Not your mom’s chili


Not that your mom (or my moms but mom I love your chili) chili isn’t fantastic and probably one of the first things you learned how to cook, I just can’t picture serving my mom this fireball of a chili.


  • One large onion
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • one package of portobello mushroom caps
  • one pound of ground beef (or turkey)
  • One can each of black beans, red kidney beans, corn, WHOLE tomatoes
  • Cumin

and the secret (not really anymore I guess) ingredients that cause this chili to be served with a fresh shirt… because you’ll sweat.. and probably slop on yourself


  • one can of chipotle peppers and its sauce
  • liquid smoke

Like all good and mom-approved chili’s, start out by sauteing onions and garlic in some oil for about 5 minutes. While that’s going, dice your mushroom caps and toss into pan. Sautee another 5 minutes on high heat until they start to brown. Next into the pool is your meat. Break it apart with a spoon and let fully cook through. Reduce heat to medium. Now we start having fun. I wasn’t putting the word “WHOLE” in all caps lightly in the ingredient list, this is a crucial element in the “fun having.” Take each tomato out of the can and one by one.. squeeze them and break apart in your hand. Who doesn’t like to play with their food and use a tomato like a stress ball? I go with this method over a can of diced not only for the fun factor but because it provides a much juicer and rustic tomato in your chili. So squeeze and juice away!


We’re good? Ok. Strain and rinse the beans and corn and like everything else before them… into the tub. Season liberally with salt and pepper and add about a tablespoon of cumin. Mix together and let everybody get to know each other, because now you’re going turn their world upside down. Open the can and chipotle peppers and take them out, leaving sauce in the can for now. Chop them into small chunks and introduce them to the party, sauce and all. You can very easily take this up the the 5-alarm status by adding 2 cans here.. if you’re insane. I am generous with my liquid smoke because I like the flavor but if its your first time working with the stuff, add a little at a time and taste, it is super potent. Once your chili is at its desired smokey-ness, add a lid to your pot an let it simmer on low for about half an hour or until you’re ready to eat. I topped ours with some creamy avocado to show some compassion for the inferno happening in my mouth.


This one is for the next generation of chili makers.. and their moms.