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Chili: A Super Bowl classic

Published: Tuesday, Feb. 1 2011 3:29 p.m. MST

Quick Tailgate Chili comes together in 30 minutes and and you don't have to peel, chop or mince anything!  January 26, 2011 (Valerie Phillips)erie Phillips)__A chili buffet with chips, sour cream, cheese and lettuce allows guests to build a bowl suited to their taste.__Spicy Black Bean Chili for food story on Super Bowl chili options. January 26, 2011 (Valerie Phillips)__Spicy Black Bean Chili__Smoky Pork Chili Verde is made in a jiffy using cooked roast pork au jus found in the refrigerated meats aisle.  (Photos By Valerie Phillips, Valerie Phillips, Valerie Phillips, Valerie Phillips) Quick Tailgate Chili comes together in 30 minutes and and you don't have to peel, chop or mince anything! January 26, 2011 (Valerie Phillips)erie Phillips)__A chili buffet with chips, sour cream, cheese and lettuce allows guests to build a bowl suited to their taste.__Spicy Black Bean Chili for food story on Super Bowl chili options. January 26, 2011 (Valerie Phillips)__Spicy Black Bean Chili__Smoky Pork Chili Verde is made in a jiffy using cooked roast pork au jus found in the refrigerated meats aisle. (Photos By Valerie Phillips, Valerie Phillips, Valerie Phillips, Valerie Phillips)

QUICK TAILGATE CHILI

The advantage with this recipe is that it comes together within 30 minutes, and you don't have to peel, chop or mince anything!

1 pound ground beef, 85 to 93 percent lean

2 tablespoons onion flakes

1-2 teaspoons chili powder, optional

1 7-ounce can chopped green chiles

1 16-ounce jar salsa or picante sauce (mild, medium or hot, depending on your heat preference)

1 10-ounce can Ro-tel diced tomatoes and chiles

1 tablespoon dried cumin

2 teaspoons garlic powder

A chili buffet with chips, sour cream, cheese and lettuce allows guests to build a bowl suited to their taste. (Photos By Valerie Phillips, Valerie Phillips, Valerie Phillips, Valerie Phillips) A chili buffet with chips, sour cream, cheese and lettuce allows guests to build a bowl suited to their taste. (Photos By Valerie Phillips, Valerie Phillips, Valerie Phillips, Valerie Phillips)

1 6-ounce can tomato paste

1 cup water

1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste

3 15-ounce cans red beans, drained and rinsed

1 15-ounce can beef broth

Garnishes: Sour cream, chopped cilantro, chopped tomatoes, chopped avocado

In a large stock pot, brown the ground beef and break it into small chunks. Add remaining ingredients and stir until well mixed. Simmer 20 minutes. Taste and add additional cumin, salt, chili powder or other seasonings as desired.

Serve with tortilla chips and shredded cheese. Makes about 8 11/2-cup servings.

— Valerie Phillips

Chili, like sports teams and politics, can spark some heated debates.

Quick Tailgate Chili comes together in 30 minutes and and you don't have to peel, chop or mince anything!  January 26, 2011 (Valerie Phillips)erie Phillips)__A chili buffet with chips, sour cream, cheese and lettuce allows guests to build a bowl suited to their taste.__Spicy Black Bean Chili for food story on Super Bowl chili options. January 26, 2011 (Valerie Phillips)__Spicy Black Bean Chili__Smoky Pork Chili Verde is made in a jiffy using cooked roast pork au jus found in the refrigerated meats aisle.  (Photos By Valerie Phillips, Valerie Phillips, Valerie Phillips, Valerie Phillips) Quick Tailgate Chili comes together in 30 minutes and and you don't have to peel, chop or mince anything! January 26, 2011 (Valerie Phillips)erie Phillips)__A chili buffet with chips, sour cream, cheese and lettuce allows guests to build a bowl suited to their taste.__Spicy Black Bean Chili for food story on Super Bowl chili options. January 26, 2011 (Valerie Phillips)__Spicy Black Bean Chili__Smoky Pork Chili Verde is made in a jiffy using cooked roast pork au jus found in the refrigerated meats aisle. (Photos By Valerie Phillips, Valerie Phillips, Valerie Phillips, Valerie Phillips)

For instance, the International Chili Society doesn't allow any beans in its competition chili cook-offs. Vegetarians, however, prefer chili with beans, but no meat. Some folks say it's not "chili" without a tomato base, but chili verde gets its green sauce from tomatillos and green chiles. Beef is the meat of choice for many, but others like pork, chicken or turkey.

