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If Itís Chili, Itís Personal
New York Times ^ | FEB. 10, 2014 | JENNIFER STEINHAUER

Posted on 02/13/2014 4:00:26 PM PST by nickcarraway

Chili tastes are highly personal, often inflexible and loaded with preconceptions — the political party of culinary offerings.

For some people raised in Texas, the notion of beans is akin to cat food, dismissed with derision as filler. Some chili cooks believe flavor rises and falls on cumin levels; others say the story begins and ends with dried chiles. Some like a rich beefy stock, and there are those who extol the entanglement of bacon.

Poultry and venison have their place (beef purists blanch), and vegetarian chili is met largely with guffaws except by the people who smilingly bring it to potlucks, an act that seems to stem from their childhood issues often associated with snack cake deprivation.

Serving rituals vary.

Oyster crackers on the side? Some have never heard of it, but maybe. Rice? Often! My Texan mother-in-law always served chili over spaghetti, a bit of Cincinnati craziness that confused and unnerved me, but I am perfectly at peace with chili dumped over a bag of corn chips, known as Frito pie. (Some regions refer to this as a “walking taco,” but I would prefer you do not.)

Yet just as much of our nation craves bipartisanship on the major policy debate of the day, so, too, do many chili lovers wish to end the crazy decades of rivalries. They believe it is time for us to embrace every form of this warming bowl of red soul food, be it venison-laced, processed cheese-topped, bean-adorned, beer laced, spicy or mild. My husband has even learned to live with beans. He just does not discuss it.

“I don’t disagree with anyone’s chili,” said Robb Walsh, a Texas food historian, the author of “The Tex-Mex Cookbook” and a restaurateur.

(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: Food; Hobbies
KEYWORDS: chile; chili; cookery; cooking; food
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1 posted on 02/13/2014 4:00:26 PM PST by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway

I like all kinds of chili except that water stuff I got from Wendy’s


2 posted on 02/13/2014 4:01:48 PM PST by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans!)
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To: nickcarraway

It’s “Chile”, not “Chili” and it comes in either red or green.


3 posted on 02/13/2014 4:04:35 PM PST by elkfersupper
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To: nickcarraway

I’ve been served chili over lettuce (very strange) and a politician I know gives an annual “Floating taco party” which this author describes as “walking tacos”. State Rep XXX’s “Floating Tacos” are delish!


4 posted on 02/13/2014 4:04:47 PM PST by afraidfortherepublic
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To: elkfersupper
Dennison's calls it chili—good enough for me. ☺
5 posted on 02/13/2014 4:06:20 PM PST by Misterioso (Man's ego is the fountainhead of human progress. - Ayn Rand)
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To: nickcarraway

Have none of you ever had the BEST....SKYLINE CHILI from CINCINNATI???? OMG!! The BEST!!


6 posted on 02/13/2014 4:07:52 PM PST by Ann Archy (Abortion......the Human Sacrifice to the god of Convenience.)
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To: nickcarraway

I make a mean chili. And I put beans in it. I don’t care what the Texans may say.


7 posted on 02/13/2014 4:08:00 PM PST by colorado tanker
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To: nickcarraway

I have always liked chili but it is hard to get it just right.

Around a month ago, I made a large pot and it was one of the better batches I have ever made.

A couple of weeks later I made another thinking I was doing it the same way but it was very mediocre. It seems you have to get it just right.


8 posted on 02/13/2014 4:08:46 PM PST by yarddog (Romans 8: verses 38 and 39. "For I am persuaded".)
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To: yarddog

The same thing has happened to me.


9 posted on 02/13/2014 4:10:11 PM PST by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway

I’ve had it with beans and without. Without is better. De gustibus non est disputandum.


10 posted on 02/13/2014 4:10:41 PM PST by Billthedrill
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To: Darksheare

Cthulu?


