In a bygone era when I was far too young to know what Playboy Magazine was, someone in the family scored this chili recipe. Mom hand wrote the original recipe (the scan is below) so the magazine owner must have dictated it to her. I nominate my Dad or my older brother Tim.
So after returning home after a long September Saturday of shopping for new Halloween graveyard additions, Joe and I decided that despite it being 90 degrees there was no better way to kick-off fall in Texas than with a bowl of chili. So into Mom’s cookbook my fingers strolled until they landed on this ol’ recipe. There’s no telling when this chili was last made but I can tell from the yellowed, stained paper that this recipe was used more than a few times.
While this Playboy Chili recipe isn’t my tried, true and award-winning Kiker’s Kicker Pot Licker Chili, it packed a lotta punch.
❤ Some people just see a chili recipe. I see a recipe that’s a glorious gateway to the belly! You can put chili on more than just a spoon – try it on nachos, chili baked potatoes or what’s better than chili and eggs? Not much! I can picture my Dad enjoying chili and eggs right this very minute with eyes as wide as dinner plates and a smile bigger than Texas.
If you decide to make chili baked potatoes (I wildly recommend), don’t just microwave the potato – that’s far too easy. Take a delicious tip from this blue cheese bacon potato recipe – slather the potatoes with shortening, wrap ’em in foil, and bake ’em in the oven for about an hour. The end result? The softest, most delicious baked potato you’re likely to encounter! After all a baked potato is just that – otherwise we should call them nuked potatoes!
❤ Important Lesson: Not since I learned why bagged grated cheese is inferior to freshly grated cheese (goodbye, wood pulp) have I realized that when making chili, plain ol’ ground beef is inferior to coarse ground beef. Why? I find that the typical ground beef often breaks down into more of a grainy mush than a hearty, bold consistency which is a chunky must when beef is the featured ingredient like when in a bowl of chili. Sadly my local grocery stores were out of coarse ground chili beef, so I resorted to the mundane. Note: You can ask your butcher to prepare it fresh for you.
❤ The typical sidekicks for the Kiker family bowl of chili include shredded cheddar cheese, Nabisco saltine crackers, corn bread, Fritos, sour cream and chopped green onions (to name a few).
Total prep: About 90 minutes.
2 pounds | coarse ground chili beef
½ cup (or less) | olive oil
1 cup | white onion, minced (Mom would likely chop or dice)
1 tablespoon | fresh garlic, minced (I used 5 cloves)
1 large | green bell pepper, minced (or chopped/diced)
1 large | bay leaf (I used 2)
1 teaspoon | oregano
3 tablespoons | chili powder
1 teaspoon | cumin
¼ teaspoon | cayenne
½ teaspoon | fresh cracked black pepper
1 teaspoon (or to taste) | kosher salt
1 tablespoon | paprika
½ teaspoon | red pepper flakes (aka crushed red pepper)
3 tablespoons | flour
1 ½ quart | beef stock
2 teaspoons | sugar
¼ cup (about 10) | cracker crumbs
1 cup | pinto beans, drained
to serve | your favorite sidekicks (see suggested ideas above)
iii. What To Do
1. In a large pot over medium-high heat, sauté the meat in the olive oil.
2. Add the onions, garlic, green pepper, bay leaves, oregano, chili powder, cumin, cayenne pepper, pepper, kosher salt, paprika, and red pepper flakes. Whew!
3. Stir things well and sauté, covered, about 5 minutes.
4. Stir in the flour; blend well. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 1 hour.
Note: I noticed at this stage the chili was a little too oily for my liking which is why I think you can totally dial back on the olive oil (noted above).
5. Stir in the sugar, cracker crumbs and the drained beans. Simmer 10 minutes longer.
6. Serve with your favorite sides/toppings.
Leftovers store well in the fridge or they may be frozen for impromptu meals when that cold front blows in and you’re in a flurry for some chili.
Founder and “Nostalgic Food Blogger” of Betty’s Cook Nook
Ever since watching the 1989 hit When Harry Met Sally I can’t see the word “paprika” without thinking of the funny paprikash scene. “Paprikash” is a popular Hungarian paprika chicken dish. Enjoy the clip!
Debuting for Super Bowl 2018 along with Holy Guacamole, this Spinach Delight recipe proved just that – De. Light. Ful!
