Friday, March 15, 2013


This morning I posted on Facebook about the chili I made this morning.  I make a ton of chili and I've written about it 100,000 times (at least!).  I grew up in sunny California never really experiencing stews or soups because it's alway summer here (well it used to be!).  It wasn't until about 4 years ago that I happened to be talking with my BFF Fawn Friday on the phone and she mentioned she was making chili!  Hmnn...that sounds good!  And better yet, that sounds easy! (especially when you love to pressure cook, like me!)  I asked her for a quick run down on spice blends and basic technique, and the rest is history!

Here is my very first blog post about chili!

I don't want to repeat myself, so I urge you to blog search "chili" on this blog and my former blog (Living My Physical Potential).  There are so many variables except one....chili spices!  Spice blends are up to you, but chili powder/cayenne/red pepper, etc are the kick, and spice, in chili stews.

This morning I made two stew/soups.  Ham and split pea, and lamb chili.  I used the smokey ham stock for both and the smokey fat from the ham shanks to saute' my veggies in (for both).

Lamb chili

1 lb ground lamb
2 lamb and rosemary sausage links

Brown and remove from pan.  Add a bit more fat to the pan and saute' until translucent (chopped in food processor)

red chard stems
jalapeno (2)
pasilla pepper (1)
celery (2 stalks)

add chili spices and 2 tbl tomato paste and cook until fragrant

Chili spices

2 tbl chili powder
1 tbl smoked paprika
1 tbl ground cumin
1 tbl ground oregano
1 tsp cayenne
1 tsp red pepper flakes
2 bay leaves

Add stock and deglaze the pot. ( I made the stock with garlic, so I did not add more).  Add 1 c. presoaked beans (black), 1/2 c red lentils, 1 garnet yam, grated (sweet potato).

Lock lid, bring to pressure, cook for 15 min, let pressure come down naturally.  Open and check to make sure beans are soft, and add browned lamb back into pot.  Season with salt and pepper.

I did not use tomatoes, but I did choose 2 tbl tomato paste to thicken.
I used smokey ham stock.
I used red lentils because they completely break down, helping to thicken the chili.
I used sweet potato to balance the spices instead of tomatoes.

Oh yes and I also chopped the red chard leaves roughly in the food processor, adding them at the end to wilt in the hot chili.

So again I ask;

Tomatoes, or not?
Beef, chicken, pork, lamb?  Has anyone ever heard of a seafood chili?  Not me!
Thick or thin?
Beans or not?  What about lentils? Split peas?  Grains?
Would you add greens, like I do? Spinach, chard, kale?
Red chili, green chili?

Oh, and it's not uncommon for me to ladle hot chili over shredded cabbage!  Limitless possibilities!!  How do you serve it?  sour cream, plain yogurt?  Sliced green onion, cheese?  (oh no, not cheese!)

PS I've got a great Jambalaya recipe to share as well as a spicy pot roast coming soon!  I better eat this damn chili so I can test these great recipes sent to me by a couple of blog/facebook followers!  Do you have a great recipe for the pressure cooker?  Please share and email me,


Diana said...

First thing....I'm born and raised in WI, so YES, there's cheese on the top of our chili!
Second....big debate in this house is "noodles or no noodles". UGH, I hate noodles in chili. The hubs grew up with noodles. My thought is they do NOT belong in chili.
Third....I use elk in my chili and I prefer paste versus tomatoes.
Love your spices...

Pat Carroll said...

Amounts always vary, but I use
bell peppers
sliced cremini mushrooms
black beans
ground turkey
ground buffalo
chipotle powder
and top servings with Greek yogurt.
Dee has learned to accommodate the heat, but my daughter and son-in-law say, "Whoa, hot!"
Think I'll try some ground lamb, but I haven't seen any lamb sausages.

Tracy Reifkind said...


Noodles? What? Um, no. Noodles, who the heck thought that was a good idea?

I found paste to be sufficent, although I'm getting over my "no tomatoes in winter" snobbery!

Tracy Reifkind said...


Mushrooms huh? I can't say that I would ever put mushrooms in chili!

Chipotle power is difficult to find and usually expensive in comparison. If I'm not mistaken, chipotle is smoked jalapeno, so the big difference is the smokiness. I'm a fan of smokiness! That's why I decided to use some leftover ham stock.

When the chili comes out super hot, that greek yogurt is a nice touch!

Also, the combination of turkey and buffalo is really lean. Lamb is probably the fattiest type ground meat you can buy...which is why I like it! But if fat is a dietary concern maybe a combination would be better?

Pat Carroll said...

Haven't thought about it in a while, Tracy, but yeah, the lean is on purpose. Saturday is our bustout food day, so we just have chili on Sunday night (well, and wine and chocolate). That's why sauteed mushrooms -- they pump up the umami and sub for the satisfying fat.

Jen said...

MMMMMM, thank you Tracy. Chili sounds better than the meatloaf I was planning to make. :)

(and I put mushrooms in mine too... any vegetable I have in the fridge goes in! I learned that from you...the more veggies, the better!)

Tracy Reifkind said...


Meatloaf is good too! You know I put a ton of veg in my meatloaves, and the last time I made it I formed 2 small sizes so I could have extra crusty "ends", lol!

I thought about you today as I ate my one cherimoya I bought at the Mexican market. Remember that time you mailed me some? So nice!