Chili Compromise

Chili (the stew-soup concoction) has long been a sore subject in our household. I don’t like beans (except for the green variety), so I won’t eat it and don’t make it. I know beans are good for me — and probably taste good, too — but it’s a texture thing. It’s one of my idiosyncrasies, and although I’ve gotten past most of my childhood picky-eating tendencies, one that I’m not likely to overcome at this stage in life.

Hubby Bryan on the other hand, enjoys beans of all types and considers himself a chili aficionado. So he feels deprived, although he’s certainly capable of making it himself — just doesn’t do so out of respect for my aversion.

The answer, of course, is to make chili sans beans, as our friends in Texas do. (They claim that real chili doesn’t have beans — Amen to that!) And that’s exactly what happened recently when we both got the hankering for chili dogs. This beanless chili also contains one of our favorite — and trendiest — ingredients, chipotle peppers. Look for chipotle chiles in adobo sauce among the canned goods in the Hispanic foods section of the grocery store. Since each can contains multiple chiles and most recipes only call for one or two, we’ve had good luck in freezing the rest and cutting off what we need for future chile-related endeavors.

Chipotle Chili Dogs

In a skillet over medium heat, cook 3 slices bacon, finely chopped, and half an onion, finely chopped, until bacon is crisp. Add 1 minced jalapeno (optional) and 1 large clove garlic; cook for 1 minute.

Add 1 pound ground beef; cook until browned, breaking the meat up as it cooks. Drain fat if necessary.

Finely chop 1 or 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce; add to skillet along with 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, ½ teaspoon ground cumin, ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, one 8-ounce can tomato sauce and ½ cup beer or beef broth. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce has thickened, about 10 minutes.

This sauce is enough for 8 hotdogs. Top grilled dogs with chili mixture, grated cheese and a sprinkling of chopped onion.

 Cinco de Mayo has come and gone without even a sip of margarita for me. I could, however, get talked into a belated celebration with this cake.

Margarita Cake

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a Bundt pan; set aside.

In a large bowl, Combine 1 lemon cake mix, 1 package instant lemon pudding mix, ½ cup vegetable oil, ½ cup frozen limeade concentrate, ¼ cup water, 4 large eggs, ½ cup tequila and 2 tablespoons triple sec liqueur. Beat for 5 minutes at medium speed with an electric mixer. Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack for 10 to 15 minutes; remove from pan and cool completely.

For glaze, combine 1½ tablespoons tequila, 1 tablespoon triple sec, ¼ teaspoon grated lime zest, 1 tablespoon lime juice and 1¼  cups powdered sugar. Blend well. Spoon glaze over cooled cake.

 As always, recipe submissions are welcomed for this forum.  Send your favorites to Lagniappe, Daily Globe, Box 639, Worthington 56187; email; or check out the blog online at