Tuesday, October 21, 2008

It's getting chili

I love a big bowl of chili. I've been making it for years and I rarely make it the same way. Unless I'm making the Cincinnati Chili recipe, it's different each time. After a few times of making chili, you start to get an idea of what you're going to put in the pot. Which spices, how much meat, whether or not you're using tomatoes, how you're serving it...it becomes second nature.

Last night was no different, but I did write down what I was doing (a habit I'm trying to get in to).

Chili served over pasta with cheese

2 tsp vegetable oil
1 lb ground beef
1 tsp Mrs. Dash seasoning
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 onion, small dice
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 TB chili con carne
2 tsp red & green bell pepper
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp ground chimayo chile
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp cocoa powder
1/4 tsp ground chipotle chile
1/4 tsp ground mustard
1/4 tsp ground celery seed
1 TB tomato paste
1 14 oz can of whole, peeled tomatoes (roughly chopped*)
1 10 oz can tomato sauce

*Why buy cans of whole, peeled tomatoes vs. cans of diced tomatoes? They are processed for a shorter period of time, so they maintain a fresher flavor--fresher for canned. The difference probably isn't noticeable in this application, but it's worth keeping in mind in all recipes you use canned tomatoes in.

In a large pot, heat the oil over medium high heat and add the beef. Break the beef up in to pieces and add the salt, pepper, Mrs. Dash (I've used this so much ground beef doesn't taste right to me without it.)

When the ground beef if browned, add the onions and garlic. Cook for about 5 minutes until the onions are softened. Add the spices and stir to incorporate and allow the spices to heat up and toast in the oil/fat in the pan, about 2 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook for one minute. Add the canned tomatoes.

Cover and bring to a simmer. I let my pot of chili simmer for about 30 minutes before serving. The longer the better and if you want, bring to a simmer, turn of the heat, allow to cool, and stick in the fridge...everyone knows chili is better the second!

Serve with pasta, cornbread, corn chips, cheese, sour cream...whatever you like.

NOTE: If I understand correctly "CHILI" is the dish, the meal, the food and can also be a blend of seasonings/peppers/spices and "CHILE" is the the pepper, singular (chimayo chile, chipotle chile.) If I'm not lying, you now know something new.


Dancer in DC said...

Chili is a smart economical choice in these tough times. You can make a ton of it easily. As mentioned by ScottE, you can serve it numerous ways, which keeps it interesting. And it reheats very well.

Stef said...

I love chili, and you're right, I make it differently every time too. I make chili with beans and corn, and it varies based on what I have in the pantry. I think I should make some next week. Yum.

br said...

I always heard you shouldn't add beans to real chili. But I like to. I suppose it's a personal choice....