Friday, February 10, 2012

Chili Nouveau?

Wow - it's been over a week since I've shared a chili recipe with you.  Luckily for both of us Punxatawny Phil predicted another 6 weeks of winter, which means there will not be a shortage of chili around Thathouse any time soon.

When you're as highly invested in chili as I am, you're willing to try almost every variation.  There is one exception.

"Have you ever heard of Frito Pie?"  I asked Thatboy not too long ago.  He looked at me like I might have fallen on my head.  He hadn't.

"It's serving chili on fritos."  I proudly informed him.  He then informed me that of course he'd done that.  That was pretty much a given.  Apparently I'm the only one completely out of the loop who has never thought to serve chili on top of chips.  This had to be remedied.

When I looked to see if there were directions on how to create this dish (is it baked?  It must be more complicated than just putting chili on fritos...what's the pie part?) I found that most recipes called for placing the chili directly into a frito bag.  The thought is like nails on a chalkboard to me.  I don't eat out of bags. 

But other than that, it seems silly to have recipes for Frito Pie because literally the directions are: Place chili on top of fritos.  That's it.  Hardly a recipe.  Instead I will share with you one of my all time favorite chili recipes.  It's my go-to recipe I've been making for about 5 years now.  I've taken the original, which is from the Bride and Groom First and Forever Cookbook and added my own spin.  Modified it over the years.  I think the secret is the sausage and chipotle in adobo which were in the original recipe.  It's just about the perfect chili - whether or not you eat it from a bag or a bowl.

Texas Chili (Adapted from the Bride and Groom First and Forever Cookbook)
3/4 lb lean ground beef
3/4 lb Italian sausage links, removed from casings
1  onion, chopped
3 large gloves garlic, minced
1 can Muir Glen fire roasted tomatoes with chiles
1/2 c beef broth
1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce
3 Tbsp chili powder
1 Tbsp cumin
2 tsp oregano
2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cocoa powder
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1 can cannelini beans
Salt & pepper to taste

  1. Combine ground beef and Italian sausage.  Season with salt and pepper and brown meat in a pot or dutch oven.
  2. Add onions & garlic and saute until onions are translucent. 
  3. Add the tomatoes, beef broth, chipotle chile, chili powder, cumin, oregano, paprika, cocoa powder,  and tomato paste. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cover.  Cook for 1 hour.
  4. Add beans and allow to simmer another 10-15 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.


  1. Oh no, I don't eat out of bags either. I'm all about the bowls. If you can put it in a bowl, I love it. Instantly.

  2. I can't imagine eating from a bag unless the chips are alone. The minute, they are involved in a saucy dish, the bowl wins.

  3. I do love Fritos and have not had them in far too many years!

  4. I never thought about italian sausage in chili before.

  5. I'm trying to imagine your 6 more weeks of winter. But with hearing about Giz in the outdoor pool in PS, I just can't do it. It's minus 11 here right now (Celcius)...

    Chili in a bag...gross.

  6. I have never eaten my chili over my fritos, but I have heard of it. I think it would be quite good. Should I admit that I eat my chili over rice? Its good that you have a keeper chili recipe-its important.

    It's been like Spring here in North Florida ( we do have change of seasons) suddenly winter decided to roar on back for a few days (ugh). Its brrrr.

    Take care-