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Mar 20, 2018
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Posts Tagged ‘Chili’

Meatless Monday: Root Vegetable Chocolate Chili

Monday, September 26th, 2016



Prepare yourself for chili season with a hint of chocolate. Root Vegetable Chocolate Chili starts with a fragrant saute of onion and bell pepper, then add garlic and smoky cumin, chili powder and red pepper flakes for bursts of flavor. This vegetarian dish gets is meaty heft from not from traditional kidney beans, but lentils and root veg like sweet potatoes and carrots. Add a can of tomatoes and let simmer, and just before serving, add your secret weapon: semisweet chocolate. Click here for the recipe here.

The Scoop: Zippy Burger to open in the Loop

Monday, July 27th, 2015



A quick bite in the Loop is about to get even faster, with the limited-service Zippy Burger slated to open in early September. The burger restaurant is moving into Seoul Taco’s former location at 571 Melville.

To live up to its name, seating will be limited and the 900 square-foot restaurant will serve only three menu items: old-school griddle burgers, French fries and a chili mac – in this case, spaghetti with chili sauce.

“At the end of the day, it’s about making a few products really well,” co-owner Josh Shulman said. “We’re not trying to reinvent the wheel, just make burgers as good as we can.”

Owners Shulman and Billy Evans have worked at different levels in the food industry, but this is their first restaurant. “We’ve been friends since we were kids,” Shulman said. “We wanted to open a restaurant together.”


Extra Sauce: 5 recipes to win your Super Bowl party

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

Super Bowl Sunday is the biggest unofficial American holiday of the year, and as with all our holidays, it comes with it’s own traditional menu of delicious eats. Step up your game day grub with five recipes for our favorite football food:


1. Get smoky with a big pot of Smoked White Bean Chili. (And before you cry foul, we’ve got the traditional red chili fans covered, too.)


2. Pulled Pork and pigskin are a classic combination, and ours simmers all day in a root beer-chile sauce.


3. Fire up the grill and savor the sweet heat of Harissa Honey Hot Wings.


4. No harissa? No problem. These Honey Sriracha Wings require just five key ingredients, including that bottle of rooster sauce in your fridge.


5. Fear not, vegan and vegetarians – even meat-heads will drool over these Macho Cauliflower Poppers. Sharing is optional.


-chili photo by Michelle Volansky; pulled pork photo by Greg Rannells; cauliflower poppers photo by Carmen Troesser; harissa wings photo from Balaboosta by Einat Admony

Make This: White Turkey Chili

Friday, November 28th, 2014



The guests are gone, the fine china is stowed away, and there’s a pile of leftover turkey in a Tupperware container. Don’t call it a day just yet! Break out the slow cooker to make a hearty White Turkey Chili for a Black Friday feast while you sleep off that Thanksgiving food coma. In a slow cooker, combine 2 to 3 cups chopped turkey, 3 cups cooked cannellini or Great Northern beans, 1 cup chopped onion, 1 cup frozen corn, 1 4.5-ounce can drained chopped green chiles, 2 minced garlic cloves, 1 tablespoon adobo sauce, 2 teaspoons ground cumin, 2 teaspoons chili powder and 1 teaspoon dried oregano. Add 4 cups chicken broth and stir. Cook on low for 5 to 6 hours. Stir in 6 ounces sour cream, adjust seasonings and serve with shredded cheddar cheese, chopped avocado, chopped cilantro and lime wedges.


-photo by Greg Rannells

By the Book: Cynthia Graubart’s Pork Stew with Gremolata and Island Pork Chili

Friday, October 24th, 2014



I admit, it is possible that I unjustly conflated the slow cooker with the universes of Mad Men and John Cheever’s short fiction, dismissing it out of turn. But I had a good reason – at least I think. After all, my mother is prone to finger wagging about the slow cooker’s dead usefulness in a way that makes me nod vigorously and then instantly forget the advice.

Or it could be because, by chance, I own the same vintage, seafoam-colored Rival Crock-Pot Southern Living columnist Cynthia Graubart reminisces about in her new book, Slow Cooker: Double Dinners for Two. Seeing it as a kind of culinary anachronism, I often left mine to collect dust on a shelf.

However, it’s safe to say Graubart’s undemanding slow cooking tome helps breathe new life into this bloodless style of mid-century cooking. The lushly varied recipes tap fruit flavors and invoke the colorful traditions of Thailand, France, the American Southwest and others.