White bean and black bean chilis each have their own followings as well. Cincinnati-style chili might contain cloves, cinnamon and chocolate instead of chiles, and it's served over spaghetti noodles.

If you're putting together a Super Bowl party, why not make it into a chili bar, with two or three kinds of chili, plus lots of toppings so everyone can mix-and-match to make their own creation?

The great thing about a pot of chili is that it can be made ahead of time. It can also sit on the stove or in a slow cooker throughout the game, so that people can come back for another bowl later. And it's budget-wise as well. If a few more people show up than planned, you can easily add another can of beans and/or diced tomatoes to make it stretch.

Quick Tailgate Chili comes together in 30 minutes and and you don't have to peel, chop or mince anything!  January 26, 2011 (Valerie Phillips)erie Phillips)__A chili buffet with chips, sour cream, cheese and lettuce allows guests to build a bowl suited to their taste.__Spicy Black Bean Chili for food story on Super Bowl chili options. January 26, 2011 (Valerie Phillips)__Spicy Black Bean Chili__Smoky Pork Chili Verde is made in a jiffy using cooked roast pork au jus found in the refrigerated meats aisle.  (Photos By Valerie Phillips, Valerie Phillips, Valerie Phillips, Valerie Phillips) Quick Tailgate Chili comes together in 30 minutes and and you don't have to peel, chop or mince anything! January 26, 2011 (Valerie Phillips)erie Phillips)__A chili buffet with chips, sour cream, cheese and lettuce allows guests to build a bowl suited to their taste.__Spicy Black Bean Chili for food story on Super Bowl chili options. January 26, 2011 (Valerie Phillips)__Spicy Black Bean Chili__Smoky Pork Chili Verde is made in a jiffy using cooked roast pork au jus found in the refrigerated meats aisle. (Photos By Valerie Phillips, Valerie Phillips, Valerie Phillips, Valerie Phillips)

Despite all the different types of chilis out there, "classic" chili is usually served at Super Bowl parties, according to the cookbook, "Soups, Stews and Chilis" by America's Test Kitchen. And, most Americans are familiar with this mixture of ground beef, tomatoes, and beans, kicked up with chili powder and cumin.

For your buffet, you can make a pot of Classic Chili, and round things out with some White Bean Chicken Chili or Pork Chile Verde. Our recipe for Spicy Black Bean Chili is vegetarian for those who prefer meatless meals.

Compared to deep-fried appetizers, nachos smothered in melted cheese and pepperoni-sausage pizzas often served during Super Bowl watching, chili is a fairly healthful dish.

You've got fiber-rich beans, and tomatoes and chiles contain vitamins and antioxidants. Choose lean meats, or be sure to drain the fat from the ground beef after cooking it to slash the fat content as well.

Spice and heat can be another point of controversy. What one person considers a fiery blast, someone else may deem bland. Unless you know that all of your guests love hot food, err on the side of mild. Remember, you can always add heat; but it's hard to subtract it.

Quick Tailgate Chili comes together in 30 minutes and and you don't have to peel, chop or mince anything!  January 26, 2011 (Valerie Phillips)erie Phillips)__A chili buffet with chips, sour cream, cheese and lettuce allows guests to build a bowl suited to their taste.__Spicy Black Bean Chili for food story on Super Bowl chili options. January 26, 2011 (Valerie Phillips)__Spicy Black Bean Chili__Smoky Pork Chili Verde is made in a jiffy using cooked roast pork au jus found in the refrigerated meats aisle.  (Photos By Valerie Phillips, Valerie Phillips, Valerie Phillips, Valerie Phillips) Quick Tailgate Chili comes together in 30 minutes and and you don't have to peel, chop or mince anything! January 26, 2011 (Valerie Phillips)erie Phillips)__A chili buffet with chips, sour cream, cheese and lettuce allows guests to build a bowl suited to their taste.__Spicy Black Bean Chili for food story on Super Bowl chili options. January 26, 2011 (Valerie Phillips)__Spicy Black Bean Chili__Smoky Pork Chili Verde is made in a jiffy using cooked roast pork au jus found in the refrigerated meats aisle. (Photos By Valerie Phillips, Valerie Phillips, Valerie Phillips, Valerie Phillips)

Set out hot sauce, roasted chiles and other seasonings with varying degrees of heat so that people can doctor up their chili to suit themselves. Set up a buffet of a variety of ingredients — chopped lettuce, shredded cheese, avocado or guacamole, chips, chopped tomatoes, red or green peppers — and let everyone mix and match toppings.