Growing up you could find me about as close to anything fashioned from spinach as you could my homework (think: Far Far Away). Now that I’m older I can see what all the fuss was about – this dish is creamy, savory, and the dressing-stuffing that tops this appetizer provides the perfect crisp to raise eyebrows and arms.
❤ Herb Dressing or Herb Stuffing? Joe and I discussed this one for a bit. I told him I believed my Mom “Betty” knew well the differences between dressing and stuffing and she clearly penned the recipe card below “dressing.” But when we went searching for the ingredients for this recipe all we could find was Pepperidge Farm Herb Stuffing.
You can read this post where I help debunk the differences between dressing and stuffing but I’m leaving this “dressing” in the ingredients list even though I think the Pepperidge Farm stuffing packaging caters to northerners, where their Connecticut headquarters is located. #ThisIsTexas So buy their stuffing but call it dressing. :) Heck, even Pepperidge Farm uses the terms interchangeably as you can see in their very own recipe!
❤ This dip pairs remarkably well with tortilla chips, Fritos or better yet Fritos Scoops which will lend you a helping hand fostering bigger globs of the green good stuff from dish to belly. We also enjoyed our delightful dip smeared atop some homemade garlic-rubbed toast (see the mouthwatering “triple play” pic below).
To prepare: About 15 minutes.
To bake: 30 minutes.
To enjoy: Mere nanoseconds
3 packages | frozen chopped spinach
1 stick | butter, softened (my Grandmother insisted on Falfurrias)
8 ounce package| cream cheese, softened
⅓ package | pepperidge farm herb dressing (see stuffing tip above)
to serve | your favorite chips or veggies (optional)
iii. What to do
0. Preheat your oven to 350°F.
1. While the oven’s preheating cook the spinach (boil it?) and drain well. Set aside.
2. Blend together half of the softened butter and all of the cream cheese. Add in the spinach and mix everything well. Place this mixture into a 2 quart baking dish.
3. Roll the dressing to fine crumbs and sprinkle it over the spinach mixture. Dot the top of the dressing with the remaining ½ stick of butter.
4. Bake at 350°F for 30 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven and let rest about 5 minutes.
Serve warm with your chosen accessory (tortilla chips, Fritos, Fritos Scoops, garlic bread, etc.). Or just enjoy it with a spoon!
Founder and “Nostalgic Food Blogger” of Betty’s Cook Nook
Who is Mrs. Ira Lieberman?
Well clearly she was the inspiration behind this recipe per the credit Mom included on the recipe card above.
I did some online researching and believe I found her. Janet “Casey” Liberman was married to Ira Lieberman and both lived in San Antonio where I grew up.
There’s something special about any soup recipe that calls for Velveeta.
Oh, I know, I know – Velveeta is not “real cheese,” but tell that to my stomach. The mere thought of the cheese-like stuff makes me weak in the knees. Toss in Pace picante sauce, avocado and chorizo and you have a dish that’s straight out of the 1970s with culinary crosshairs for your next meal.
Healthiness aside, I thought this soup was a super-tasty and f l e x i b l e soup that can accommodate any of your special ingredients to make it one all your own.
Foodie Tips ~
♥ When using ground chorizo, the finished texture was too grainy for me; on the next go of this I think chorizo links cut into chunks would yield a chunkier texture.
♥ My Cousin Julie said to try “Portuguese Chorizo,” if you can find it.
1 pound | chorizo
1 large | white onion, diced
2 stalks | celery, diced
1 | green pepper, diced
3 cans | chicken broth
2 | tomatoes, cut into bite-sized chunks
to taste | cilantro, chopped
16 ounce jar | pace thick and chunky picante sauce (mild)
½ pound | velveeta
to serve | fresh avocado, diced
to serve | tortilla chips (or fritos)
to garnish | more cilantro, chopped
ii. what to do
1. In a medium-sized pan over medium-high heat, brown the chorizo, onion, celery and green pepper.
2. Add the broth, tomatoes, cilantro and picante sauce and simmer 1 hour, uncovered. Relax in your comfy chair or couch while you catch-up on your latest 1-hour of DVR programming. :)
3. Add Velveeta to the soup and stir here and there, until melted.
4. Serve soup into individual bowls. Top with avocado, chips or fritos … and a tad more cilantro.