Traditional recipes

Catalan Chili Recipe

Catalan Chili Recipe

This is a dish I made up — a version of chili incorporating many elements of classic Catalan cuisine: The combination of lard and olive oil as cooking fat; the use of pork instead of beef or other meats; the addition of cinnamon to a savory sauce; and the use of two basics of Catalan cooking, the sofregit (long cooked onions) and the picada (a paste of nuts, fried bread, garlic, and chocolate). He thought it was pretty good.

Click here to see Recipe SWAT Team: Chili.


  • 1 tablespoon lard or bacon fat
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 pounds lean pork, finely chopped or coarsely ground
  • 1 pounds mild pork sausage (Spanish-style botifarra or Italian sausage without fennel seeds)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon mild paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne or hot paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4-5 cups rich beef stock
  • 2 onions, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1-2 teaspoons dried red chile flakes
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 10-15 almonds or hazelnuts or a combination of both, lightly toasted
  • 1 small slice sourdough bread, crusts trimmed, lightly fried on both sides in olive oil
  • 2 ounces cooking chocolate, grated
  • 2 sprigs parsley, minced


In a large heavy skillet, melt the lard. Add about 2 tablespoons olive oil. Brown pork and sausage in the fat over medium-high heat. Transfer meat to a Dutch oven or stewpot and add cumin, paprika, cayenne, turmeric, cinnamon, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir well.

Deglaze the skillet with 3 cups of the stock and add the liquid to Dutch oven. Simmer, partially covered, for about 3 hours, or until meat has almost disintegrated. (Add more stock as necessary; the chili should be thick and moist but not soupy.)

Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, made the sofregit by cooking onions over lowest possible heat in about ½ inch of olive oil, stirring occasionally, for about 1 hour. Add oregano and chile flakes and salt to taste, stir well, then continue cooking for 1–1 ½ hours more, or until onions are very soft and dark golden brown.

While onions are cooking, make a picada by crushing garlic with a mortar and pestle with a bit of salt, then pound in the nuts, fried bread, and chocolate until very well mixed and paste-like in consistency. Add parsley and barely enough olive oil to cover the picada, then work in oil to form a thick paste. (Nuts should be thoroughly crushed and all ingredients completely amalgamated.)

About 30 minutes before chili is done, stir in the sofregit and adjust seasoning. Remove cover from Dutch oven and continue cooking, skimming any excess fat off surface occasionally. About 5 minutes before chili is finished, stir in picada.

Chipotle Chili Recipe

Who&rsquos up for a big bowl of chili? I am! Today we&rsquore making a big pot of the stuff and it&rsquos wonderfully thick and chunky with a mixture of ground meats, lots of chili peppers, a great seasoning blend that I love, and our secret ingredient that makes this chili different from many you&rsquove had.

That secret ingredients? Chipotle Peppers in Adobe Sauce.

We&rsquore talking my smoky chunky Chipotle Chili recipe, my friends, and you&rsquore going to love this one.

Let&rsquos talk about how we make chipotle chili, shall we?

The BEST Creamy White Chicken Chili Recipe | 1-Minute Video

A photo from my initial blog post on Creamy White Chicken Chili, circa 2011.

So, did anyone else grow up making these tortilla bowls, or was our family the only one? We never baked or fried them — just pressed flour tortillas into our bowls, and then added them to our bites especially as they got nice and warm and soft. So easy, and so good!

Another joy of this classic recipe is that it’s also really easy to tweak to your preferences. Like a spicier soup? Feel free to leave in the jalapeno seeds, or add in an extra. Like a thinner soup? Leave out the flour, and it’ll be nice and brothy. Like a gluten-free soup? You’re welcome to leave out the flour, and thicken it with a cornstarch slurry if you’d like (or just leave that part out). Like a meatless soup? Sub in an extra can or two of beans, in place of the chicken.

