Chili Nights

Chilly nights call for chili and there are a thousand recipes out there!

Everyone has their own version and I love trying all of them.

My daughter claims to make better chili than me – the problem is getting her to make some is the issue.

Personally, I’ve made a myriad of recipes and won’t stop trying new ones.

This weekend I made Emeril Lagasse’s version with a few of my own tweaks along the way.

I started out by making a little jar of Emeril’s Creole Seasoning…a concoction of spices and herbs that I already had in the spice cupboard.

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme

Combine all ingredients thoroughly.

Although you only use 2 teaspoons in this recipe, store the rest in a little jar. I’m sure I’ll find plenty of recipes to add this pinch of zing! to.

Chop some peppers.

I did roast an Anaheim pepper as the recipe suggests but only used half of the pepper. (Our grandson was with us and didn’t want to overdo the heat.)

In a tablespoon of oil, brown 1 lb. of either ground turkey or lean ground beef (I used 90% lean ground beef) with 12 oz. of hot turkey sausage along with 2 tsp. of the Essence you just made.

Cook until no longer pink.

Add the onions, bell peppers, and chilies, and cook, stirring, until soft, about 3 minutes.

Add the garlic, chili powder, cumin, and salt, and cook for 1 minute.

While the veggies are sauteing, open and rinse two cans of beans.

You can use almost any kind of beans to your liking…I like one can of red kidney beans and one can of black beans.

Now here’s the key ingredient to this recipe…


Yes, beer – I was hesitant because I don’t drink beer…

but I do appreciate beer in recipes as I always cook my ribs in beer before barbequing (but that’s another blog post).

You will find that the beer adds depth to the flavors in the chili.

Add the beer, beans and tomatoes, stir well, and bring to a boil.

Cook uncovered for about an hour, stirring along the way.

Emeril’s recipe recommends adding cilantro towards the end. I prefer to use it as a topping choice along with sour cream, shredded cheese and chopped green onions.

Here’s Emeril’s recipe.

And….here’s a good cornbread recipe to go with it!

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