Sunday, July 3, 2011

Guest Blogger Maryann Miller’s Gringo Chili

blk&white headshotFirst I want to thank Riley, er, Elizabeth for inviting me to be a guest today. I have visited the Mystery Lover's Kitchen on a number of occasions and, well, quite frankly, I feel like an imposter.

I don't love to cook.

There, I said it.

I read all these great recipes and think I will try them some day, but some day never comes around. Although that pineapple casserole recipe Riley posted last week sure is tempting.

Cover-2010-optimizedNone of the protagonists in my books like to cook, either. Well, not the women anyway. Sarah, one of the homicide detectives in my new mystery, doesn't even make real instant coffee. She runs the tap until the water is hot and uses that. No messing with a tea kettle or even a microwave for that woman.

I didn't pattern Sarah after me. Honest. I do know how to boil water, but I did think that little quirk said something about her as a character. She has a tendency to focus on the end result, often skipping steps along the way, which does get her into trouble with her boss, and her new partner.

When trying to decide what to share today, I thought about my chili, which folks here in Texas do not consider the real deal. Okay, the recipe came from Michigan. What can I say.

When I was a child, this chili was made every Sunday and left simmering on the stove. That was the one day of the week that the “cook” took the rest of the day off, and we were free to eat a bowl whenever we were hungry. Some of us liked to eat it spread generously over an open-faced hamburger bun. We called it a chili burger.

I thought of those great, lazy Sunday afternoons when the heroine in One Small Victory needed some “comfort food” for her children. What better than a bowl of Gringo Chili.



1 lb. ground beef
1 lb. pork sausage (mild)
1 onion (chopped)
1 green pepper (chopped)
3 toes of garlic (more if you are a garlic lover)
3 lg. cans crushed tomatoes
1 lg. can tomato paste
2 cans pinto beans drained and rinsed
1 can green chilies
3 tsp chili powder
½ tsp. crushed red pepper
½ tsp cinnamon
2 tblsp. sugar

Brown meat with crushed garlic, onions and peppers. Cook until vegetables are soft. Drain. Add tomatoes, beans, and tomato paste, then add seasonings. Simmer, stirring often, for at least an hour.

Of course, the recipe can be modified; adding more spices to make it sizzle, but then it wouldn't be Gringo Chile any more, would it?


Kindle CoverMaryann Miller's latest mystery, Open Season, is the first in a new series. It is a police procedural in the vein of The 87th Precinct series, and the second book, Stalking Season will be out November 2012. Her suspense novel, One Small Victory, is available as an e-book and in paperback. Visit her Web site at Find her on Twitter at @maryannwrites and on Facebook.

Thanks for coming by today, Maryann! I think some Gringo Chili sounds like the perfect all-American option for the 4th of July weekend! Thanks for sharing it with us!


  1. Thanks so much for coming by today, Maryann! Can't wait to read "Open Season"--and cook up some Gringo Chili! Easy, comfort food is right up my alley. :)

  2. Maryann, this is my kind of chili! Long on spices, short on work. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  3. As a Canadian (how Gringo can one get?) let me say that I really like the sound of your chili! Looking forward to digging into your books too!

  4. Hi, Maryann - Thanks for making me laugh this morning. Your detective who makes instant coffee with tap water is just asking for a lecture from one of my Coffeehouse characters. :) All kidding aside, your books sound like great reads, and your chili recipe is a winner, too (love the cinnamon). Thanks for hangin' with us at the Kitchen.

    ~ Cleo

  5. Maryann, I love your Gringo Chili recipe. Even better is the notion of putting a pot on the stove (or in a crockpot) and letting it simmer all day so everyone can help themselves. What a great idea!

    Thanks for joining us today!

    ~ Krista

  6. I apologize for not stopping in Sunday to chat. Being the holiday weekend and my birthday, I was swamped with company. Luckily, they all like to cook. LOL

    Cleo, any time you want to have a chat with Sarah about the coffee, please do. I have tried to get her to at least make the instant with boiled water, but no, she has to do it her way.

    Riley, again, thanks so much for inviting me to guest. Your initial invitation several months ago first introduced me to the blog and I really enjoy it.