11 posted on 02/13/2014 4:11:57 PM PST by moose07 (the truth will out ,one day.)
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To: nickcarraway

I have an old checkout-counter recipe book that featured six former winners of an all-meat (no beans allowed) Chili cook-off. What struck me were four things: several recipes used both chicken and beef bouillon granules, several used both beef and pork, none used ground beef, and all used what seemed very high doses of chili powder. But all used the same basic ingredients with what seemed like minor variations, so I ended up wondering what made those recipes stand out.


12 posted on 02/13/2014 4:14:31 PM PST by Steve_Seattle
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To: Ann Archy

Don’t like the cinnamon taste.


13 posted on 02/13/2014 4:14:50 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet (Jealousy is when you count someone else's blessings instead of your own.)
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To: colorado tanker; elkfersupper

I’m a Texan, and I LIKE beans in my chili!

FWIW, The Terlingua International Chili Championship Cookoff, in Terlingua TX, spells it “Chili”.

http://www.chili.org/terlingua.html


14 posted on 02/13/2014 4:16:07 PM PST by Jane Long (While Marxists continue the fundamental transformation of the USA, progressive RINOs assist!)
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To: yarddog
"I have always liked chili but it is hard to get it just right."

It's also hard to really screw up. There's a lot of mediocre chili, but you rarely encounter BAD chili.
15 posted on 02/13/2014 4:16:10 PM PST by Steve_Seattle
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To: colorado tanker

I’ve had plenty of good chili, though I have never been able to get a good recipe to make for myself. Something about it never seems to come out right.

As for beans, I like it both ways but prefer navy beans to kidney beans


16 posted on 02/13/2014 4:16:33 PM PST by Ouderkirk (To the left, everything must evidence that this or that strand of leftist theory is true)
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To: nickcarraway

I can’t really figure out what made the difference but it might have been the fact that I used a different style onion. It sure doesn’t take much to change the flavor.

It also could be my taste buds as I am getting old enough that sometimes I just don’t taste things as well as I used to.


17 posted on 02/13/2014 4:17:01 PM PST by yarddog (Romans 8: verses 38 and 39. "For I am persuaded".)
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To: nickcarraway
Chili recipes don't come from the New York Times

Chili comes from Texas (red) or New Mexico (green).

18 posted on 02/13/2014 4:18:37 PM PST by okie01 (The Mainstream Media -- IGNORANCE ON PARADE)
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To: Ouderkirk
I pulled several recipes off the Internet, combined the parts that looked good and then experimented until I liked it.

I also had a head start. A Texas buddy showed me how he made it so I had a pretty good idea what approach I was gonna take.

19 posted on 02/13/2014 4:19:28 PM PST by colorado tanker
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To: nickcarraway

I am fine with the many varieties of chili, it is part of the wonderful texture of life. But, if it doesn’t contain beef, it’s some other concoction, that ought to have another name. Beef chili made from chunks of some cut of roast is generally better than any ground beef version, but I’ve had very good ground beef chili and did not complain.

I buy most of my beef by the cow and know both the farmer and the butcher. Those wrapped chunks of beef in the freezer speak to me: Chili, Chili


20 posted on 02/13/2014 4:19:50 PM PST by centurion316
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To: Steve_Seattle

You can make perfectly good chili with ground beef, for home use but not for a competition


21 posted on 02/13/2014 4:20:00 PM PST by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans!)
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To: Steve_Seattle

Oh it is easy for me to mess up just about anything I cook.

My late wife did not know how to cook anything but pizza when we got married but she developed into a very good cook. Some of us just aren’t very good at some things.


22 posted on 02/13/2014 4:20:24 PM PST by yarddog (Romans 8: verses 38 and 39. "For I am persuaded".)
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To: GeronL
"You can make perfectly good chili with ground beef, for home use but not for a competition."

I think the contest that those people won prohibited ground beef, but I'm not sure. It was supposed to be "genuine" Texas chili.
23 posted on 02/13/2014 4:22:35 PM PST by Steve_Seattle
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To: nickcarraway

Buzzard’s Breath Chili .... pretty good stuff!


24 posted on 02/13/2014 4:22:59 PM PST by Qiviut (It's hard to be a donk if you're sane & it's hard to be a pubbie if you have any integrity.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Hey...there’s chocolate in it also!!


