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Tasty ways to satisfy your chili cravings

March 18, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
Chili is one of those "meal in a bowl" dishes that can really satisfy your soul. You can pile on the beef and cheese or lighten it up with chicken and chilies. Either way you can have it your way. Check out some sassy ways to spice up a bowl the way you want it."You can make beef chili, bean chili, chicken chili, lamb chili," says Bon Appetit contributing Chef Jeanne Kelley.

As long as it literally has chilies of some sort in it, the possibilities are endless.

Chef Kelley whipped up three great ideas to please different chili palates.

The vegetarian chili can be assembled in a snap as it comes mainly from cans, yet the grated orange rine and cinnamon spice provide a interesting twist. It's fast and easy serving a hungry family of four for less than $10, which is great when you're trying to stretch your food dollar.

To ratchet it up a notch, Kelley suggests adding veggie meats like Soyrizo as a spicy option.

Kelley also made a crowd pleasing beef chili with mole paste, ancho chile powder, and cumin for an intense flavor. It's a good hearty meal that most guys and meat lovin' gals would enjoy.

She also created a chicken and white bean chili perfect for kids, dieters, and those who don't want a big kick out of their plate. In this chili, you use mild green chili rather than something with a lot of heat.

With both comfort and cost cutting in mind, making chili for a party is an easy option as you can make it ahead of time.

"It's better when you do it ahead because that gives the flavors all a chance to, you know, mold, melt together and really become something wonderful," said Kelley.

So cook it up a couple days out, then on party day Kelley suggests putting out lots of different condiments for guests to add on top of the chili.

"Let everybody just dig in and do their own thing," said Kelley.


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