Winter warming: Chili recipes bring warmth to cold weather meals

Winter warming: Chili recipes bring warmth to cold weather meals

There is nothing like a hot bowl of chili on a cold winter day.

Not only is it filling and nutritious, but its spicy taste also gives the stomach a warm glow.

“We do not sell chili at all when the weather is hot, but it is very popular at this time of year,” said Debbie Kakias, owner of G&G Restaurant in Vandergrift.

The reason for that? “It’s very heartfelt,” she said.

The Pittsburgh-based Revival Chili food truck serves the stick-to-your-ribs dish year-round.

“But there’s something about the first real snow and the really cold temperatures we’re experiencing right now that makes people think of chili,” said Jordan Robarge, owner of Revival Chili and Revival Pasta food trucks and Nancy’s Revival restaurant in Wilkinsburg. .


JoAnne Klimovich Harrop | Tribune review

A casserole with the classic beef chili is cooked on January 8 at Nancy’s Revival, a restaurant in Wilkinsburg. The chili was to be served later that day from the Revival Chili truck.

“Chili is versatile and it’s a great option for a meal, especially in January and February,” Robarge said.

Dwayne Pickels, who enjoys experimenting with all kinds of dishes at her home in Scottdale, agrees.

“Chili seems to fit better with the fall / winter moods, but I can crave and consume them year-round,” said Pickels, grant director at Arnold Palmer Regional Airport in Unity.

Chili is a dish that can come together quite easily.

“Most people have the basic ingredients in their home,” Robarge said. “If they want to customize their chili, they can add the extra they like, from spices to beans to extra flavors like beer.”

Pickels works from his pantry when the urge for chili arises.

“For most chilies, I do not follow a recipe. It’s usually just more fun to jump in and experiment,” he said. chopped tomatoes and a large can of crushed tomatoes and a can each with dark and pink kidney beans and a can of black beans. ”

If he has corn on hand, he throws in a little too much color along with a small can of diced green chili and a packet of mild chili spice.

“I’m not a fan of the hot, spicy chilies,” he said.

Robarge says chili is a great dish for a party – something to think about when people gather to watch NFL playoff games and the Super Bowl.

“Chili is such a food that can be shared,” he said.

With a pot simmering on the stove or in the slow cooker, the host can lay out a series of additions and sit down and watch the game while the guests serve themselves.

At Revival Chili, the dish is designed to be served over homemade cornbread. Toppings include cheese, cilantro, sour cream, jalapenos and lime.

Tortilla chips or biscuits can add a little crunch. The dish can also be served over a bed of rice or mashed potatoes or on nachos, hot dogs or burgers.

Let your taste buds be your guide.

Choose your chili

While Kakias declined to share G & G’s chili recipe, she said it’s the popular tomato-based, beef-and-bean variety.

Robarge said the classic option is also his bestseller, but the company also makes chicken, vegan and spicy beer pork chili and experiments with other combinations throughout the year.

Here is a primer on some popular types of chili from

Chili with beef – Means “chili with meat”, and probably the most popular style. The dish consists of meats such as beef, pork or venison combined with green or chili peppers, tomatoes, beans and onions.

White chicken chili – Made with chicken, white beans and mild green chili, it typically has less spice than other chili recipes. Its creamy base can be thickened with sour cream or white cheese.

Vegetarian chili – Some vegetarian chili recipes add a wider variety of beans, like cannellini or black beans, along with meat substitutes like tofu or tempeh.

Cincinnati Chili (or Skyline Chili) – a regional version popular in Ohio, it is typically sweeter than traditional chili with the addition of cinnamon, chocolate and allspice along with Worcestershire sauce. It is served on a bed of cooked spaghetti.

Texas chili – made without beans or tomatoes, this version contains beef cooked in a thick paste made from fresh dried chili peppers.

Chili turkey – a classic chili con carne made slimmer by using ground turkey instead of beef.

Green chili – popular in the southwest, especially New Mexico and Colorado, it is usually made with pork, roasted green chili, tomatillos, garlic, oregano and cumin.

Does your mouth run? Here are a few recipes to satisfy your chili craving:


Lent by Parker Feierbach

Sour cream, jalapenos and avocado are great toppings for white chicken chili with white beans.

Revival Chili chicken chili


2 pounds of ground chicken

1 large yellow onion

2 large peppers

2 large heirloom tomatoes

1 large garlic

an 8-ounce can of tomato puree

Olive oil

a 12-ounce can of your choice

Your choice of other peppers

Your choice of spices (cumin, cayenne, chili powder and cinnamon is recommended)


Cut onion, pepper and garlic into cubes. Brown the chicken in a frying pan. Fry onions, peppers and garlic together in the same frying pan with a little olive oil. Put the cooked meat and vegetables in a medium saucepan to start simmering.

