It's Getting 'Chili' Outside: Four Chili Recipes to Keep You Warm

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Inspired by the start of fall, we sat down with Texas food writer and author of The Chili Cookbook, Robb Walsh, to discuss his favorite chili-topped dishes in September’s issue of the Bathroom Minutes. Lucky for us (and unlucky for our soon-to-be bulging bellies), he also provided the recipes, which we’ve listed below.

Frito Pie

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups Fritos corn chips
  • 2 ½ cups meat chili
  • ½  cup finely chopped onions
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • ¼ cup jalapeño slices (optional)

Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Put the corn chips in the bottom of a small baking pan and spread the chili evenly over the top. Sprinkle with onions, shredded cheddar and jalapeños. Bake for five minutes, or until cheese is melted. Use a spatula to transfer the servings to plates or bowls.

Detroit Coney Dog

Ingredients:

  • 2 pats butter
  • 24 top-quality hot dogs with natural casings
  • 24 hot dog buns
  • Plochman’s Yellow Mustard or another yellow mustard
  • Homemade Coney Sauce (see recipe below), heated
  • 1 ½ cups grated sweet onion, such as Vidalia or Texas 1015

Instructions:
Melt the butter on a griddle over medium heat, and arrange the hot dogs around it. Cook the dogs, turning often, until they are an even brown with black lines down two sides, five to seven minutes. Remove from the griddle and set aside.

Steam the buns in nested Chinese steamers or wrap three buns at a time in a damp paper towel and microwave on high for about 20 seconds. Put a hot dog on each bun, and add a strip of mustard down each side. Cover with sauce, then sprinkle with onions and serve.

Homemade Coney Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds finely ground ground beef chuck
  • ½ cup tallow (or substitute solid white vegetable shortening, such as Crisco)
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 1 ½ teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons paprika
  • ½ teaspoon finely ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried Greek oregano
  • 1 cup cracker meal

Instructions:
In a large pot over medium-high heat, cover the beef and tallow with water and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer. With a potato masher, break up any clumps of meat, then simmer for one hour, covered, adding water as needed to maintain the desired consistency.

Mash again to break the meat into very small pieces. Add the onion, chili powder, paprika, black pepper, garlic powder, cumin, bay leaves, salt and oregano; simmer for another 30 minutes. Remove the bay leaves and add the cracker meal. Stir and simmer for 20 more minutes, adding more water if necessary to achieve a smooth, pourable consistency.

Cincinnati Spaghetti Chili

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 1 recipe Original Cincinnati Chili (see recipe below)

Instructions:
Cook the spaghetti according to the package directions, drain well, and divide among eight large pasta bowls or lipped plates and top each portion with chili.

Original Cincinnati Chili

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup beef tallow or 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 white onions, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 pounds ground beef chuck
  • 2 fresh or canned tomatoes, chopped
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • ½ teaspoon salt, or more to taste
  • ½ teaspoon finely ground black pepper, or more to taste
  • ¼ cup chili powder, homemade (see separate recipe) or store-bought
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • Oyster crackers

Instructions:
Melt the tallow in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook until the onion is softened, about 10 minutes. Add four cups of water and the ground beef, stirring to blend well. When the beef breaks up, add the tomatoes, vinegar, tomato sauce, salt, black pepper, chili powder, paprika, cinnamon, cumin, allspice and cloves, stirring well.

Decrease the heat to a simmer and cook the chili for one hour or more.

Tex-Mex Enchiladas

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup lard (or substitute vegetable oil)
  • 24 store-bought yellow corn tortillas
  • 1 pound Velveeta, shredded or chopped
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 2 cups chili
  • 2 cups chili gravy
  • 1 pound cheddar cheese, shredded

Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Set two or three large Pyrex baking pans next to the stove.

Heat the lard in a small skillet over medium heat until it sizzles. Using tongs, dip each tortilla in the hot lard for 30 seconds, or until soft and pliable. Don’t let the oil get too hot. Place each tortilla in a baking pan and put ¼ cup of Velveeta cheese and a tablespoon of onion across the middle. Roll up the tortilla and place it seam side down. Continue rolling tortillas and packing them close together in the Pyrex pans.

Mix the chile con carne and chili gravy together to make an enchilada sauce and divide it among the pans, spreading on top of the enchiladas. Sprinkle generously with shredded cheddar.

Bake for about 10 minutes, until the cheese on top begins to bubble. Remove from the oven, top with remaining chopped onion and serve immediately.

*Robb also mentioned the Chili Bubba, served at Hard Times Cafe in Washington D.C., in the Bathroom Minutes, but you’ll have to swing by the restaurant to give that a try.