25 posted on 02/13/2014 4:23:58 PM PST by Ann Archy (Abortion......the Human Sacrifice to the god of Convenience.)
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To: okie01

“NEW YORK TIMES”?

Get a rope.


26 posted on 02/13/2014 4:24:44 PM PST by Rebelbase (Tagline: optional, printed after your name on post)
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To: Rebelbase

heh


27 posted on 02/13/2014 4:25:23 PM PST by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans!)
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To: Steve_Seattle

fajita meat would be allowable then?


28 posted on 02/13/2014 4:26:27 PM PST by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans!)
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To: nickcarraway

The best chili comes from chili-powder made from ground campfire flames frozen solid by a Blue Norther.


29 posted on 02/13/2014 4:26:55 PM PST by Rebelbase (Tagline: optional, printed after your name on post)
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To: Rebelbase
“NEW YORK TIMES”?

If the Times' reporters take the same stance on eating as on gay sex, they'd say it's ok and normal to stuff food up our noses.
30 posted on 02/13/2014 4:27:33 PM PST by Steve_Seattle
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To: GeronL
"fajita meat would be allowable then?"

If you mean chicken, I'm not sure. All the recipes in the book featured (I think) cubed beef, but one or two also had (I think) ground pork.
31 posted on 02/13/2014 4:30:04 PM PST by Steve_Seattle
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To: okie01

“Chili comes from Texas (red) or New Mexico (green).”

My New mexican mother makes outstanding chili (con frijoles) with New Mexican red chilis. I think that makes all the difference. Texas chili is also fine by me! I die for her chili verde and eggs.


32 posted on 02/13/2014 4:32:00 PM PST by Owl558 (Those who remember George Santayana are doomed to repeat him)
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To: nickcarraway

30+ posts and not a single recipe?!?!


33 posted on 02/13/2014 4:32:48 PM PST by RandallFlagg ("I said I never had much use for one. Never said I didn't know how to use it." --Quigley)
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To: Steve_Seattle

My uncle in Houston only used shredded chuck steak in his.


34 posted on 02/13/2014 4:34:34 PM PST by Rebelbase (Tagline: optional, printed after your name on post)
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To: colorado tanker

Me neither and I’m a Texan.


35 posted on 02/13/2014 4:38:54 PM PST by biff (WAS)
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To: RandallFlagg

People don’t want to giver out their recipe.


36 posted on 02/13/2014 4:41:40 PM PST by nickcarraway
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To: Owl558
I die for her chili verde and eggs.

Doubtless, I would, as well.

37 posted on 02/13/2014 4:43:57 PM PST by okie01 (The Mainstream Media -- IGNORANCE ON PARADE)
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To: Owl558
My New mexican mother makes outstanding chili (con frijoles) with New Mexican red chilis.

Personally, I have no objection to con frijoles.

My favorite are the Chimayo chilis. They have a smoky quality that makes them not only distinctive, but extraordinary.

38 posted on 02/13/2014 4:47:11 PM PST by okie01 (The Mainstream Media -- IGNORANCE ON PARADE)
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To: colorado tanker

“I make a mean chili. And I put beans in it. I don’t care what the Texans may say.”

Yeah, bet you do. I’m guessing you put kidney beans in your chili. Or better yet, maybe Lima beans? :)


39 posted on 02/13/2014 4:47:38 PM PST by snoringbear (E.oGovernment is the Pimp,)
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To: elkfersupper

It’s chili from the chili peppers in it. It doesn’t contain beans.


40 posted on 02/13/2014 4:48:39 PM PST by bgill
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To: nickcarraway

Cincinnati Chili


41 posted on 02/13/2014 4:50:41 PM PST by JoeProBono (SOME IMAGES MAY BE DISTURBING VIEWER DISCRETION IS ADVISED;-{)
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To: nickcarraway

There’s a few variants to chili that I am looking forward to.

To start with, the use of Sous-Vide beef. With Sous-Vide you vacuum pack your raw meat, then immerse the pack in water that is the perfect temperature for cooking beef, 130-135F.