Cut the tomatoes into cubes and put them in the pan with all the juice. Let this heat up and simmer for about an hour (juice should start to rise to the top). Add tomato paste to thicken or beer to thin the chili to your preferred consistency. Add favorite spices and simmer for 30 minutes. Add more spices to taste and let them cook (about 30 minutes).

When you are satisfied with the taste, the chili is ready to serve. Serve with rice, pasta, cornbread, mashed potatoes or another choice of carbohydrates.

Chili with beef


2 pounds of minced beef

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 medium onions, chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 medium green pepper, chopped

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons chili powder

3 teaspoons beef broth granules

18 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon crushed cumin

1 teaspoon dried oregano

two 14.5-ounce cans of diced tomatoes, drained

1 cup of water

a 16-ounce can of kidney beans, rinsed and drained

Optional: Sour cream and jalapeno slices


In a Dutch oven, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink, 5-7 minutes; crumble beef. Drain and set aside.

Heat oil in the same pan; saute onions until tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Stir in green pepper, salt, chili powder, broth, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, cumin and oregano. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring, until mixed.

Add tomatoes and browned beef. Stir in water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; put lid on and simmer for about 1 hour. Add beans and heat through. If desired, top with sour cream and jalapeno.


Vegetarian chili


2 tablespoons olive oil

1 large yellow diced onion

2 large diced peppers

2 medium-sized diced carrots

2 stalks of celery in cubes

4 cloves garlic, chopped

2 tablespoons chili powder

1 tablespoon crushed cumin

2 teaspoons dried oregano

2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste

Teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

¼ tsp cayenne pepper

a 28-ounce can of diced tomatoes, preferably fire-fried (do not drain)

two 4-ounce cans of roasted green chilies, drained

three 15- to 15.5-ounce cans of beans, such as pinto, black, kidney, cannellini or garbanzo, drained and rinsed

1 to 2 cups vegetable broth with low sodium content, divided

a 15-ounce can of whole-grain corn, drained


Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat until simmering. Add onion, pepper, carrot, celery and garlic. Cook, stirring, until just tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Add chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper and stir to cover the vegetables. Add the tomatoes and their juice, green chili, beans and 1 cup of broth. Stir to combine.

Bring to a boil. Reduce heat as needed and simmer without lid until chili thickens to your liking, 30 to 40 minutes. If you prefer a looser chili, add up to 1 cup more broth. Add corn and stir to combine.

Serving suggestions: sliced ​​avocado, limes, grated cheddar cheese, roasted pumpkin seeds, coriander leaves and tender stalks, pickled red onions, sliced ​​jalapeno, sliced ​​radishes.


Cincinnati chili


2 pounds of lean ground beef

1 liter of water, or amount to cover

2 onions, finely chopped

a 15-ounce can of tomato sauce

2 tbsp vinegar

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

4 cloves garlic, chopped

½ of a 1-ounce square of unsweetened chocolate

¼ cup chili powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon crushed cumin

1 teaspoon crushed cinnamon

½ tsp ground cayenne pepper

5 whole cloves

5 whole allspice berries

1 bay leaf


Put the minced meat in a large saucepan, cover with approx. 1 liter of cold water and bring it to a boil, stir and break the beef with a fork to a fine consistency. Cook slowly until the meat is cooked through, about 30 minutes, then turn off the heat and refrigerate overnight in the pan.

The next day, the solid fat is skimmed from the top of the pan and discarded. Place the beef mixture over medium heat and stir in onion, tomato sauce, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, chocolate, chili powder, salt, cumin, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, cloves, allspice and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and simmer. and for for 3 hours. If necessary, add water so that the chili does not burn.


Texas chili


2 large diced onions

¼ cup vegetable or rapeseed oil

5 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 pounds ground chuck or venison

1 tablespoon table salt

3 tablespoons ancho chile powder

2 tablespoons crushed cumin

1 tablespoon paprika

two 14.5-ounce cans of diced tomatoes

a 6-ounce can of tomato puree

a 12-ounce can of amber ale beer

2 tablespoons masa harina (cornmeal)


Saute chopped onions in hot oil in a large Dutch oven or pan over medium-high heat, 7 minutes or until translucent. Add chopped garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add beef and cook, stirring often, 6 minutes, or until meat is crumbling and no longer pink. Drain, keep 2 tablespoons drips in Dutch oven; return beef to Dutch oven.

Stir in salt, ancho chile powder, crushed cumin and paprika; cook 2 minutes. Stir in chopped tomatoes and tomato paste. Add ¾ cup of beer and 1 cup of water; let it simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add remaining ¾ cup of beer and ½ cup of water; let it simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add masa, cook for 10 minutes. Add additional water to achieve the desired consistency.


Shirley McMarlin is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Shirley at 724-836-5750, or via Twitter .

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