Most notable is the book’s conceit. Advertising “double dinners for two,” the two-serving recipes are paired together throughout the book with the idea that they can be made simultaneously in the same slow cooker, using separate plastic liners. Each recipe is labeled A or B, with individual preparation instructions followed by simultaneous cooking instructions. The methodology behind the recipe pairings is never fully explained (one of several glaring editing quirks in the book), but it’s a damn good idea, and a good way to prepare several days’ worth of meals without fuss.

I’m a pork lover and went with a (handsomely photographed) recipe for Island Chili, using pork tenderloin and a succotash-esque mix of black beans, tomatoes, corn and mango. Since I had extra ingredients, I doubled the recipe rather than making the Pork Stew with Gremolata recipe that’s paired with it.

The preparation, as with most of the recipes in Slow Cooker, is a cinch. Dice the mango and pork tenderloin (trimming away fat and silverskin), and mix the other ingredients in a bowl with a quick stir.




Add the pork to the bottom of the slow-cooker liner, seasoning it generously with salt and pepper. Then, simply pour the other ingredients on top, cover and set the slow cooker to low.




Six hours later, it was time to tango with my equatorially inspired chili. The pork itself was cooked remarkably well, considering the minimal amount of seasoning required (the beauty of using an inherently flavorful meat). But the other ingredients felt diminished in flavor, even after extensive salting – much like the gauzy, repressed feel of 1960s suburbia itself. For starters, canned beans and tomatoes and out-of-season mangoes don’t have the zing of fresh ones, and Slow Cooker’s reliance on preserved or processed ingredients undercuts its stripped-down ingenuity. You’re better off throwing fresh produce into the pot, along with some of the “jazz-up” ingredients enumerated in the book’s introduction like soy sauce, tomato paste, Parmesan, or any other umami-boosting ingredient. Remember: slow cooking can be as improvisational as it is easy.




Cynthia Graubart’s Pork Stew with Gremolata and Island Pork Chili
2 servings each

For the Pork Stew with Gremolata:
½ lb. pork tenderloin (½ of small tenderloin), cut into 1-inch cubes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 small onion, diced
10 baby carrots, chopped
1 14½-oz. can diced tomatoes
¼ cup white wine
¼ cup beef broth
1 clove garlic, minced or ½ tsp. bottled minced garlic
3 to 4 sprigs fresh rosemary
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp. lemon zest
2 cloves garlic, minced, or 1 tsp. bottled minced garlic

For the Island Pork Chili:
½ lb. pork tenderloin (½ of small tenderloin), cut into ½-inch cubes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 14½-oz. can diced tomatoes, drained
¼ cup frozen corn kernels
½ cup black beans, rinsed and drained
½ tsp. cumin
½ tsp. chili powder
1 mango, diced, divided
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided

Pork Stew with Gremolata
• Insert liner into the slow cooker, fully opening the bag and draping the excess over the sides.
• Add pork to the bottom of the liner. Season with salt and pepper.
• Top pork with onions and carrots.
• Stir together tomatoes, white wine, broth and garlic in a medium bowl. Pour over pork and vegetables.
• Top pork with rosemary sprigs.
• Reserve parsley, lemon zest and garlic to top finished dish for serving.
• Fold the top of the bag over to one side and push ingredients at bottom of liner over to create room for the second bag.
• Follow directions for the second recipe.

Island Pork Chili:
• Insert liner into the remaining space in the slow cooker, fully opening the bag and draping the excess over the sides.
• Add pork to the bottom of the liner. Season with salt and pepper.
• Stir together tomatoes, corn, black beans, cumin and chili powder in a medium bowl. Pour over pork.
• Top with half the mango.
• Fold the top of the bag over to the opposite side of the first bag and nestle the ingredients of both bags so they are sharing the space evenly.
• Reserve second half of mango and cilantro to top finished dish before serving.

To complete the recipes:
• Each closed liner should be draping away from the other, extending over the sides of the slow cooker.
• Cover and cook on low for 6 hours.
• Move two shallow serving dishes or bowls next to the slow cooker. Remove cover and using pot holders or oven mitts, carefully open each liner to and remove the solids with a slotted spoon or tongs to its own serving bowl. Still using a potholder, gather the top of the first liner, carefully lift the bag from the slow cooker and move over its serving bowl. Cut a corner off the bottom of the bag, large enough to allow the remaining contents of the bag to be released into the second bowl. Discard the liner. Repeat with the second liner.
• Allow the recipe being served to cool, and package in a resealable plastic freezer bag or freezer container. Label and freeze up to 3 months.
• Before serving, taste and season again with salt and pepper. Top Pork Stew with Gremolata with the reserved parsley, lemon zest and garlic before serving. Top Island Pork Stew with mango and cilantro before serving.

