Wednesday, January 19, 2011


One of our favorite family go to recipes is chili. I have been making this for many years and can't find the original recipe, but I think it came from a very old Sunset magazine. We make it with either ground beef or ground turkey, and like both versions. Like almost every chili recipe, it has a few "secret ingredients". No one has ever been able to guess that the rich, deep flavor comes from cocoa powder and molasses. Although they sound more like ingredients for a cookie rather than chili, the result is a slightly spicy chili with a hint of earthy sweetness that is perfect for a cold winter night, or a big Super Bowl party.

The best thing about chili is that you can adapt it to suit your own taste. I make it less spicy when Mini Me is home, and I set aside some without beans for Boy Mimi. You can make it extra thick and serve it on top of nachos or make southwest chili burgers. The options are endless, and all delicious.


1-2 tbs oil
1 lb ground beef or turkey
1 onion chopped
2 cloves garlic chopped
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 can tomato paste
2 Tbs chili powder
1 Tbs cumin (3 teaspoons)
1 Tbs chopped chipotle chilies in adobo sauce- more or less to taste
1 Tbs cocoa powder
1 Tbs molasses
salt and pepper.
1 can black bean rinsed and drained

1. In a small bowl mix together chili powder and cumin.

2. In a large sauce pan heat oil, add onions and garlic, cook until soft. Add ground beef or turkey, season with salt and pepper, and the chili powder and cumin. Cook over medium heat until no longer pink.

3. Add remaining ingredients, stirring to combine.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes (or longer).

If you don't have molasses use a tablespoon of brown sugar.  Adjust the amounts of chili powder, chipotle chilies and cumin to suite your taste.

Serve with shredded jack cheese, sour cream, tortilla chips, avocado, cilantro and salsa on the side.
printable recipe