Dec 2, 2009 2

Chili and grilled cheese sandwiches

As the temperature drops, there’s nothing like a warm bowl of chili and a grilled cheese sandwich on a cold winter night. It has been a few years since I made chili, so I hacked a recipe from Epicurious.

The origins of chili can be traced back to northern Mexico and the American southwest. There are debates about which country was first to make it, and there is even more debate over the “correct” way to make it. Whatever the case, chili is a fun an forgiving meal to prepare.

  • Time: 1hr 30min
  • Yields: 8+

Chili Surprise Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onions
  • 8 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 3 lbs. ground turkey or chicken
  • 3 chopped jalapeño peppers
  • 1 chopped serrano pepper
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 – 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 – 6 oz. can tomato paste
  • 1 – 15 oz. can prepared chili beans


  1. Heat oil in large Dutch oven or heavy stockpot over medium-high heat.
  2. Add onions, garlic and peppers. Sauté until onions are translucent — about 8 minutes.
  3. Add ground turkey or chicken and sauté until brown, breaking up meat with back of spoon — about 5 minutes.
  4. Add cumin, basil, oregano and thyme. Stir 2 minutes.
  5. Mix in crushed tomatoes and tomato paste.
  6. Simmer until thickened to desired consistency, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking — about 1 hour 15 minutes.
  7. Mix in beans. Simmer 5 minutes.
  8. Season to taste with salt and pepper.


  • Have fun making your chili. You can put just about anything in it. I dumped in a cup of leftover tomato bisque and the rest of an open jar of spicy pasta sauce into my batch. And it was freaking awesome.


Another simple, fun food to make is the grilled cheese sandwich, which can be found all around the world. In America, it is called grilled cheese; in the UK and New Zealand it goes by toastie; in Australia it is called a cheese jaffle;  and in South Africa it is popularly known as a snackwich.

  • Time: 5 minutes
  • Yields: 4+

Grilled Cheese with Tomatoes Ingredients

  • White bread, wheat bread, whatever you want
  • American cheese, cheddar cheese, swiss cheese, whatever you want — or use a blend of several cheeses
  • Butter
  • 1 tomato


  1. Make a cheese sandwich and butter the outside of the bread slices.
  2. Grill the sandwich in a pan, a panini grill, toast it, or throw it in an oven.
  3. Cook until cheese melts and the bread turns a golden brown.


  • For cheese lovers, try making your grilled cheese with several types of cheeses.
  • For meat lovers out there, try putting some bacon in your grilled cheese sandwich.
  • For those like Minal, throw in some onions — either fresh or grilled — in between the slices of bread.
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