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This Simple Texas Chili Makes an Incredible Frito Pie

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Illustration for article titled This Simple Texas Chili Makes an Incredible Frito Pie

Photo: Claire Lower

Hello, friends, and welcome to the first installment of the Skillet Chili Cook-Off. Let me start out by saying that this thing is probably going to go on longer than I initially intended. I know I said I would be picking eight (8) chili recipes to make, eat and ponder, but you simply sent me too many enticing entries.

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Besides, I’m the boss in this corner of the internet, and I can make as many of your delicious chili recipes as I want to! I have no desire to limit myself (or you) to eight, and I won’t do it. Anyway. Let’s meet our first bowl of meaty wonderment: a simple, honest Texas chili.

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I only know two things about Texas: They don’t allow beans in their chili, and their spiders are not to be trifled with. (My family lived in Texas briefly right after I was born while my dad was inspecting cattle or something. I got bit by a spider, and the mark did not fade until I was well into my teens.)

The “no beans” rule never quite made sense to me. As a maximalist who likes beans, I didn’t understand why the addition of a legume was so upsetting to so many people. But contributor The Notorious H.A.M changed my mind with their measured, gentle tone and simple, no-frills recipe. Was I influenced by the description of this chili as “rural,” and “working class”? Of course—I’m a communist from Mississippi. Did the words “limited-ingredients-by-necessity” give me a thrill? You bet it did. I’m a sucker for food that anyone—no matter their income or location—can make and enjoy. I also liked that H.A.M. said we could have pintos as a treat, if only as a side dish. This allowance demonstrates a flexible, but still principled, approach to eating and cooking.

There’s no need for me to re-type H.A.M’s detailed, clear instructions. I’ll just drop them here and meet you on the other side.

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I followed H.A.M.’s instructions exactly, right down to the addition of the fish sauce and red wine vinegar, both of which added their own unique flash of subtle specialness in their own way (umami and brightness, respectively), but the chili would still be good without them. I didn’t feel the need to thicken the chili, so I omitted the Masa Harina, but I have used it in other recipes and can confirm it would work well in chili.

This chili kicks ass. It’s meaty and rich, but not too heavy, with just the right amount of acidity and sweetness. It was a little spicier than I was expecting, but that was a good thing. The heat ebbed and flowed with each bite, never obliterating my palate and always leaving me craving another bite.

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My only note is that I recommend letting the chili sit overnight. The flavors really do develop and meld into something even better than the fresh-off-the-stove iteration. It’s truly worth the wait.

Again, I must highlight how accessible and easy this chili is. All of the ingredients can be found at any grocery store, and they are all extremely reasonably-priced (especially if you already have a halfway decent spice rack). The dried spices do a lot of work here, and they do it beautifully. The result is a something that tastes more nuanced and developed than most people would expect, and that’s a valuable lesson. I’m very guilty of “riffing” before even establishing a baseline, and this chili reminded me that sometimes simple is all you need. Honestly, it’s kind of a relief.

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Oh, and you should definitely use this chili to make a Frito pie, and you should make the Frito pie with Whiz. It really is the platonic ideal of a sporting event snack, and I’ll probably eat it every day until I run out of chili.

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Keep That Hotdish Hot With 65% Off a Luncia Casserole Carrier, Only $11 With Promo Code

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Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Luncia Double-Decker Dish Carrier | $11 | Amazon | Promo code SDDU9S7F

It has been a long time since the days we could safely have a potluck or other gatherings, but we have a fantastic deal perfect for once those times return. These double-decker Luncia dish carriers can be had for 65% off when you add promo code SDDU9S7F at checkout and clip the coupon on the site (it’s just below the price). These holders fit 9″x 13″ sized baking dishes.

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That means you can insulate and keep two dishes of food warm for only $11 instead of $30. What’s more, your Luncia carrier will arrive by Christmas if you order today as a Prime member.

Just add promo code SDDU9S7F and clip the 5% off coupon to bring the price down to $11 for the blue or the grey option.

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Grab this offer while it’s still around!


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Conquer Your Pup’s Dander and Fur With $700 Off a Cobalt or Charcoal Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum

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Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Cobalt) | $200 | Best Buy

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Charcoal) | $200 | Best Buy

Allergies can be bad enough as the seasons change. Don’t let pet hair and dander add to that by vacuuming it up early and often. That chore is easier said than done— unless you have a robot vacuum to do the work for you. This lovely bright cobalt Bobsweep PetHair Plus robot vacuum and mop, only $200 today at Best Buy seems like an ideal option. That’s a whopping $700 off, by the way.

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You can get the same deal for the charcoal version of the robot vac, too. This model is not only specially made for picking up pet hair, it self docks and charges when it’s finished with the work.

It also comes with a mop attachment, so it can take care of those kitchen floors for you as well. Grab it while it’s still available for this fantastic price!

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Apple will replace AirPods Pro for free with faulty noise cancellation, static or crackling

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Today, exactly one year after Apple first launched the AirPods Pro — and thus the same day the very first AirPods Pro owners will see their one-year warranties expire — Apple has launched a repair program that offers free repairs or replacements for another whole year if your AirPods Pro experience issues with noise cancellation or static.

Specifically, Apple will fix:

Crackling or static sounds that increase in loud environments, with exercise or while talking on the phone

Active Noise Cancellation not working as expected, such as a loss of bass sound, or an increase in background sounds, such as street or airplane noise

Apple says only a “small percentage of AirPods Pro” are affected by the issues, but it apparently wasn’t just an early batch — Apple says affected units were manufactured “before October 2020,” meaning every AirPods Pro ever made might be eligible. That’s quite a recall if so. Apple says it will repair faulty AirPods Pro for two years after you first buy them.

We’ve heard complaints about degraded noise cancellation before, and at least one Verge editor has replaced their AirPods Pro under warranty. It’s nice to hear that Apple isn’t just cutting buyers off as soon as that warranty expires.

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