When someone says chili, what comes to mind? Ground beef cooked with canned tomatoes, beans, and a packet of chili seasoning? I think that's probably the norm. That's the kind of chili that my Dad used to whip up using Wick Fowler's 2-Alarm Chili kit. My Aunt Stasia, on the other hand, made a loose ground beef sauce that was closer to Coney Island sauce that was meant to be served on a hot dog. I blithely went along with the idea that either one was the Platonic ideal of chili until I picked up a copy of a cookbook that included thirty or so recipes for Texas chili. This type of chili, the book insisted, required chunks of beef and absolutely did not include beans of any sort. Real Texas chili doesn't even have tomatoes in it. Rather, it should include only beef, chile puree, and seasonings. After reading the subtle variations presented in this manual to one of the carnivore's most important dishes, I fell into the Texas chili camp. No more ground beef chili for me! Ok, so that's not entirely true. Ground beef chili definitely has it's place. For one thing, it's a quicker cook than chili made with hunks of pork or beef. And I'm more likely to have ground beef, chicken, or turkey in the freezer. Still, my heart belongs to Texas chili.
Chili isn't the only belly-warming stew-like substance on the menu at Chez Minx. I have tossed together many a supper-in-a-bowl in the fall and winter months. Scroll down to find links to some of my favorite non-chili creations.
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