surprise chili

When I was a freshman I lived largely off of rice that was cooked with chicken boullion, cinnamon, and allspice. And pizza. The next year I lived in a house with a six other guys in IlliniLife. The following recipe is pretty characteristic of the chili I made there. I’ve since become a culinary deconstructivist.



1/2 lb sausage (chorizo, or Italian)
2 cups kidney beans (1 can)
1 cup marinara sauce
1/3 cup worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp tabasco sauce (to taste)


Stir everything but sausage into sauce pan, cover, and simmer. Brown sausage, and add to sauce pan. Add water until chili has achieved desired consistancy (some like it thick, some like it thin) and serve.

(This chili is should be easy to make using ingredients a student might have on hand. It’s quick, simple, and cheap, and you’re surprised that it tastes as much like chili as it does.)

4 thoughts on “surprise chili

  1. Mmm. It’s interesting to deconstruct recipes and see how the flavors work. I can see how this would give something like the expected taste of chili w/o using chili powder. Cool!

    Do you take requests? You and your lovely brought a vegetarian chili to a student lunch and she wrote out all the ingredients. It was different than other veggie chilis I’ve had and very tasty. Care to share it here?


  2. :)

    Actually, I intended to post that recipe next as it is the direct descendant of the recipe above. We ate chili growing up and I quickly became frustrated with my inability to make the flavor stronger (or hotter) by adding more chili powder! This combined with my distaste for cumin has encourage me to explore “alternative” ways of flavoring.


  3. oh oh oh OH!

    post it soon, because I as well dislike cumin, and can’t get my chili to taste as strong as I want it too with only chili powder…

    mmmmm-mmmmm! cant wait…

    actually licking lips in anticipation…. caught myself doing it… hee hee…


  4. Um, can’t you do that with the Surprise Chili?

    Or with the Veggie Chili I posted a few days ago?

    Or just adding ground dried chilies to your current chili? My pantry currently has chipotle, cayenne, and ancho powders, red pepper flakes, and hot sauce. One of those should work for you, though the ancho is mild and tastes a lot like “chili powder”.



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