Guests can use tortillas to turn their chili into a mega-burrito; or they can make a chili-topped salad if they prefer.

Many "traditional" recipes call for roasting and peeling fresh chiles, for a fresh, full-flavored dish. But, it's also a lot of effort, and you have to be careful to use gloves, and not scratch your face or rub your eyes when working with hot chiles, to prevent burning.

I've included a couple of the more time-consuming recipes, such as Cook's Illustrated's Classic Chili, that takes about 2 hours to cook. You can make it the day before, however, and reheat prior to the game.

But I've also included four quick-fix recipes that come together in 30 minutes or less. The Quick Tailgate Chili is an easier version of Classic Chili, made mostly with pantry items so you can escape the tasks of peeling and chopping onions, peppers or garlic.

Quick Tailgate Chili comes together in 30 minutes and and you don't have to peel, chop or mince anything!  January 26, 2011 (Valerie Phillips)erie Phillips)__A chili buffet with chips, sour cream, cheese and lettuce allows guests to build a bowl suited to their taste.__Spicy Black Bean Chili for food story on Super Bowl chili options. January 26, 2011 (Valerie Phillips)__Spicy Black Bean Chili__Smoky Pork Chili Verde is made in a jiffy using cooked roast pork au jus found in the refrigerated meats aisle.  (Photos By Valerie Phillips, Valerie Phillips, Valerie Phillips, Valerie Phillips) Quick Tailgate Chili comes together in 30 minutes and and you don't have to peel, chop or mince anything! January 26, 2011 (Valerie Phillips)erie Phillips)__A chili buffet with chips, sour cream, cheese and lettuce allows guests to build a bowl suited to their taste.__Spicy Black Bean Chili for food story on Super Bowl chili options. January 26, 2011 (Valerie Phillips)__Spicy Black Bean Chili__Smoky Pork Chili Verde is made in a jiffy using cooked roast pork au jus found in the refrigerated meats aisle. (Photos By Valerie Phillips, Valerie Phillips, Valerie Phillips, Valerie Phillips)

Canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce offer a flavor shortcut in three of the recipes. Chipotles are jalapenos that have been smoked, so they impart a bit of smoky heat and flavor. You can buy them in small, 7-ounce cans. Don't go overboard; just mince one and add it to a batch of chili. In a few minutes, taste the chili and add a bit more chipotle if necessary. You can store the remainder of the can in the freezer and scrape off a little chipotle and sauce whenever you're making dish that needs some bite. You can also buy chipotle chiles in dried or powdered form if you prefer.

For several years I was a judge at the Utah Chili Cook-Off. I tasted some fabulous bowls of chili verde. Contestants would spend all morning dicing and cooking meat, chopping fresh chiles and getting their spices just right. I've included one of those winning chile verde recipes here. My own recipe for Quick Chili Verde is no match for those entries, but it just takes about 20 minutes from start to finish.

Canned beans are quick, but you can save money by using dried beans. Place them in your slow-cooker the night before with lots of water, on the low setting. The next morning, drain and rinse them well. One 15-ounce can of beans, when drained and rinsed, yields about 11?3 cups of cooked beans. If you're using canned beans, be sure to drain and rinse them. I tried skipping this step in one recipe, and it was waaaaay to salty!

Quick Tailgate Chili comes together in 30 minutes and and you don't have to peel, chop or mince anything!  January 26, 2011 (Valerie Phillips)erie Phillips)__A chili buffet with chips, sour cream, cheese and lettuce allows guests to build a bowl suited to their taste.__Spicy Black Bean Chili for food story on Super Bowl chili options. January 26, 2011 (Valerie Phillips)__Spicy Black Bean Chili__Smoky Pork Chili Verde is made in a jiffy using cooked roast pork au jus found in the refrigerated meats aisle.  (Photos By Valerie Phillips, Valerie Phillips, Valerie Phillips, Valerie Phillips) Quick Tailgate Chili comes together in 30 minutes and and you don't have to peel, chop or mince anything! January 26, 2011 (Valerie Phillips)erie Phillips)__A chili buffet with chips, sour cream, cheese and lettuce allows guests to build a bowl suited to their taste.__Spicy Black Bean Chili for food story on Super Bowl chili options. January 26, 2011 (Valerie Phillips)__Spicy Black Bean Chili__Smoky Pork Chili Verde is made in a jiffy using cooked roast pork au jus found in the refrigerated meats aisle. (Photos By Valerie Phillips, Valerie Phillips, Valerie Phillips, Valerie Phillips)

e-mail: vphillips@desnews.com

CLASSIC BEEF CHILI

1/4 cup chili powder

1 tablespoon ground cumin

2 teaspoons ground coriander

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Salt and ground black pepper to taste