Recipe: José Andrés Romesco (Catalan Roasted-Vegetable Sauce)

1/2 cup Spanish extra-virgin olive oil , plus extra for coating the vegetables
1 red bell pepper
6 ripe plum tomatoes
1 head garlic , halved, paper outer skin removed
1 Spanish onion
3 ñora chili peppers , (or any other dried sweet chili pepper)
1/4 cup blanched almonds
1 ounce white bread , crust removed
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
1 teaspoon pimentón (Spanish paprika)
1/2 tablespoon salt

Heat the oven to 350°. Brush a thin film of olive oil over the pepper, tomatoes, garlic and onion. Place them in a medium roasting pan, and roast until all the vegetables are soft, 25 minutes.

While the vegetables are roasting, place the ñora chilies in a bowl and cover with hot water. Soak for 15 minutes. Strain, and remove the seeds. Place the chilies in a blender and puree until smooth. Pass the puree through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl and set aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a small sauté pan over low heat. Add the almonds and sauté to brown them a little, about 1 minute. Remove the almonds and set them aside. Raise the heat to medium and add the bread to the pan. Cook it until it becomes a nice brown color, around 30 seconds on each side. Remove the bread from the pan and set it aside.

Add the pureed ñora to the sauté pan from the oven and set it aside. When the roasted vegetables are cool enough to handle, peel them. Seed the bell pepper and tomatoes, and cut off their tops. Place the roasted vegetables in a blender or food processor and add the almonds, toasted bread, pureed ñora, vinegar, pimentón and the remaining 7 tablespoons of oil. Blend until it forms a thick sauce, and add the salt. Place the romesco sauce in a bowl.

José’s tips
“Here I add fresh bell pepper to the romesco, but traditionally we use only the dried ñora peppers that are so typical of Catalanonian cooking.”

Slow Cooker Pumpkin Chicken Chili

Jason Donnelly

In this pumpkin chili recipe, we combine all the classic chili elements—beans, peppers, onions, celery, carrots, garlic, and chili powder to name a few—along with the chicken and pumpkin in a slow cooker for a few hours. You'll come home to a flavor-packed chili that is savory and brings a little kick you can ramp up by adding in some hot sauce.

4. Butternut Squash and Black Bean Chili

This recipe proves that you don't need meat to get a good amount of protein as one serving contains 16 grams. "Butternut squash is packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants," Mathis says. And because the black beans add fiber to keep you full, you're sure to be satisfied long after this plant-based bowl.

  1. Place the black beans, kidney beans, sweet potato, onion, and minced garlic into the slow cooker.
  2. Add the crushed tomatoes, and sprinkle all of the seasoning. Mix thoroughly until everything is evenly distributed.
  3. Pour in the vegetable stock.
  4. Turn the slow cooker on high for 4 hours, or low for 8 hours.
  5. Serve with desired toppings—like shredded cheese or cornbread!

Eat This! Tip

Freeze this meal and save it for later! Add all of the ingredients but the vegetable stock into a gallon-size freezer bag. Make sure to defrost the meal in the refrigerator 24 hours before putting it into the slow cooker. Mix ingredients together so they are evenly distributed before turning on the slow cooker. Pour in the vegetable stock and follow the normal instructions from there.

RELATED: Easy, healthy, 350-calorie recipe ideas you can make at home.

Weight Watchers Recipes

I joined Weight Watchers several months ago before switch to the Freestyle program. I had just gotten used to the SmartPoints and was hesitant about Freestyle at first, but now I&rsquove embraced it and I love that the points roll over and also that I get some &ldquofreebie&rdquo foods.

Weight Watchers Chili

And that&rsquos where this Weight Watchers chili recipe comes into play! I&rsquove been working on this recipe for awhile, testing different ingredients until I found something I liked.

Note: the meat must be 99% fat free to be ZERO points. I rotate between chicken and turkey (depending on what I&rsquom craving), but it&rsquos always 99% fat free. If you decide to do a different meat, you&rsquoll need to add that to your recipe and recalculate the points!