Reprinted with permission from Gibbs Smith Publishing 

What’s your go-to slow-cooker meat (or non-meat), and the three most important items to throw in with it? Tell us in the comments below for a chance to win a copy of Slow Cooker: Double Dinners for Two

The Weekend Project: Smoked White Bean Chili

Thursday, January 16th, 2014



During the week, recipes are all about speed and ease. But when the weekend rolls around, it’s time for cooking low and slow, proofing dough and overnight marinating, soaking and resting. It’s time for a project. Each month, Dan and Anne Marie Lodholz present The Weekend Project with the game plan, the shopping list and the recipes to ensure all that work and time is well worth your effort. First up: white bean chili with smoked chicken and homemade poblano chile paste.

Growing up, Dan had to wait until Halloween to eat the first chili of the year. Now, we wait until the third Thursday of November, Nouveau Beaujolais Day. We host a big party to celebrate this French harvest festival and make a big batch of traditional red chili with beans (because, as the importers used to claim, everything goes with Nouveau Beaujolais!). As the party grew over the years, we added a white chili to the menu.

The white bean recipe evolved as a sort of yin-yang accompaniment to the red. Originally, we just used some canned jalapenos for the chile paste, but we found them a little too acidic, so he adapted Rick Bayless’ Essential Ancho Chile Paste recipe using poblano chiles. After all, ancho chiles are just dried, smoked poblano peppers.



Smoked poultry feasts are a family favorite on cold winter weekends. We start with a couple of smaller fowl or a turkey we find at a post-holiday sale and brine the bird Friday morning. Then, we grill or smoke the birds Friday night or Saturday for dinner and use the leftover meat to serve up a lazy pot of our favorite chili for Sunday supper. Whatever you do, don’t skip brining the bird. It helps the meat stay moist and hold its texture.




Though this recipe serves eight to 10, be sure make enough for leftovers. There is almost nothing better to stick to the bones on a cold Monday morning than a slinger made with leftover white chili and a sunny-side-up egg. That hearty breakfast makes deicing the car and driving to the office a little more manageable.

The Game Plan
Day 1: Brine the chicken. Soak the beans. Make the poblano chile paste.
Day 2: Smoke the chicken. Make the chili.

The Shopping List*
2 oz. fresh thyme springs
1 cup bourbon
1 3½-to-5 lb. chicken
6 to 8 medium poblano peppers
2 to 3 whole cloves
2½ cups chicken stock
1 lb. navy beans
2 red or yellow bell peppers

*This list assumes you have kosher salt, sugar, freshly ground black pepper, a lemon, garlic, cumin, canola oil, dried oregano, an onion and white pepper at hand in your kitchen. If not, you will need to purchase these items, too.




Smoked Chicken
1 cup plus 1 tsp. kosher salt, divided
½ cup sugar
2 oz. thyme sprigs
1 cup bourbon
1 3½-to-5 lb. chicken
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
Zest of 1 lemon

Day 1: Whisk 1 cup salt, the sugar, thyme sprigs, bourbon and 1 gallon of water in a large stockpot until the sugar and salt dissolve. Submerge the chicken in the brine and cover. Let marinade at least 6 hours and up to 2 days.
Day 2: Remove the chicken from the brine. Use a sharp knife to split the chicken down the breastbone and pat dry with paper towels. Sprinkle the chicken all over with 1 teaspoon of salt, pepper and the lemon zest.
• To smoke: Preheat the smoker to 225 degrees. Smoke the chicken 2 to 4 hours, until a meat thermometer inserted into the center of the thigh reaches 165 degrees.
• To grill: Stack and light the charcoal. Once all coals are lit, push them to one of the grill. Cover the grill until it reaches 350 degrees. Place the meat skin-side down over indirect heat, with the breast toward the coals, and cover for 15 minutes. Rotate the chicken 180 degrees so the legs face the coals, cover and grill another 15 minutes. Flip the bird over and cook, covered, another 15 to 30 minutes, until a meat thermometer inserted into the center of the thigh reaches 165 degrees.
• Let the meat cool to room temperature. Pull the meat from the bone and cut into bite-sized pieces. Use for White Bean Chili (Recipe follows).




