Chili For A Chilly Day

Ready to eat

The seasons are changing here in Albania with our hot summer days turning into damp and rainy early winter ones.  This weather makes me want to hunker down and cook so during our most recent rainy weekend I cooked up a batch of chili.  This recipe is more of a method as I add ingredients as I have them on hand and omit those I don’t readily have access to (a necessary flexibility here in Albania where ethnic ingredients are hard to come by).  Traditionalists would eschew my chili–light on the meats and heavy on vegetables it is neither a carnivore or vegetarian delight.  Preferring strong flavors, I am heavy handed on the spices but as with everything else in this recipe, they can be adjusted based on personal preferences.  Remember, you can always add more spice as you go along but it is impossible to remove it once it has been added to the pot!


Olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
2 large onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium carrot thinly sliced
4-5 fresh peppers- I used a mix of red and green
4 small jalapenos- again I used both red and green that had been given to me by a co-worker; adjust
quantity based on personal preferences
1 lb ground beef (can substitute ground pork, veal, lamb or a combination of meats)
1/2 lb veal cut into bite-sized pieces
1 can corn kernels (fresh corn is preferred if available)
2 cans beans- this time I used kidney beans
3 cans whole Roma tomatoes- roughly chopped
2-3 dashes Tabasco sauce- adjust based on preferences
3-4 Tbsp chili powder- I like Penzeys Spice Medium Hot Chili Powder– but adjust based on personal

Raw ingredients

1)  Pour 2 tbsp olive oil into a Dutch oven or other heavy duty pot and place over medium high heat.

2)  Add the onions, garlic, peppers, carrot, and jalapenos to the pot.  Season with the salt and pepper to
taste and stirring frequently, cook for 8-10 minutes until soft.

Vegetables cooking

3)  Add the meats and cook until well browned being sure to break up any larger pieces as you go.

Meat has been added

4)  Add the can of drained corn, the drained and rinsed beans and tomatoes with their juice and mix to

5)  Add the Tabasco sauce and the chili powder.  Stir, cover the pot, and reduce the heat to low.
Continue to cook over low heat for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Taste and adjust the seasoning
to meet your personal tastes.

Flavors melding

I let the chili cook on low all afternoon and it tastes even better when reheated the next day.  The longer the chili cooks the more the flavors will develop.  Serve with shredded cheese, sour cream, and sliced avocado if desired.

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2 thoughts on “Chili For A Chilly Day

  1. […] on personal preference?  I’m all about variety being the spice of life.  I love a good spicy meat based chili (filled with lots of veggies too) but this white chili is also a […]

  2. Jalapeno-Cheddar Cornbread | Zosia Cooks November 10, 2014 at 10:41 Reply

    […] more sophisticated than your ordinary cornbread. It makes a tasty accompaniment to a spicy bowl of chili or corn and vegetable chowder  and in warmer weather a chilled gazpacho turning your soup into […]

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