Rita’s Easy Chili

First, I know it has been a while since I visited with you through my site. We’ve been helping out here on our little patch of heaven those folks who need a lift, a smile, or a bowl of soup. Yes, Covid has been raging here with family and friends. But, like you, we will get through these challenging times with faith. So, with that said, how about some chili?!
As I’ve told you before, it doesn’t take much to please me. That’s why I was happy about our friend, Ray, bringing a load of “black gold/horse manure” for my gardens. “I think the ground is frozen solid enough”, he said. Well, about halfway through dumping the manure, Ray’s truck got stuck. 

So what we thought would take a few minutes took up most of the morning. Ray called his son-in-law, Ronnie, to bring a backhoe to pull the truck out. After they left, I realized time had slipped away so the lasagna I was going to prepare for supper got replaced with a pot of beef chili. It really was the perfect meal for a bone chilling day. This chili is simple to make and good on its own. Elevate it with assorted toppings. I call it “Rita’s easy chili” though it originated with my mom, Mary Nader.

Mom used to make it for our large family in a big soup pot. She never measured and always used green bell peppers, which she called “mangoes” – that’s a Midwestern thing!

I did jazz up the oyster crackers a bit by baking two different batches, one coated in olive oil and the other in spicy chili powder. 

Rita’s easy chili

For the chili powder, I use Buena Vida brand. I grew up with this brand. 

It used to be made in Cincinnati under the name “Frank’s chili powder.” 

Use the recipe as a guide, OK? Chili is one of those meals that gives a lot of leeway, so you can add more of any ingredient.

Ingredients

1 pound ground chuck, sirloin or round 

1 generous cup chopped onion

1 bell pepper, chopped

3 nice cloves, garlic, minced

3-4 tablespoons tomato paste 

1 can, 14.5 oz., diced tomatoes

2 cans beans of your choice, one drained, one not (I used kidney and red beans)

14.5 oz. can beef broth + water to equal 2 cups liquid 

2-3 tablespoons chili powder

Garnishes (optional but good): 

Chopped jalapenos, sour cream, cheddar cheese, salsa, chopped tomatoes, sliced green onions, oyster crackers.

Instructions

Brown meat in a bit of oil with onion, pepper and garlic.  

Add rest of ingredients and bring to a boil.  

Lower to a simmer and cook, uncovered, about 30 minutes or so. This allows for some evaporation, making the chili thicker. 

Adjust seasonings and serve with garnishes.

Serves 6 generously.

Tip:

When sautéing garlic, add it on top of the other vegetables. Garlic tends to burn easily.

Tomato paste can be frozen.

Olive oil and chili roasted oyster crackers

I made 2 batches from 1 bag of oyster crackers. So you do what you like. Amounts are approximate.

Ingredients olive oil roasted oyster crackers

3 cups oyster crackers

2 tablespoons olive oil

Instructions

Preheat oven to 275.

Mix crackers with oil.

Pour in single layer on cookie sheet. Bake 15 minutes or so, stirring once.

Cool, then store in pantry, covered.

Ingredients chili roasted oyster crackers

3 cups oyster crackers

2-3 tablespoons chili powder

Instructions

Preheat oven to 275.

Mix crackers with chili powder.

Pour in single layer on cookie sheet. Bake 15 minutes or so, stirring once.

Cool, then store in pantry, covered.

Cincinnati chili recipes:

I have the recipes for chili like Skyline and chili like Empress chili.

Let me know if you’d like them.

19 thoughts on “Rita’s Easy Chili

      1. Hi, Betty,
        I sent the Empress recipes to a fellow who asked for them and who worked for his uncle at an Empress chili restaurant in Delhi, Cincinnati. I wanted his opinion before I printed them. Now if you need them sooner along with the Skyline recipe (from the Enquirer in 1979!) I can send those to you.
        Let me know.
        Blessings,
        Rita

        Like

    1. Hi, Tracy,
      As I told Nancy above, I have a couple recipes and am having them checked out by a fellow who used to work for his uncle at Empress chili in Delhi, here in Cincinnati. Can you wait until I hear back or do you need them for Super Bowl?
      Blessings,
      Rita

      Like

  1. God has blessed all Ron’s listeners with you. I always learn so much from you. You are just filled with marvelous knowledge. Your sense of humor is amazing. Those little grandchildren are learning a great deal form you.
    Be safe and God bless.
    Martha Bremer

    Like

    1. Well, Martha,
      That’s so nice of you to say. Sounds like you and I may have a lot in common! And yes, don’t we all have so many blessings. The grandkids are so fun and I’m a lot more lenient with them than I was with their parents…
      Blessings to you, too
      Rita

      Like

    1. Hi, Nancy,
      I have a couple recipes and am having them checked out by a fellow who used to work for his uncle at Empress chili in Delhi, here in Cincinnati. Can you wait until I hear back or do you need them for Super Bowl?
      Blessings,
      Rita

      Like

  2. Made this chili for dinner today. Husband said it was the best chili I’ve ever made! Thank you for sharing your mother’s recipe with us, Rita. This chili recipe is a keeper! I would also like to make your Skyline and Empress recipes too.

    Like

    1. Hi, Maria,
      I think I already replied through my email but again, so glad this worked out for you. My Mom up in heaven is smiling….and the other recipes are posted now.
      Blessings,
      Rita

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.