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WestRiverrat's avatar

Is this still Chili?

Asked by WestRiverrat (19920points) September 16th, 2011

I am making some chili for lunch tomorrow, but substituted some mushrooms for the meat.

My friend says it is no longer chili, it is now soup.

I think it eats like chili and burns like chili so it is chili.

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21 Answers

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

I don’t know the “official” or technical answer, but I would still consider it chili. Whenever I think of good substitutions for meat in certain dishes (other than something obvious, like tofu), mushrooms come to mind. People eat vegetarian chili, so why would removing the meat change it from chili to soup?

Kardamom's avatar

I put schrooms in my chili. I’m a vegetarian. Soup is usually thinner than chili.

It kind of makes me laugh when I hear that some people do not consider anything with beans in it to be chili, even though the beans are labeled chili beans. I think as long as the “stew” is relatively thick and contains chili powder (and maybe onions, or chili peppers and tomatoes) you can call it chili.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

Slightly OT, but my husband and kids hate chili, so I never get to eat it because it’s not exactly something that it’s easy to make a small portion of. So every time someone talks about chili I start getting all mopey over the lack of good chili in my life.

Kardamom's avatar

@ANef_is_Enuf Get yourself a recipe that you like, make it, eat as much as you want for 2 days and then freeze the rest or give some to one of your neighbors who will probably be thrilled to get some homemade chili, especially now that it has finally begun to cool off.

I feel so sorry for folks who don’t like chili, it’s one of the gifts of the universe!

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

@Kardamom I really think I will do that very soon. The seed has been planted in my brain, and now I am going to be on a quest for it. It has been way too long.

funkdaddy's avatar

Invite your friend over for some steaks and suddenly your chili may not seem like such a stretch.

CWOTUS's avatar

If you ever want to regret the lack of good chili in your life, visit Cincinnati and order “chili” there. It’s spaghetti sauce. Weak, thin spaghetti sauce. Disgusting. And they’re proud of that shit.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

@CWOTUS I’m from Ohio, I’m familiar with the dish you’re talking about.. but I have never actually eaten it.

JLeslie's avatar

Does it have beans in it? As long as it has beans in it, its chili to me. I wouldn’t put mushrooms in chili though. Those flavors don’t go together for me. But, you can do whatever you want of course.

funkdaddy's avatar

@JLeslie – Texans would tell you that no true chili has beans in it ;)

not saying it’s the truth, just always makes me laugh when people define “real” food

CWOTUS's avatar

@ANef_is_Enuf

Don’t. It’s vile. Maybe it’s not so bad on spaghetti or something. But when I order “a bowl of chili” I don’t expect a thin, soupy dish that won’t even “pile” on a spoon. Oh, that stuff was awful. More than twenty years ago and I’m seeing it again as if someone just gave it to me.

Jeruba's avatar

I thought chili was just chili, and chili con carne was chili with meat.

Some really meaty mushrooms, such as portobellos, are such good substitutes for meat that you hardly notice anything missing.

funkdaddy's avatar

@Jeruba – ”chili” is short for ”chili con carne” as opposed to a variation on it, the chili is the spices…

More on Chili

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

@CWOTUS oh, yes. That’s what I was thinking. They normally serve Skyline chili on spaghetti, with cheese. It still looks horrible, imho.

JLeslie's avatar

@funkdaddy No wonder I didn’t like the chili at Texas Roadhouse. Thanks for the info, I was unaware of the history and that Texas makes it with meat only.

As a side note my husband is Mexican and he thinks chili is disgusting. A gringo yuck. His whole family thinks the cumin and most of the dried spices Americans use in Mexican or Tex-Mex food are gross.

Jeruba's avatar

@funkdaddy, well, I’m not much of a chili fan, and in fact I avoid all spicy dishes, so I’m definitely no expert. But as I read that article, the term “chili” also refers to essentially the same dish made without meat: chili sin carne.

So the answer to the original question seems to be—yes, it’s still chili, as long as it’s made like chili, a thick, spicy stew with some number of requisite essentials. What those requisite essentials are seems to be a matter of some controversy.

WestRiverrat's avatar

Mine is usually a combination of peppers, diced tomato, garlic and pork roast with a little corn starch if it needs thickening. Beans if I have them, but it is not a requirement. One of my friends is bringing his new vegetarian GF, so I thought I would be nice to her the first time. Hence the substitution.

JLeslie's avatar

@WestRiverrat Pork Roast? Not ground Pork?

Lightlyseared's avatar

Does it taste good? Do you enjoy it? Then who cares what it’s official name may or may not be?

WestRiverrat's avatar

@JLeslie yes cubed pork roast

Kardamom's avatar

@WestRiverrat I’m a vegetarian and I love chili! I’ve made my own homemade chili with mushrooms and here is a recipe that is similar to mine that your friend’s GF might like Portobello Mushroom Chili

I’ve also made almost the same recipe without the mushrooms, but with the addition of Morningstar Farms Recipe Crumbles which has the same flavor and texture as ground beef. My Dad, who is a very picky eater and has a vegetarian food phobia, actually likes this chili!

If you want to try a black bean version, you might like this Black Bean Chili with Chipotle

And here is another variation that I haven’t yet tried that sounds wonderful White Bean Chili

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