When it comes to the perfect chili, there are as many recipes as there are cooks and kitchens. Three editors from Everyday Food magazine brought their best versions to the table. Although they are all different, each one is an easy, economical meal in a bowl.
Any of these chilis can be saved for a future heat-and-eat meal. Let the chili cool completely after cooking, then refrigerate in an airtight container, up to three days, or freeze, up to three months.
Everyday Food magazine offers quick, healthy solutions for everyday meals -- from the kitchens of Martha Stewart Living. For more recipes and additional tips, visit www.marthastewart.com/everydayfood.
Heather's Texas red chili
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You'll find dried chiles like guajilos or pasillas (a good substitute) in cellophane packages at many supermarkets, usually in the international aisle or with the spices.
11/2 ounces dried guajillo chiles
1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce, plus 1 tablespoon sauce
1 pound boneless beef short ribs, cut into 1-inch pieces
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
11/2 pounds boneless beef chuck, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 medium white onion, diced small
4 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano (preferably Mexican)
2 tablespoons cornmeal
33/4 cups low-sodium beef broth
1 to 2 tablespoons white vinegar
1. Place guajillos in a large bowl, cover with boiling water and weight with a small plate to keep submerged. Let sit until pliable, about 15 minutes. Reserve 1 cup soaking liquid. Drain guajillos; discard stems and seeds. In a blender, blend guajillos, chipotle chile and sauce, and soaking liquid until smooth, about 2 minutes, scraping down side as needed. Pour mixture through a fine-mesh sieve set over a medium bowl, pressing on solids; discard solids. Set chile puree aside.
2. Heat a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot over medium-high. Season short ribs with salt and pepper and cook until browned, about 5 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer to a medium bowl. Add oil to pot, season beef chuck with salt and pepper, and cook until browned, about 5 minutes (do not crowd pot; work in batches if necessary). Transfer to bowl with short ribs.
3. Reduce heat to medium and add onion, garlic and 1/2 cup water. Cook, stirring and scraping up browned bits with a wooden spoon, until onion is translucent, about 3 minutes. Add cumin, oregano and cornmeal and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add meat, broth, chile puree and just enough water to cover meat, if necessary; bring to a boil over high. Partially cover, reduce heat and simmer 1 hour. Uncover and cook until meat is tender and chili is slightly thickened, about 30 minutes to 45 minutes. Add vinegar to taste.
Topping ideas: corn chips, chopped white onion, grated cheddar and yellow mustard
Nutritional information per serving: 559 calories, 40 grams fat (15 grams saturated fat), 11 grams carbohydrates, 37 grams protein, 2 grams fiber and 64 percent of calories from fat.
Sam's vegetarian bean chili
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 poblano chile, seeded and chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 can (4 ounces) diced green chiles
41/2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 cans (15.5 ounces each) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
2 cans (15.5 ounces each) pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes
In a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot, heat oil over medium-high. Add onion, poblano and garlic; season with salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is translucent, about 4 minutes. Stir in green chiles, chili powder and cumin and cook 3 minutes. Add beans, tomatoes and juice, and 2 cups water; bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are tender and chili is thickened, about 20 minutes to 30 minutes. Season to taste with salt.
Topping ideas: sour cream, fresh cilantro leaves, lime wedges, grated Monterey Jack and chopped red onion
Nutritional information per serving: 342 calories, 7 grams fat (1 gram saturated fat), 57 grams carbohydrates, 17 grams protein, 18 grams fiber and 18 percent of calories from fat.
Khalil's turkey and white-bean chili
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large white onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 to 2 serrano chiles, seeded and minced
4 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
11/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano (preferably Mexican)
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 pound ground white-meat turkey or chicken
5 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 can (15.5 ounces) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (15 ounces) white hominy, rinsed and drained
3 tablespoons cornmeal
In a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot, heat oil over medium-high. Add onion; cook until softened, about 8 minutes. Add garlic, chiles, rosemary, cumin, oregano and cayenne, and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes; season with salt. Add turkey and cook, breaking up meat with a wooden spoon, until cooked through, about 5 minutes. Add broth, beans and hominy; bring to a boil over high heat. Partially cover, reduce heat and simmer until chili is thickened slightly, about 25 minutes. Stir in cornmeal and cook 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt.
Topping ideas: radishes, sliced scallions and sour cream
Nutritional information per serving: 338 calories, 15 grams fat (3 grams saturated fat), 29 grams carbohydrates, 21 grams protein, 6 grams fiber and 40 percent of calories from fat.