The wonderful thing about chili recipes - that hearty, long-simmered stew typically made with tomatoes, beef and beans - is that no two pots are alike. You can simmer a Texas chili on the stovetop, or make your batch in a crockpot. There are endless ways to put your own spin on this western classic. Start with the basics and then have fun: Amp up the cumin. Add cubed steak or pork sausage. Try a bit of chipotle in adobo sauce to spice things up. For a veggie twist, combine different kinds of beans, black bean, pinto beans, and kidney beans all work well, throw in tofu crumbles and presto - you've got a killer vegetarian meal. Or take a left turn and whip up a batch of white chicken chili. After all, even though this is food fit for the range, even cowboys like some variety.
Here's chili the way Texans like it: with chunks of beef. For the crushed hot dried chile peppers, use cayenne, de arbol, pequin, serrano seco, or tepin. Use 12 to 50 peppers (depending on size) to equal 1 to 2 tablespoons crushed.
If you are looking for a chili recipe without the tomato base, try this hearty soup that calls for cannellini beans, green chiles, and Monterey Jack cheese.