Points By Program

If you aren&rsquot on the Freestyle program, here&rsquos a quick guide to the points for this particular recipe. As I said, the program I am on is Freestyle, so that&rsquos the point value I use.

  • Freestyle &ndash 0 points
  • MyWW
    • Blue Plan (same as Freestyle) &ndash 0 points
    • Green Plan &ndash 7 points

    One other thing to note about this recipe &ndash I made it in the slow cooker at first, but I much prefer it in the pressure cooker.

    Funny side note: I got this Crock-Pot 6Qt pressure cooker but it took me awhile to get brave enough to use the pressure cooking functions. It slow cooks as well, so that&rsquos what I did for weeks before I finally got the onions to push the Beans/Chili button.

    I can tell a difference in slow cooking vs. pressure cooking with this recipe. Slow cooked chili tastes better to me the next day after the flavors have had a chance to meld.

    In the pressure cooker, this Weight Watchers chili recipe tastes great immediately! Here&rsquos how to make it.

    In a large saucepan, beat together the egg yolks and 3/4 cup sugar until the ingredients are thoroughly blended and the mixture turns frothy.

    Add the cinnamon stick and lemon zest and stir.

    Add the milk and cornstarch and slowly heat the mixture, stirring constantly, just until it begins to thicken.

    As soon as the mixture thickens and you feel resistance while stirring, remove the pot from the heat immediately or the mixture may curdle or separate. If this happens, the texture of the finished crema Catalana will be grainy instead of smooth and creamy as it should be.

    To cool, remove the cinnamon stick and ladle the milk mixture into 4 to 6 ramekins (depending on size). Allow them to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for at least 2 to 3 hours.

    Before serving, heat the broiler. Take the ramekins with the crema Catalana out of the refrigerator and sprinkle the rest of the sugar over each ramekin.

    When the broiler is hot, place the ramekins under the broiler on the top shelf and allow the sugar to caramelize and bubble, turning golden brown. This may take 5 to 10 minutes or so, depending on your broiler. Keep a close eye on your crema Catalana so that it does not burn. Remove and serve immediately.

    If you'd like, you can serve the crema Catalana chilled, but some think it has more flavor when served warm from the broiler.

    Raw Egg Warning

    Consuming raw and lightly-cooked eggs poses a risk of food-borne illness.

    Glass Bakeware Warning

    Do not use glass bakeware when broiling or when a recipe calls to add liquid to a hot pan, as glass may explode. Even if it states oven-safe or heat resistant, tempered glass products can, and do, break occasionally.

    Romesco sauce and calçots

    Romesco sauce is closely associated with calçots. If you've ever been in Barcelona or Catalonia in the late winter or early spring then you may be familiar with the tender green onion called calçots and the barbecue tradition of the calçotada.

    Calçots are a green onion bigger than a scallion but smaller than a leek. They are cooked on a charcoal barbecue until charred, wrapped in newspaper to steam then eaten with your hands. They are very messy. Allow my husband Raúl to demonstrate:

    Calçots are always eaten with their specific sauce. This sauce is called salsa de calçots or salbitxada. It is very similar to romesco sauce and most people won’t be able to tell you the difference between the two.

    What I can tell you is that if you walk into any supermarket in Catalonia you’ll find one jar of sauce labeled romesco and another jar labeled salsa de calçots, so they certainly are different.

    The principal difference being that salsa de calçots is thinner and has only almonds while romesco is thicker and has both almonds and hazelnuts. The proportion of tomato to ñora is another difference between the two sauces.

    In any case, salsa de calçots and romesco can be used interchangeably as a sauce for calçots. Same same but different.

    But if you don’t have calçots don’t worry, romesco sauce is delicious on just about anything. Today I served it with some steamed artichokes.

    If you’d like to see more authentic Spanish recipes, check out my padron peppers or my watermelon gazpacho recipes!