Poblano Chile Paste
6 to 8 medium poblano peppers
8 cloves garlic
Canola oil for poaching
1½ tsp. dried oregano
¼ tsp. cumin
2 to 3 cloves, ground
½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp. Kosher salt
1½ cups chicken stock

Day 1: Preheat the broiler. Broil the peppers, turning occasionally, until the skin is blackened on all sides. Place the peppers in a paper bag and close tightly to steam, about 15 minutes.
• Meanwhile, place the garlic in a small pot and cover with canola oil. Cook over medium-high heat until the oil bubbles and the cloves are tender but not browned, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
• Remove the skin and seeds from the peppers. Purée the peppers, garlic cloves, oregano, cumin, ground cloves, salt and pepper into a food processor. With the machine running, slowly add the stock until it reaches a smooth, pasty consistence. Season to taste.
• Pass the mixture through a fine mesh strainer. Store covered in the refrigerator and use for White Bean Chili (Recipe follows).



Smoked White Bean Chili
8 to 10 Servings

1 lb. dry navy beans
1 large onion, diced
2 red or yellow bell peppers, diced
2 to 3 lbs. smoked chicken (Recipe above.)
1 batch poblano chile paste (Recipe above.)
2 to 4 tsp. kosher salt
2 tsp. white pepper
Sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, or other desired garnishes

Day 1: Place beans in a large pot and cover with several inches of water. Soak overnight.
Day 2: Drain the beans and rinse. Return the beans to the pot and fill with enough water to cover them by 2 inches. Simmer the beans over medium heat until tender, about 30 to 45 minutes.
• Add the onion, pepper, smoked chicken and poblano chile paste and bring to a simmer over medium heat for 30 minutes.
• Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with sour cream, cheddar cheese, and other desired garnishes. Chili will keep refrigerated up to 10 days or frozen for 6 months.



-photos by Michelle Volansky

The Scoop: Pasta House owners to open Joe’s Chili Bowl at The Terrace View

Tuesday, March 13th, 2012

Kim Tucci (right) and Joe Fresta (left), co-owners of The Pasta House Co. and Tucci & Fresta’s Trattoria and Bar, which opened last September in Clayton, are opening a chili parlor. Tucci informed The Scoop that Joe’s Chili Bowl at The Terrace View will be located at 808 Chestnut St., in the space recently vacated by Jim Fiala’s The Terrace View.

The eatery will specialize in chili dishes – from chili dogs to chili mac – while also offering hotdogs, sandwiches, flatbread pizzas and some Italian dishes. According to Tucci, the concept merges those of two of his favorite eateries: Ben’s Chili Bowl in Washington, D.C. and famed Chicago hotdog stand, Weiner Circle. Joe’s Chili Bowl at The Terrace View will be open seven days a week, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. A final agreement has yet to be signed, noted Tucci, but if all goes well, he hopes to open the chili parlor by April 13, the date of the St. Louis Cardinals’ home opener.

Chilly? Have some chili …

Wednesday, December 9th, 2009

120909_chiliJust in time for the arctic assault, Thurman Grill & Provisions is hosting the second Shaw Chili Challenge this Saturday, Dec. 12. A trio of judges will select winners in three categories: best meat chili, best veggie chili and best overall chili. The contest has already closed to entrants – but not to eaters. The grill (which lies just a few blocks north of Tower Grove Park) will supply cups, spoons, Cheddar cheese, chopped onions and various hot sauces. The public can start enjoying entrants’ efforts at 7 p.m., and a sample of all of the chilis will cost just $5, with proceeds benefiting The Salvation Army. So if you’ve already had a bellyful of cold, prepare to fill your belly with a bit of pleasing heat.

Chili cook-off goes kosher

Friday, November 13th, 2009

You never know what’s in chili. Some of the more adventurous cooks put chocolate, coffee, jelly and possibly even Johnny Depp’s victims from Sweeney Todd in the stuff.

You do know what’s not in the chili at the fifth annual Kosher Chili Cook-Off at the Jewish Community Center in Creve Coeur, though – no pork, no rabbit, no dairy products mixed with meat, etc. (Incidentally, venison, duck and even giraffe are kosher. But for a cook-off, all kosher meat is provided by the host just to ensure everything’s, ya know, kosher.)

The cooks who show for this competition (which occurs this Sunday, Nov. 15, from 2 to 8 p.m.) can get every bit as serious as their secular counterparts. They’ll be vying for such awards as People’s Choice, Best Meat Chili, Best Vegetarian Chili, Best Costume/Table Decorations, Best White Chili and Best Chili/Youth Division.

Curious about how they keep the proceedings kosher from start to finish? Head to the Web site of the cook-off’s sponsor, Nusach Hari B’nai Zion, for the good word, bubbeleh. At the cook-off, Rabbi Ze’ev Smason will supervise and keep everything proper. According to his synagogue’s site, “His word is final, no beans about it.”

– Byron Kerman

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