1 red pepper, finely diced
  • 1 green pepper, finely diced  (recently I just had only a yellow pepper so that’s what I used, but not so finely diced)
  • 1-1/2 lbs ground turkey meat (I’ve used chicken and beef)
  • 2 TBSP flour
  • 3 TBSP chili powder
  • 2 TBSP ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons powdered cocoa
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 cup tarragon vinegar  (I’ve never owned this so I use either red wine or rice vinegar and I put in 1/2 – 1 teaspoons tarragon)
  • 2 TBSP strong brewed coffee
  • 2 (14-ounce) cans plum tomatoes, crushed or diced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt  (or to taste)
  • 2 cups cooked black beans (We like lots of beans and variety is good. I might add a can of black beans and another can of kidney or pinto beans. 2 cans might be more like 3 cups of beans, but that would still not be too many beans.)

Heat oil over medium-high heat in a Dutch oven or deep skillet. Add the onion, garlic, peppers and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the ground turkey and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring constantly and breaking up any lumps with the spoon.

Stir in the flour, chili powder, cumin and cocoa. Stir over low heat, stiffing frequently, for 3 minutes to cook the spices.

Add the remaining ingredients except the black beans and bring to a boil over medium heat.  Simmer the chili, stirring occasionally, for 40 to 45 minutes, unitl it is thick and the turkey is tender. Add the black beans and cook for 5 additional minutes. We usually top with chopped green onions and shredded Jack cheese and/or yogurt or sour cream.

Published in: on October 18, 2010 at 8:15 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Chicken Chili Blanco

Cold rainy day in San Diego calls for a nice belly-warming chili…

Not a Tex-Mex – this is chicken, cheese, white wine,  white bean, white rice – oh, blanco! Then the garnishes give it some eye appeal. Ev has had this recipe for quite a while. She doesn’t remember where it came from, but it is an easy keeper.

Chicken Chili Blanco

4 servings:

This is an interesting “white” chili- a lovely oregano-flecked delicate beige color, with a creamy texture, but a surprisingly zippy kick of peppery flavor. Serve this splendid chili with steamed rice, rolled warm corn tortillas.

  • 1 tablespoon olive  oil
  • 1- 1/2 cups chopped onion
  • 3 cloves finely chopped garlic
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger
  • 1-1/2 cups  chicken broth
  • 1/2 cups dry white wine
  • 1 bay leaf, broken in half
  • 2  cups shredded cooked chicken (see note)
  • 2 cups drained cooked white beans, rinsed
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, fresh or pickled, minced
  • 1-1/2 cup grated Montery Jack cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, preferable coarsely ground
  • salt
  • Garnishes: diced tomatoes, chopped scallions, sliced black olives


1.  Heat the olive oil in a large skillet or saucepan.  Add the onion and saute over medium heat until softened and lightly browned, 5 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic, oregano, cumin and ginger and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the broth, wine, and bay leaf.  Cook uncovered over medium-high heat until somewhat reduced, 5-8 minutes.

2. Add the chicken, beans, and jalapenos. Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Using the back of a spoon, mash about one-quarter of the beans to thicken the sauce. (Can be made 2 days ahead and refrigerated, or frozen. Reheat gently before finishing.)

3. Over low heat, add the cheese one handful at a time, stirring until melted. Add the pepper and taste for salt, adding some if necessary.

4. Remove the pieces of bay leaf. Serve the chili topped with some or all of the garnishes.

Note: You can substitute 12 ounces of uncooked skinless, boneless chicken breast or thigh meat.  cut in rough 3/4 dice and add with the broth and wine in Step 1.


Published in: on December 7, 2009 at 3:21 am  Leave a Comment  
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