Saturday, February 5, 2011

Chili



It's Super Bowl week and it's a perfect time for Chili!  It's also a perfect time for Chili because the Northeast is getting hit hard with snow and freezing temps.  Chili can warm you from the inside out.  It's just the right dish to warm your bones after a long session of shoveling snow.  Luckily this recipe is big enough to share with friends during the big game or when you just need a comforting bowl of warm, belly filling goodness.


This is my Dad's Chili recipe.  It's delicious and it's a family favorite. This is the first time I've ever made it, but I can tell you from experience it is pretty easy.  Easy in the way that after you chop the veggies, fry out the meat and open the beans it's pretty much a one pot meal.  Just add the ingredients to the pot, give it a stir and walk away for two hours.  When you return to the stove, POW!  Chili is done.  


Another reason this Chili recipe is so great is because you can make it your own.  Don't want to add ground beef?  Try it with ground turkey, pork or even venison*. Don't like chick peas?  Skip them!  Whatever you omit, replace with your own favorite mixture of beans.  Not enough heat?  Skip the jalapenos and add some serrano chili peppers instead.  Just remember to do your pepper research.  Treat peppers like you would salt.  You can add the heat but you can't take it away, so be careful. 


*I have been fooled (by fooled I mean lied to) into eating venison chili. You can't even tell the difference.  Just don't tell my Dad I said that. (Hi Dad!)  


One last thing. This recipe makes a pretty big pot of Chili.  It is great for a crowd but can be made and stored for long winter nights.  If you are going to freeze the chili, portion & store into plastic containers.  When you are ready to eat, pop the chili into the microwave or onto the stove top to defrost.  When the chili is done, scoop into a bowl, top with some shredded cheese and dig in.


I see lots of Chili in your future.  Nachos with Chili, Queso & Chili, Chili Dogs.........


Chili


2-28 oz. cans of Kitchen Ready Diced Tomatoes
6 oz. can Tomato Paste
30 oz. can of Red Kidney Beans
15 oz. can of Chick Peas
30 oz. can of Cannenelli Beans
15 oz. can of Black Beans
2 1/2 Lbs. Ground Beef
1/2 Bulb of Garlic, crushed
6 Jalapenos, cut in half lengthwise (leave in seeds)
3 Red Bell Peppers, sliced into 1" pieces (a combo of red and green peppers can be used)
2 Large Onions, chopped
2 oz. Chili Powder
3 Tbsp Oil
1/2 Tsp. Salt
1/2 Tsp. Black Pepper
1 Packet of Taco Seasoning


Fry ground beef until cooked through, drain fat, set aside.


Heat oil in an 8 quart pan. Add chopped onions and crushed garlic. Cook until onions start to soften. (approx. 5 minutes)


While the onions & garlic are cooking, prepare the beans.  All the beans should be drained but not rinsed.


When the onions & garlic are soft, add both cans of tomatoes, tomato paste and all the beans.  Add the ground beef, peppers, chili powder, salt, pepper & taco seasoning.  Stir until all the ingredients are mixed together.


Cook over low heat for 2 hours.  Check often as the Chili will stick to the bottom of the pan if the heat is too high.

Let's get started!
Onions & Garlic.  Yum.  Smells heavenly.
Where's the beef?  Here's the beef!
Tomatoes in the pot....
Beans.....
Bring on the peppers....
Here comes some spice.
Give it a stir. Keep the Chili on low heat so it won't stick to the bottom of the pan.  Make sure to visit a few times to check in.
Ta Da! Where's the spoon?
Enjoy!  Hope it keeps you warm!
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