Welcome to Chili Chatter, home of The Great Chili Debate and forum for kitchen tinkerers everywhere. Share or search for tasty tidbits, trivia, and tricks for making your chili original.
The best chili starts with Carroll Shelby's – and ends with you.
POBLANOHere’s a nice, mild alternative to the bell pepper you commonly find in most chili recipes. The flavor here is subtle and sophisticated, and it won’t overpower your chili the way some bell peppers can. Use it in place of a bell in your next pot of chili. Your guests may not be able to put a finger on what’s different about your recipe, but they’re sure to like it.
CHOOSE IT: Look for the distinctive dark green color, with few or no blemishes. And assuming you want to keep the heat to a minimum, a red one means run.
STORE IT: Refrigerated, they’ll keep for three to five days.
FIX IT: For chili, remove the core and the seeds, then chop and sauté it in a tablespoon of oil along with your onion.
BLACK BEANSAssuming you want beans in your chili – and we know there are purists out there who don’t – here’s a little twist that looks good and tastes even better. They’re smaller than kidney beans, but they pack a lot of flavor. And they’re just “different” enough to seem exotic.
CHOOSE IT: For a chili, you could choose dried beans, but a can will do just fine. It’s easy, and you can find several good canned options at your local grocer.
STORE IT: In a cool, dry place. You know, like your pantry.
FIX IT: Not real complicated – once you get the pot up and humming at a nice simmer, pour the can of beans in. (Then fill the can with water and pour in the juice.)
TOMATILLOSIf you’re looking to add a citrusy, tangy flavor to your next batch of chili, consider tomatillos. These little green fruits are the tomato’s meatier Mexican cousin, the “tomate verde” found in the popular green salsas of the Southwest. Add a healthy green glow to your bowl of red.
CHOOSE IT: Look for a light-brown husk (the papery outer shell) that fits snugly around the fruit, which should be firm and blemish-free. The smaller, the sweeter.
STORE IT: Refrigerated, they’ll keep for two weeks in a paper bag (with husks), and one more in a sealed plastic bag (without husks). They can also be frozen.
FIX IT: The husk is for decorating, not eating, and leaves a sticky film. Remove the husk, wash the fruit, then serve raw or roasted. Boiling is faster, but roasting really brings out the flavor.