Barack Obama’s Chili

by Cate on October 7, 2008

Barack Obama's ChiliI always struggle with which recipes I should share, and which I should skip over.  If a recipe is just ok, should I post it?  I go on both sides with this … if I mention I’m making something, and then it turns out just ok, I kind of feel like I should tell you, to save you wasting your time and ingredients making it.  But then on the other hand, how much space to devote to a recipe that was just ok?  It’s a mighty fine tightrope, I tell you.  Mighty fine.

With tonight’s Presidential debate on in the background and speaking of “ok” recipes, it’s as good a time as any to bring up Barack Obama’s Chili that I made last week.  Barack, seriously?  This is the recipe you want to be known for?  This is a recipe you shared on Good Morning America?  Barack, seriously?  I’m not even going to get into the should-a-real-chili-recipe-have-beans-or-not debate.  I’m going to leave that one alone.  But Senator, where is the heat?  Where is the spice?  And, quite frankly, where is the taste?

Now don’t get me wrong.  It wasn’t bad.  It was just ok, nothing special.  If it wasn’t for the fact that The Huffington Post lists this recipe as the one Barack brags about, I might not have given it a second thought.  But with such a buildup… When I tasted it after following the recipe to the letter, I needed to get busy doctoring it enough that it would pass muster.  To keep things easy, I added barbecue sauce and a dash of Worcestershire.  I can promise you this, it might have made airtime with Good Morning America, but I urge you to exercise your right and vote no.  Pass this one on by.  I’m sure, I just know, that Barack has much better recipes up his sleeves for us.  This just wasn’t one of them.  He’s just holding them back for later.

The one good thing that came out of this one…?  The recipe suggested serving the chili over rice, and I loved it.  Never occurred to me to eat it that way – usually we just put it in a bowl and eat as is, but it was perfect over rice.  Now true die-hard chili fans might decry serving it over rice – I’m not sure where everyone stands on that – but I don’t care, and next time we make this chili recipe or this one or heck even this one, I’m going to try it over rice.

So that’s all folks … Barack Obama’s Chili … nothing to see here.  Move it along.

A year ago today … Think Pink!   This year, if you’re thinking pink, stop over at The Voice of Mom, where we’ll be highlighting all sorts of pink items this month, including the popular lunch bags, which we talked about yesterday.
Two years ago today … sigh, sailing away on vacation.
Three years ago today … Indian food and Rachael Ray.

Obama Family Chili Recipe

1 large onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
Several cloves of garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound ground turkey or beef
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon ground basil
1 tablespoon chili powder
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Several tomatoes, depending on size, chopped
1 can red kidney beans

Saute onions, green pepper and garlic in olive oil until soft.

Add ground meat and brown.

Combine spices together into a mixture, then add to ground meat.

Add red wine vinegar.

Add tomatoes and let simmer, until tomatoes cook down.

Add kidney beans and cook for a few more minutes.

Serve over white or brown rice. Garnish with grated cheddar cheese, onions and sour cream.

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Patsy October 8, 2008 at 8:49 am

You are right… where is the spice, the kick, the punch that chili is known for in that recipe? Thanks for sharing what you thought… it is a fine line between sharing something that was just “ok” or not…

I haven’t tried the chili over rice, but we do have friends who love it that way… one of these days I’ll remember to make rice while the chili is cooking so I can try it!

Patsys last blog post..Crispy Chicken Strips


Linda in St.Louis October 8, 2008 at 9:47 am

Thanks for your opinion, Cate. Definitiely not enough spice) I’ve never had chili over rice; do put chili in over spaghetti or macaroni, but had not heard of doing rice.
Linda in St. Louis


jan October 8, 2008 at 12:25 pm

I think that anyone who cooks would know to add spice to taste. Maybe the recipe is geared to the young daughters?


Deanna October 8, 2008 at 12:26 pm

I have read that Obama just can’t quit smoking. Maybe his taste buds are numbed out from nicotine? I like lots of spice myself and couldn’t agree with you more, Cate! Thanks for all the great posts.


Sarah Caron October 8, 2008 at 4:31 pm

Flavor is so important … hopefully you are right about saving the better recipes for later …

Sarah Carons last blog post..Channeling My Inner Julia: Ratatouille


Randy Kildow November 8, 2008 at 12:27 pm

I was really expecting something more. I wouldn’t call this recipe chili. It resembles something on the order of a “hamburger helper” type dish or one of those pot luck type dishes. Very little chili peppers in it. Red wine vinegar??? No sugar with all the tomatos???….Over rice?????


jac November 8, 2008 at 3:14 pm

Real chili does not have beans. It was added as a filler or extender in the days of cheap diners.


Tim in Scottsdale, AZ January 15, 2009 at 7:12 am

My family and I tried Obama’s chili and we loved it, maybe jan was right when she said “I think that anyone who cooks would know to add spice to taste. Maybe the recipe is geared to the young daughters?” so, President-Elect Obama don’t change a thing we like it the way it is.


G. R. June 5, 2013 at 1:40 pm

Who *doesn’t* eat chili on rice? I mean, c’mon!


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