Chilli or Chili con Carne is a very popular dish, especially in the US. A lot of so-called chilli joints or small stores parallel to burger stands are available around. Coming from the Spanish root words, chile and carne, this dish literally translates to meat and chili.
This dish is a stew made with meat, usually beef but can also be made with chicken and pork with chilli peppers, beans. It is savoury and very tasty. This dish is very versatile, can be eaten in the streets, can be served to groups as a small buffet and also perfect for dinner. Actually, chilli is a perfect go-to dish because it is very easy to make and you can never go wrong with it.
Though it tastes amazing on its own, a good pair is a must. Especially if you're serving it to your group or friends or to your family. You can prepare it together with some awesome sides that you will surely enjoy. The classic is the pair chilli and cornbread. But let's explore more options that will bring more flavors and taste combinations. What goes with chili you ask? Here we go.
#1 The Classics
Though we are trying to have some unusual pairs, nothing can go wrong with the classics. If it's your first time making chili, these are the classic companions that you will never go wrong with. As mentioned above cornbread is one. It is also commonly sold together with hotdogs and saltines dipped in chili are a great combo. Fritos also goes well with it and a classic combo.
Rice has a very mild taste that goes very well with savory dishes. Not a lot of people turn to rice when eating or serving chilli, but it is actually a very good combination. Rice doesn’t overpower the dish that it is paired with but in return enhances its flavor. Try hot boiled rice topped with your chili and sprinkle it with some herbs or cheese, I promise you, it's a bomb!
Quesadillas is another dish that can stand on its own but will elevate savory and meaty dishes. Cheese goes really well with chili and a tortilla filled with cheese will be a better idea. I personally dip my quesadillas in chili or smother it on top like a pizza topping. The combination of cheese, tortilla and chili is just amazing.
If you're tired of your tomato ketchup and mayo on fries, serving it with chili is not a bad idea. It the meaty and spicy flavor marries perfectly with crispy fries. Put it as toppings on fresh fries and you're all set for dinner.
Chili can double as you favorite pasta sauce. Spaghetti and macaroni are the perfect pasta that you can pair it with. Though I am thinking of also including it to a lasagna recipe, this two are great combinations.
If you want a fresh and light companion with your chili, try pairing it with some raw vegetables. It can balance the spiciness and can be very enjoyable to eat. Try adding carrots, celery, onions and pickles together with chili. (http://www.enkivillage.com/what-to-serve-with-chili.html)
You want it simple and easy, just top it with some condiments you have in your fridge. Sour cream and crème Fraiche are good to counter the spicy flavor of the chili and also makes it even tastier. Also, if you want it extra hot and spicy, add green jalapenos. If you like it extra meaty, fry some bacon bits and put it on top.
Baked or roasted potatoes are also a safe choice to go with chili, potatoes are creamy and it compliments well the taste of savory, spicy dishes. For a greater flavor, try sweet potatoes with chili.
Chili is a very hearty, meaty dish, aside from pairing it with fresh vegetables; you can also have it with a good green, leafy salad. Try having it romaine, kale or spinach. Coleslaw also happens to be a good combination.
#11 Grilled Cheese
Like quesadillas, bread with warm melted cheese will always end up in the hearty meal side paired with spicy chili. This seems a really great idea that I haven't tried yet but I really love to.
Sweet+savory and spicy, what can go wrong? If the balance of flavors is what you want, try serving it with some pies and pastries. Brownies, apple pies with ice cream you’re your favorites desserts. This is a good idea if you have a low tolerance to spicy food since sweets can counter them, plus it makes a great flavor combination that sounds a bit weird for others but can actually really enjoyable.
Have you heard of chili and beer? Chili is one great companion of beer and other flavored beverages, be it alcoholic or not. I think it just compliments beverages very well. (http://www.enkivillage.com/what-to-serve-with-chili.html)
To make your chili extra special or extraordinary, try adding a bit of cocoa or coffee or both. It will intensify the taste and will give you a unique chili.
Actually, with regards to this hearty dish, the limitations are endless, that's why it is a crowd favorite. Be adventurous and mix it with food you think you will enjoy. Make it your own based on the flavor profile that you want.
Did you enjoy the list? Or did you find a good combination with your chili? Try it out, and let us know what you think. Also, don't forget to spread the word about these awesome chili sidekicks! Until next, cheers!