“The meat has begun to turn pink, and is significantly firmer. Moisture loss is still minimal, at around 4%. Intramuscular fat has begun to render, which not only lubricates the meat, making it taste juicier and more tender, but it also delivers fat-soluble flavor compounds to the tongue and palate—beef at this temperature tastes significantly “beefier” than beef at 120F. When tasted blind, even self-proclaimed rare meat lovers preferred this one, making it the most popular selection. It also avoids the ‘sawdust’ texture that begins at 140F.”

Importantly, none of the odor or flavor is lost, which is obvious when it is cooked and you open the vacuum pack to give the meat a quick sear. You get “beefed” right in the face with a delicious “beefy” odor.

When cooked Sous-Vide, this beef is quite tender and close to perfectly cooked. I would then add it to the chili with just enough time to warm it, before serving. It is far less important that its flavors have blended with the chili flavors than it not get any additional cooking.

Next, some chili makers are using spices that are “bloomed” and roasted. “Blooming” means briefly sauteing spices in oil to bring out their flavors, whereas roasted spices have a different character altogether. Some cooks think of the two as the same thing, but I distinguish them as different techniques.

Third, while some chili makers use roux in their chili, roux is so versatile that it should not be an afterthought.

Roux comes in colors: white, blond, light brown (or caramel colored), brown, and dark brown (called chocolate). While the dark brown is most flavorful, it does not thicken much at all. While the lighter ones thicken, they are less flavorful.

Unless they are made into sauces. And while these would likely not be blended into the chili, they could be drizzled on top of it. For instance, a white cream roux sauce, Béchamel sauce, can become Mornay sauce by adding cheese; or a Nantua sauce, with crayfish, butter and cream, etc.

They wouldn’t make the chili. They would make the chili better.


42 posted on 02/13/2014 4:51:46 PM PST by yefragetuwrabrumuy (WoT News: Rantburg.com)
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To: Steve_Seattle
A buddy of mine who makes an excellent example likens it to sex. It's all good, but some is incredible.
43 posted on 02/13/2014 4:53:57 PM PST by CrazyIvan (Obama phones= Bread and circuits.)
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To: nickcarraway

I have 20 hot peppers and 28 sweet peppers started to be ready to go out into the garden come spring. Of course, by then I won’t be able to afford beef.


44 posted on 02/13/2014 4:57:49 PM PST by bgill
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To: RandallFlagg
“30+ posts and not a single recipe?!?!”

No- but I will give up one of my secrets. I buy spices whole and then put them in a blender with tequila and puree them before adding them. The alcohol leaches out the oils in the spices and (I think) improves the flavor.

45 posted on 02/13/2014 5:03:54 PM PST by CrazyIvan (Obama phones= Bread and circuits.)
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To: Rebelbase
"get a rope"

I'm sorry, I've never heard of rope chili. Or did you mean something else?

46 posted on 02/13/2014 5:08:44 PM PST by driftless2
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To: Billthedrill

if you soak the beans overnight, no gassy gassy.


47 posted on 02/13/2014 5:11:30 PM PST by Secret Agent Man (Gone Galt; Not averse to Going Bronson.)
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To: yarddog

both things you suggest can be true. age changes taste b/c buds die off, smell receptors in your nose die off, plus brain changes over time can change flavors you enjoy. this happens in older animals too.


48 posted on 02/13/2014 5:14:04 PM PST by Secret Agent Man (Gone Galt; Not averse to Going Bronson.)
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To: elkfersupper

‘It’s “Chile”, not “Chili” and it comes in either red or green.”

As a native New Mexican I agree! everything else is crap!!!


49 posted on 02/13/2014 5:14:31 PM PST by sean327 (God created all men equal, then some become Marines!)
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To: nickcarraway

Beans ARE “filler.” Feh. Don’t belong in chili. And I’m not even from Texas.


50 posted on 02/13/2014 5:16:15 PM PST by gemoftheocean (...geez, this all seems so straight forward and logical to me...)
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