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 medium onions, minced

1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch pieces

6 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 2 tablespoons)

2 pounds 85 percent lean ground beef

2 15-ounce cans dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes

1 28-ounce can tomato puree

Water as needed

Combine chili powder, cumin, coriander, red pepper flakes, oregano, cayenne pepper and 1 teaspoon of salt in a small bowl and set aside. Heat the oil is a large pot over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onions and bell pepper and cook until softened, 8-10 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the spice mixture and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in half of the beef, increase the heat to medium-high, and cook breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink, 3-5 minutes. Repeat with the remaining beef. Stir in the beans, diced tomatoes with their juice, and tomato puree and bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce to a gentle simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour.

Uncover and continue to simmer gently until the beef if tender and the sauce is dark, rich and slightly thickened, about 45 minutes longer. If the chili begins to stick to the bottom of the pot or looks too thick, stir in water as needed. Season with salt and pepper to taste before serving. Serves 6 to 8.

— "Soups, Stews and Chilis,"

by America's Test Kitchen

SPICY BLACK-BEAN CHILI

3 15-ounce cans black beans, drained and rinsed

1 tablespoon onion flakes

1 can vegetable broth, or 11/2 cups water

1 cup salsa

1 teaspoon cumin, or more to taste

2 teaspoons garlic powder

2 teaspoons chopped cilantro, optional

1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce, minced, with 1 tablespoon of the sauce (or more if desired)

1 7-ounce can green chiles

Salt to taste

Grinds of freshly ground pepper to taste

Garnish: Sour cream, chopped tomatoes, cilantro, cheese, avocado

Pour 2 cans of the rinsed and drained beans into a blender with the onion flakes. Add broth or water and puree until slightly chunky. Pour into a large microwaveable bowl (about 3 quarts). Add the third can of beans to the bowl, along with the salsa, cumin, garlic and cilantro, chipotle chile and green chiles. Microwave on high for 10 minutes, until mixture is hot and bubbling. Add pepper or more cumin to taste. Makes 6 1-cup servings.

Options: You can also heat this in a pot on the stove, or in a slow cooker, if you have more time.

Serving ideas: Add a dollop of sour cream, chopped tomatoes and more cilantro.

— adapted from Hallie Keller

SMOKY PORK CHILI VERDE

This recipe comes together quickly with the help of cooked roast pork au jus found in the refrigerated meat aisle. But it's also a great way to use leftover roast pork or pork chops if you have them. If you have time to add some fresh roasted chiles to this recipe, feel free to do so. Just be careful while working with them; don't scratch your nose or rub your eyes until you've washed your hands thoroughly.

2 17-ounce packages of refrigerated cooked roast pork au jus (such as Hormel brand)

2 16-ounce jars salsa verde

2 7-ounce cans diced green chiles

2 tablespoons garlic powder

2 cans chicken broth (or 4 cups water plus 4 chicken bouillon cubes)

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

1 or 2 chipotle chiles from a 7-ounce can of chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, plus 2 teaspoons of the adobo sauce

1/2 teaspoon sugar

Place the roast pork on a cutting board and dice into 1/2- to 1-inch pieces. Add to a stock pot, along with the gravy, and turn the heat to medium-high. Add the salsa verde, chiles, garlic powder, and chicken broth. While soup is heating, finely chop cilantro. Add to the pot. Mince the chipotle chile and add to the pot along with adobo sauce and sugar. (Reserve the rest of the canned chipotle chiles for future use.) Be sure to wash hands right after handling the chipotle.

Let mixture come to a gentle boil for about 5 minutes. Taste, and add more chipotle chile, salt and pepper if needed. Serve with additional cilantro or tortilla chips.

Makes about 6 11/2-cup servings.

— Valerie Phillips

WHITE CHICKEN CHILI

You can also make this recipe using a cooked rotisserie chicken, if you want to skip cooking chicken breasts. Just pull the meat off the chicken and dice it into 1-inch pieces or shred it with your fingers. Either way, you should have 21/2 to 3 cups of chicken meat.

