Sunday, October 10, 2010

My Non-Recipe Chili Recipe

This weekend we had a bunch of friends over for Fall Fest, a little celebration of autumnal activities, that I hope becomes an annual event.  Fall Fest centered around a chili feed - each couple bringing their own special chili - because no one makes the same kind of chili, and everyone thinks theirs is the best!

I couldn't find my recipe.  It was a concoction of my own creation - one of the few times I actually recorded what I put in something that turned out delicious.  This was a blow, but also a chance to record my new recipe online, so I went for it.

You start with a pound of ground beef.  We get ours from a meat locker because it is far superior to any beef you can find at your average grocery store.  We're from Kansas.  We have ideas about our beef, ok?  So anyway, you start with a pound of ground beef.

Then you chop 1 onion - yellow or white, doesn't matter.  I like to chop it pretty fine, so the pieces are about the size of the beans.

Pop those into a big stew pot (some call it a Dutch oven, I believe) and brown them, seasoning with salt and pepper.  None of that fancy, fresh-ground pepper is necessary.  This is good ol' fashioned chili, folks!

You can drain the meat if you want; I didn't, just to lend it a little extra flavor and goodness.

These are the beans we're using.  My mom was shocked when I told her the meat-to-bean ratio.  I suppose you could call this Cheap Girl's Chili...

Drain and rinse the kidney beans, the pinto beans and the black beans; leave the chili beans just as they are.  Dump all those fiber-rich beans into the pot and stir it up!  Turn the heat up a bit and let those simmer together for a few minutes.

It's looking a little thick, isn't it?  Well, my friends, we are just now getting to the lycopene-rich tomatoes*.  I had a jar of fresh tomatoes I froze this summer, so I used those, along with a can of generic Rotel and Italian stewed tomatoes.  Dump 'em all in and stir again.

After I did that, it was looking a little runnier than I liked, so I drained and rinsed my pinch-hitter beans, Great Northerns.

These are my friends, the Chili Crew.  You may notice they are very similar to the Mexican-flair spices featured in my Sweet Potato Quesadilla recipe adaptation.  Certain spices are included in that list of "things that never get old."  I also used cumin and paprika.


Season heavily!  Season with abandon!  I'm talking at least a couple tablespoons of chili powder, a couple teaspoons of garlic salt and onion powder, a teaspoon or so of paprika.  Take it easy with the cayenne, although the capascin is said to kick up your metabolism a notch.

Let all that simmer for fifteen minutes or so.  You can put this in the fridge and serve the next day, actually.  That's probably what I'd recommend.  Let the flavors meld...


* You may notice I'm throwing a little healthspeak into this recipe.  I'm not trying to sound like I know a lot about this stuff, or have some sort of dietician degree (I don't and I don't).  But I do read a LOT of magazines, and some of what I read actually sticks with me.  Fiber, lycopene, capascin... all things that are good for you.

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