Cooking with Oonagh - Free Recipe



Chili - Updated July 2006

Three times recipe fills 6 quart slow cooker. This is chili to my taste.

Chipotle in Adobo Sauce

Chipotle is a dried jalapeno chile that has a slightly sweet, smoky flavor and is available canned in adobo sauce. Goya brand has a 7 oz can that used to be less than $1. Now it's $1.69 or more depending on the store for the same size 7oz can. There are other brands out there also. Just check to make sure stems etc have been removed and that it is mainly chipotle peppers in sauce. Recently, different brands have added tomatoes, onions, and their own mix of spices so you are not getting just chipotles and it is therefore far more difficult to accurately add the amount of heat and taste you want. I found July 2006 that I was using less than 1+1/2 tablespoons (rather than the 2 tablespoons listed below) to get the same comfortable degree of heat that 2 tablespoons used to give. So the lesson is, start with less and add more. You can't take away the heat once you add too much.

Adobo sauce is a spicy dark-red Mexican paste made from ground chilis, herbs and vinegar. Adobo sauce is rather potent, and the level of spiciness can be changed according to quantity of chipotle pepper and adobo sauce used. To reduce their "heat" it is recommended to remove the veins and seeds from the chilis but be careful not to touch your nose, eyes or mouth after touching the chilis. The amount in this recipe just starts my lips tingling without burning or making my nose run. I don't like food that is hot just for the sake of it without being able to savor the flavor. Increase the heat to your own preference. As I discovered in a recent class, people that are used to 5 alarm chili, will want to double the amount of chipotle. Others who don't eat 'hot' food, will find even the amount I use to be too much for them. Most people like the level of heat in my chili. I puree the entire can (without removing seeds or veins) and freeze puree in one tablespoon quantities in a silicone ice cube tray which 'pops' cubes better than rigid ice cube tray. Remove from tray and bag for freezer storage.

I find that ordinary ground beef doesn't have much flavor and texture. However, ground chuck is not always available without waiting for it to be ground and ground sirloin is $5 per pound. I use three Costco sirloin burgers, thawed, that total one pound for three burgers. And cost about $2/lb. The price has gone up slightly recently. They are also fabulous burgers for the grill, or any ground meat dish. According to the nutritional content it also seems that ground sirloin has less of the bad fat than ordinary ground beef. I find that ground turkey makes an excellent substitute (Butterball in 4 x 1+1/2 lb packs at Costco) needs about -1 cup more of water and only 1+1/2 tbsp chipotle (July 2006 - and probably even less chipotle now for ground turkey with the change in the contents of the cans of chipotle)


  • 1 medium to large onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 3 Costco sirloin burgers, thawed, or 1 lb ground sirloin or 1-1+1/2 lb ground turkey
  • 2-4 cloves garlic, peeled and finely crushed
  • green pepper, deseeded and cut into squares of a reasonable size-optional
  • red pepper, deseeded and cut into squares of a reasonable size-optional
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons sweet paprika (e.g. Szegeo brand, red/white tin in stores. Don't buy tin labeled 'hot'.)
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • Bayleaf
  • 2 tablespoons pureed chipotles in adobo sauce - use less if you don't like heat at all.
  • 2 x 8 oz cans tomato sauce, and swish empty cans with water to measure one cup of water total.
  • 11oz can Green Giant sweetcorn. This brand is normally consistently good, others are v. woody.
  • 15 oz can cannellini beans or chick peas. Rinsed and drained. I add both when I increase recipe.
  • Salt and pepper. Note that chicken concentrate also contains salt. So go easy on the salt.
  • c tomato ketchup - adds flavor and spices without using part of 6oz can of tomato puree.
  • 1-2 tsps chicken base concentrate. I prefer chicken base to beef. McCormick brand at Costco's.
  • Cilantro, sour cream, salsa, chopped avocado, crushed tortilla chips, chopped green onions and shredded cheese to garnish - optional. I like to make custard filled cornbread mini muffins as well.


1. Heat oil in pan, add onions and cook over a medium heat until browning. Add thawed crumbled sirloin burgers with garlic and peppers and cook until meat is no longer pink.

2. Add cumin, cinnamon, paprika, salt and pepper, stir in well and cook for 1-2 minutes.

3. Add mustard and pureed chipotles, stir, add tomato sauce, tomato ketchup, water, chicken concentrate, corn, beans and bay leaf.

4. Bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes or until chili is cooked and tasty. Taste and adjust seasoning and remove bayleaf.

© 2000-2006 Royal Temptations

Oonagh Williams, proprietor of Royal Temptations, has a Culinary Arts degree, offers Catering services, teaches a variety of classes in International Cooking, makes regular appearances on WMUR ABC Channel 9's Cooks' Corner and has her own series on Merrimack TV and on Manchester TV. You can contact Oonagh at 603-424-6412.
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