English Language Blog

An English recipe for chili and an American chili cook-off Posted by on Sep 24, 2014 in Culture

Picture "A Super Bowl of Super Chili" by  Bobbi Bowers on Flickr.com.

Picture “A Super Bowl of Super Chili” by Bobbi Bowers on Flickr.com.

If you are looking to try a new recipe and cook an easy authentic American meal, look no further. Today’s post is all about the all-American classic food “chili.”
Chili is a spicy stew (i.e. a thick soup) made of beans, meat, and vegetables (including tomatoes, onions, and peppers). There are actually two types of chili frequently made in America; meat chili and bean chili (which is usually vegetarian). Either type of chili is hardy and delicious!
One of the best things about this delicious American food is how easy it is to make. All the ingredients are chopped up and cooked together in one big pot. If you want to get a better idea of all that goes into a pot of chili just scroll down to the end of this post to see a recipe. Don’t start cooking yet though, I want to tell you more about an interesting American activity that revolves around chili; the “chili cook-off.”
A “cook-off” is a cooking competition in which people prepare food, to be judged by others, in order to see which recipe is the best. In America cook-offs are held for all sorts of foods, like BBQ meat or even cookies. Cook-offs are often held at fairs or other large group gatherings.
Chili cook-offs are usually large social events, where different competitors make large pots of chili for sale and for judging to see which is the best. Many Americans take great pride in their own special chili recipe and want to share it with others at a chili cook-off. Some people keep their recipes top secret, while others are willing to share the list of exact ingredients. Often a good chili recipe is passed down in a family from one generation to the next and not shared outside the family.
If I have wet your appetite with all this talk about chili take a look at the recipe below for a vegetarian bean chili. You’ll see all the ingredients are relatively cheap to purchase and easy to find in most places. If you make yourself a pot if chili from this (or another) recipe let us all know how it turns out.
One last note on chili before you start cooking; the words “chilly” and “chili” are homophones, but you don’t want to mix up their meaning. Chilly means cold, and chili is a food always served hot.
Bean Chili Recipe:
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 large bell peppers, chopped
1 large jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup of beer or vegetable broth
4 cups crushed (canned) tomatoes
1 cup canned (or rehydrated) black beans
1 cup canned (or rehydrated) red kidney beans
1 cup canned (or rehydrated) garbanzo beans
1 cup canned (or rehydrated) pinto beans
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons ground hot chili powder
1 tablespoon liquid hot sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1. Cook onions, peppers, and garlic with the vegetable oil over medium heat in a deep pot for 5 minutes.
2. Pour beer or vegetable broth into pot.
3. Add crushed tomatoes and beans to the pot.
4. Add spices (cumin, chili powder, hot sauce, salt and pepper).
5. Cook all ingredients together over low heat for 1-3 hours. Add water to pot as needed if cooking for more than 1 hour.
6. Serve chili hot in bowls. Top with shredded cheese and sour cream, if desired.
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About the Author: Gabriele

Hi there! I am one of Transparent Language's ESL bloggers. I am a 32-year-old native English speaker who was born and raised in the United States. I am living in Washington, DC now, but I have lived all over the US and also spent many years living and working abroad. I started teaching English as a second language in 2005 after completing a Master's in Applied Linguists and a Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults' (CELTA). Since that time I have taught ESL in the United States at the community college and university level. I have also gone on to pursue my doctorate in psychology and now I also teach courses in psychology. I like to stay connected to ESL learners around the world through Transparent Languages ESL Blog. Please ask questions and leave comments on the blog and I will be sure to answer them.