I'm starting to think bears know more than we do. When the weather gets cold, I just want a hot bowl of chili, followed by an extended nap.
If you're making your own, the base is pretty straightforward. Chop onion and garlic and saute them in a saucepan, then add a can of crushed tomatoes and several kinds of beans (kidney, red, pinto, will all work). Sprinkle in salt, pepper, paprika, cinnamon (a teaspoon), nutmeg (a teaspoon), chili powder and some garlic powder. Let that simmer. It if starts to brown, add a bit of water or beer -- Boulevard Pilsner works well.
In a separate pan, brown a pound of ground meat (turkey, beef, bison). Dust it with a poultry or meat rub. Once it's browned, add it to the pot with the tomatoes, beans and spices. At the same time, add half a bottle or can of beer. Then, let the entire pot simmer for several hours, stirring a few times an hour.
But if you're looking for instant gratification, the Top 5 chilis in Fat City are after the jump.
5. Wendy's -- For pure value, this has to be included. The fast food chain has the best cheap cup of chili in town.
4. The Brick -- Cold beer, hot chili, happy tummy. It's a recipe for success and this Crossroads joint nails it.
3. Dixon's Chili Parlor -- This is as straightforward as it gets. An institution in Independence, Dixon serves meat chili -- which means heavy on the meat and light on the sauce. You'll know after one bite whether you're a fan.
2. Grinders -- The schoolyard combination of cheddar cheese, chili and Tater Tots on the Junk Yard Dog is the kind of meal that even picky eaters can get behind. Bring some napkins and be hungry, because this one sits on your stomach for a while.
1. Woodyard BBQ -- The burnt end chili has a bit of heat, a lot of smoky meat and a rich blending of flavors. Get a styrofoam cup to go and then lord it over your coworkers in the break room.
[Image via Flickr: qfamily]