1 tablespoon canola oil

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

2 cans chicken broth

2 tablespoons dried onion flakes

1 teaspoon garlic powder

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon oregano

1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper or chile powder

2 7-ounce cans diced green chiles

1 chipotle chile, canned in adobo sauce, and 1 tablespoon of the adobo sauce (optional)

2 15-ounce cans Great Northern beans or other white beans, drained and rinsed

2 chicken bouillon cubes (optional)

1/2 cup chopped cilantro

Heat oil in a large stock pot on medium-high heat. Add the chicken and saute until golden brown on the bottom, about 5 minutes. Flip each chicken breast over and cook on the other side until the bottom is golden brown, another 5 minutes.

Remove the chicken to a cutting board. Add the chicken broth, onion, garlic powder, cumin, oregano, pepper, chiles, beans and bouillon cube in a stock pot. With a potato masher, mash some of the beans to create a thicker soup. Simmer 5-10 minutes.

While soup is simmering, dice the chicken breasts into 1-inch cubes. Add the chicken to the pot and cook an additional 5 minutes while you chop the cilantro. Add the cilantro, and serve. Makes about 6 11/2-cup servings.

Serve with shredded cheese, tortilla strips, sour cream, chopped tomatoes, and so on.

Options: If you want a thicker soup, mash one a can of the drained, rinsed beans and add to the pot.

— Valerie Phillips

JERRY SIMMONS' WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP CHILI VERDE

2 pounds lean pork (cubed 3/8 to 1/2 inch)

2 tablespoons pork suet

1 cup chopped onions

1 can chicken broth

Premixed Spices:

11/2 teaspoons granulated garlic

2 tablespoons Kraft chicken base

1 teaspoon celery salt

1 teaspoon oregano

2 teaspoons cornstarch

1 tablespoon cumin

With 30 minutes to go:

6 ounces hot green chiles

2 tablespoons powdered green chile

With 10 minutes to go:

13 ounces green chiles, diced in 3?8 inch cubes

1 teaspoon cumin

1/4 teaspoon powdered green jalapeno

8 ounces Herdez Salsa Verde

1/4 cup cilantro

8 ounces Green Mexican Sauce

Brown pork in suet. Add onions and chicken broth to the pot. Simmer for one hour.

Add premixed spices. Cook until meat is tender. Add water as needed to keep meat covered. With 30 minutes to go, add blended hot chiles and powdered green chiles. With 10 minutes to go, add green chiles, cumin, powdered green jalapeno, salsa verde, cilantro and green Mexican sauce.

— Jerry Simmons, past winner

Utah State Chili Cook-Off

ROOTIN' TOOTIN' CINCINNATI CHILI

Cincinnati chili is often spiked with cinnamon, cloves, allspice or chocolate instead of chiles or chili powder. In this recipe, a can of root beer adds some sweet spicy notes. It's traditionally served over spaghetti noodles, beans, shredded cheese and onions, with the terms, "Two Way," "Three Way, "Four Way" and "Five Way."

1 pound ground beef

1 small green pepper, chopped

3 tablespoons dried onion flakes

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 can petite diced tomatoes, undrained

1 6-ounce can tomato paste

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 beef bouillon cube (or beef base)

1 bay leaf

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder

Pinches of allspice, cloves, cayenne pepper (optional)

12-ounce can root beer (Barq's or another less-sweet type)

1 pound spaghetti noodles

Options:shredded cheddar cheese, diced fresh onions, a can of kidney beans, drained and rinsed

In a large saucepan, cook the beef over medium heat, stirring and breaking up clumps of beef every couple of minutes. Meanwhile, chop the green pepper. Add the green pepper and onions to the beef and continue cook, until ground beef is no longer pink. Stir in diced tomatoes, tomato paste, chili powder, cumin, bouillon cube, bay leaf, Worcestershire sauce, cinnamon, cocoa powder the optional spices and root beer. Simmer on medium heat for 15 minutes.

While beef mixture simmers, fill a large pot halfway up with water. Cover and set over high heat until water begins boiling. Add spaghetti, turn heat to medium and cover. Cook spaghetti for 8-9 minutes, or until al dente (tender but just a little chewy). Drain the spaghetti. Remove the bay leaf from spaghetti before serving.

Serve chili over spaghetti for a "Two Way."

Three-way: serve spaghetti, topped with chili and shredded cheese.

Four-way: Spaghetti, chili, shredded cheese, and either diced onions or beans

Five-way: Spaghetti, chili, shredded cheese, diced onions, and beans

— Valerie Phillips

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