Brian Baumgartner reflects on his “chili guy” identity that was formed following the iconic scene in NBC’s “The Office” where his character, Kevin Malone, spills a vat full of stuff all over the office floor .
In his “Seriously Good Chili Cookbook: 177 of the Best Recipes in the World Recipes,” published now, Baumgartner shares recipes from award-winning chili cooks, chefs, and restaurateurs.
Although he hasn’t tried every recipe included in the cookbook, he has tried many – and shared his own formula titled “Brian’s Seriously Good Chili Recipe” in the cookbook.
Whatever recipe you try, Baumgartner has a few chili-making secrets that he shares with USA TODAY.
After:Brian Baumgartner, aka Kevin from ‘The Office,’ Reveals His True Love for Chili in Cookbook
There is a line, in the “Casual Friday” episode of “The Office” on chili, which advises not to overcook the onions while preparing the chili: “The trick is not to overcook the onions “, explains Kevin in the episode. “Everyone will get to know each other in the pot.”
“I actually think that’s true,” Baumgartner says. “There are definitely other dishes where I caramelize the onions, which gives them a distinct, specific flavor that I don’t think is good for the chili. So just sautéing them lightly will make them translucent.”
He thinks it may be the key to good chili. Another is to make chili while browning the meat – that’s when you put in your tomato paste.
“I think it acts as a combination agent and softens everything together at the same time,” he explains.
Fox Chapel Publishing, publisher of Baumgartner’s cookbook, shared an excerpt from “Good Chili Cookbook: 177 of the Best Recipes in the World” including his recipe.
‘Brian’s Really Good Chili Recipe’
Cooking time: 1 hour
Makes: 6-8 servings
- 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil (or cooking oil)
- 1 large yellow onion (or 1 cup shallots), chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, diced
- 2 pounds lean ground turkey (or lean ground beef), undrained
- A 6 ounce can of tomato paste
- A 24 ounce can of diced tomatoes
- A 16-ounce can of tomato sauce
- ½ cup of water (optional)
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 teaspoons of salt
- 4 teaspoons chilli powder
- 2 teaspoons ancho chili powder
- 4 teaspoons of oregano
- 1 teaspoon of sugar
- One 16 ounce can Bush Pinto Beans in Sweet Chili Sauce, undrained
- One 16 ounce can Bush Kidney Beans in Sweet Chili Sauce, undrained
- Garnish: grated cheddar cheese
Info Good to know
Have fun with your toppings! Sour cream and shredded cheese are classic options, but you can substitute pickled jalapenos, mashed avocado, or crumbled tortilla chips. Just make sure what you choose complements your chili.