Spicy Chili in the not so chilly Caribbean – My “Chill” Life

Beautiful Frangipani flowers in Anguilla

Frangipani flowers in Anguilla

Well here I am, finally adding to my ohhh so neglected blog. Things have been crazy busy on this end of the Caribbean. Where did I leave off? I believe sometime in 2013..

Since then, I had my good friend from back home come to visit. Was amazing to catch up, hit the beaches, act like a tourist, enjoy good food & drinks of course 😉

Cheers & welcome to the Caribbean my friend!

Cheers & welcome to the Caribbean my friend!

Ran away (or should I say sailed away) a few times to my favourite island being Anguilla, with my camera on hand to capture all the beauty the island has to offer. Was able to truly relax and see the island from a different perspective these last several visits.

Viceroy is a must visit if you get the chance. I won’t even get into the chaos we caused running around there. 🙂

Viceroy in Anguilla. Beautiful grounds, villas etc

The many beautiful beaches is what keeps me escaping to Anguilla time & time again for ultimate peace

Climb down a rope to the secluded beach at Little Bay, Anguilla. I could live down there in a tent w/ a bbq & i'd be just fine! ;)

Climb down a rope to the secluded beach at Little Bay, Anguilla. I could live down there in a tent w/ a bbq & i’d be just fine! 😉

Balcony view of beautiful blue waters of Anguilla

Balcony view of beautiful blue waters of Anguilla

So, real life kinda took over and I’ve now found myself in February 2014 wondering how I got here!?!?  We are still in high season on the island, so thankfully things really picked up and I couldn’t be more blessed for the way the season has gone so far.

Noticed this on the wall at da'Vida Resto & Spa in Anguilla...It was a sign..

Noticed this on the wall at da’Vida Resto & Spa in Anguilla…It was a sign..Get it? A sign…

What can I say about Chili besides it’s ability to comfort a sad soul or just to warm you up? Ok, here’s my bit on it. I like it thick with chunks of meat/veggies, colourful..yes colourful & extra extra spicy. Otherwise its just pasta sauce with beans. Just my opinion.

At least once a month I’m cooking up a batch. Filled with meat & beans it’s a great emergency energy meal when in a hurry. Packed with protein and iron it makes for a filling lunch or dinner. For everyone who knows me, when I get busy running around I forget to eat SO Chili has become a saving staple in my home.

Flavours coming together

Flavours coming together

Growing up…yes, most of my food stories have a bit of that in it, the dish was never prepared by either of my Nonna’s. Obviously not an Italian dish. I can bet cumin has never seen the inside of either of their homes. However my parents both had their own spin on it using different beans, veggies, meats, spices etc.. Funny, now that I think about it, my first real memory of Chili would be my dad making a huge pot every year for his buddies for super bowl sunday. ugggh, I still don’t get that sport & I really don’t care to. I just like their uniforms..ahhhh ha ha ha ha 😉

Anyways back to the Chili, it wasn’t a regular household dish yet something different during those chilly winter months and a way to use the bushels of kidney beans we’d all help separate during the summer months that came from both city Nonna’s garden & farm Nonna. Italians reading this will understand what I mean by “bushels” of Fagoli/beans 🙂 Canned beans were never really used in the house, mainly dried. Shamefully I admit that yes,  I find myself using canned beans for Chili most of the time. Pre cooking dried beans for this recipe always gives a nicer texture. So if you have the time, I’d say go dry vs/ canned any day.

This is one of those dishes that i’ve been asked how I make and of course my usual answer is, “I don’t know” I just put it together. This past weekend while in the kitchen I finally made an effort with my pen & paper on hand to jot down all my ingredients. My newest addition, now studded with bright yellow kernals of corn also adds a hint of sweetness to complement the spice.

Today’s share is my simple batch of Chili to feed plenty of hungry bellies. The great thing about Chili is using it in different ways when leftover or that it freezes well for those rainy/snowy days!

Chili Con Carne 

500 Gram Ground Beef

200 Gram Stewing Beef chunks (small dice)

1/2 Red Pepper (small dice)

1/2 Yellow pepper (small dice)

1/2 Green pepper (small dice)

Fresh Onion & 2 garlic cloves (chop finely)

1 Jalapeno pepper

1 Habanero or chili pepper

2 Bay leaves

Salt, black pepper, cumin, cayenne pepper, paprika, chili powder

Sprig of Thyme

400 Gram Crushed/puree Tomatoes

480 Gram can plum tomatoes with juices

1 can or dried Kidney Beans (drained & rinsed)

1 can or dried Black Beans (drained & rinsed)

Corn kernels – aprx 1 cup or 1 can

First off I fry the beef chunks in a splash of olive oil, season with all listed dry seasonings while cooking. Remove from pan, set aside.  Next add the ground beef to the pan, fry & season until fully cooked. Remove & set aside. At times I add red wine while cooking the meats but I needed to blog this recipe so  opening a bottle of wine was not going to get this entry done! 😉

In a large pot add a splash of olive oil and sauté the green/red/yellow peppers, onion & garlic.  Add Bay leaves, sprig of thyme, season with salt & pepper. Once slightly tender add both cooked meats to the pot. Next, add both the crushed tomatoes & whole tomatoes with juices to the pot. Season generously with all dry seasonings.  Finely chop the jalapeno & habanero, add to pot.  Depending on how spicy you like it.

Bring to a simmer for 15 – 20 mins.  Give a taste for spice. At this point, add the drained kidney beans, black beans & corn. Continue to simmer for another 20 mins.

chili con carne with toasted corn tortillas

chili con carne with toasted corn tortillas

If you have corn tortillas cut them in triangles & bake them to serve with the chili. Otherwise fresh crusty bread is always the best choice in mopping up all the goodness in your dish!

Buon Appetito 😉

Necessary funny photo post..Ferry named after me & well the rest speaks for itself!!! "Chill Life"

Necessary funny photo post..Ferry named after me & well the rest speaks for itself!!! “Chill Life”


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3 thoughts on “Spicy Chili in the not so chilly Caribbean – My “Chill” Life

  1. annascuisine February 18, 2014 at 10:07 am Reply

    I was wondering what happened to you. Welcome back. I haven’t been to Anguilla, but looking at pictures, it is such a beautiful place.
    The chili looks good. 🙂


    • Cucina Amore February 18, 2014 at 10:12 am Reply

      Thanks for the warm welcome back! 😉


      • annascuisine February 18, 2014 at 11:21 am

        you’re welcome! 🙂 Have a great day!


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