Meet the Cook: The basis for this recipe was handed down to me by my aunt, who said she got it from a "grizzled Montana mountain man". I added some zesty ingredients to come up with the final version.
Hot food is something that my husband's family isn't accustomed to. So I adjust the spices for them. In fact, with a few simple alterations to the "heat" index, I can serve this chili to anyone.
Chad and I and our 2-year-old son live 12 miles from town in the country.
-Lisa Humphreys, Wasilla, Alaska
Amy Martell of Canton, Pennsylvania knows how to heat up the dinner table on a cold night. Her zesty chili is chockfull of ground beef, beans and south-of-the-border flair. Whip up the stovetop sensation when you're feeding a crowd, or make sure to save leftovers for the following two recipes.
A touch of baking cocoa gives this chili a rich flavor without adding sweetness. When I was growing up in the North, we served chili over rice. But after I married a Texan, I began serving it with chopped onions, shredded cheese and, of course, corn bread! —Audrey Byrne, Lillian, Texas
"This peppery chili is not for the faint of stomach," assures Margaret Shauers of Great Bend, Kansas. "It's saucy and satisfying---according to my daughter, it's the one thing she can taste when she has a cold. It also freezes very well," adds Margaret.
Hominy and garbanzo beans are interesting additions to this zippy chili recipe that uses canned goods from the cupboard. I often serve it with corn bread or flour tortillas for a speedy meal. At 72 cents a serving, it's economical, too. —Karen Hunt, Bellvue, Colorado
Meet the Cook: My entire family urged me to send in this recipe! I came up with it one day when I wasn't sure what to do with a can of black beans I had. I just threw a bunch of stuff together, and out came a new chili that's become our favorite.
My husband always tells me that I'm the world's best cook. That's nice, since he's the best husband in the world! Our four children are ages 6, 4, 2 and 1.
-Nanci Keatley, Salem, Oregon
This classic recipe of the American frontier is so meaty you can almost eat it with a fork. The zippy combination of ingredients is a perfect complement to the buffalo. —Donna Smith, Fairport, New York