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Posts Tagged ‘chili’

It’s officially chili weather! It’s taking a while for the cool weather to set in here, but we’re definitely enjoying lower temperatures.

I’ve made a few chili recipes in the past, but we always end up coming back to this one – it’s one we made up a while back, and it’s also ridiculously easy. You can easily double or triple it, freeze it if you need to, whatever.

I think I may make a BIG batch of this pre-baby to keep in the freezer, so we have it to eat later!

Favorite Chili

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 can chili-ready tomatoes
  • 1 can Bush’s chili beans [or regular pinto beans]
  • 2 Tbsp chili powder
  • Water or broth as desired, to thin

Brown and drain ground beef. Add all other ingredients, stir well, and simmer 30 minutes. If a thinner consistency is desired, add water or broth (I use broth if I’m using regular pinto beans – but water if I’m using chili beans).

Great with cornbread, cheese, Fritos, sour cream… etc.

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TWO recipes in one day – can you believe it?!

I’ll give you a moment to recover from your shock.

This is one of those crap-I-forgot-to-look-up-a-good-cornbread-recipe-to-go-with-my-chili-and-now-I-have-to-resort-to-scrounging-around-in-my-pantry-to-see-if-there-are-any-recipes-on-the-bag-of-flour-or-something recipes. I discovered it quite by accident when I was in the middle of the aforementioned situation and found a cornbread recipe on the side of the Clabber Girl Double Acting Baking Powder can. Hallelujah! It saved my chili.

I should mention here that JW does not like cornbread [Are we sensing a pattern here? Do you see what I have to live with?]. I have made this numerous times in the past year or so, knowing full well that I would be the only one eating it. Two squares would be eaten and the rest would go into the trash.

This week, however, JW said he might try a piece. I told him he should, that he just might like it. So he was brave and tore off a corner and stuck it in his mouth.

And do you know… that boy ate TWO pieces of this cornbread that he had supposedly “not liked” every other time I had made it before.

Heaven help me.

So here it is. It’s slightly sweet. Not so sweet you feel like you’re eating cake, but sweet enough to make you want “just a bit more.” Enjoy. And if you live with a die-hard cornbread hater, ask them to try just a small piece and see what happens.

Golden Corn Bread (thank you Clabber Girl)

  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup oil or shortening, softened

Sift together dry ingredients into bowl. Add egg, milk, and shortening. Stir or whisk together until smooth. Do not overbeat. Bake in greased 8-inch square pan or greased muffin pans in hot oven (425 degrees). Serve warm with butter or covered with creamed chicken, fish or meat.

I would have taken out that last sentence but I found it charmingly funny.

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We’ve been on a vegetarian kick with meals this week. JW wanted a salad for dinner on Monday, so we created our own little salad bar. Dinner last night was this chili, and tonight we’re doing ratatouille. I’m sure meat will make an appearance next week, primarily because I have nearly exhausted my list of vegetarian recipes that don’t taste like cardboard.

I was attracted to this dish for two reasons – one, because I love beans and I’m always up for trying a new bean dish, and two, because it was originally a Cooks Illustrated recipe, and Cooks Illustrated is my hero. We thought it was good, although as JW put it, “very tomatoey.” I’d like to try adding something to cut the brightness of the tomatoes, but for a 30-minute healthy dish, I’d say this was really very good.

Oh also, because JW does not like corn, I added an extra can of beans. I’m giving it to you with my adjustments.

Cornbread recipe to follow, hopefully tomorrow.

Easy Vegetarian Bean Chili (Original recipe here)

CI Note: A combination of beans is better in this (kidney, black, pinto, whatever). Also, don’t sub in anything for the pureed diced tomatoes, as the consistency is vital.

  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 3 (15-ounce) cans beans (see note above), drained and rinsed
  • 2-3 teaspoons minced chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • salt and ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced

Pour tomatoes and the accompanying juices in a food processor. Pulse 4 or 5 times, until it’s kinda chunky.

In a large pot (dutch oven), combine tomatoes, beans, chipotles, sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Stir and cover. Heat over high until it starts boiling. Drop heat to medium-low and simmer for the time being.

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. When very hot, add onion, chili powder, cumin, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Stir. Saute until onions are soft and a little translucent, around 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic. Stir. Saute until fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 minute.

Add onion mixture into pot with tomatoes and beans. Scrape browned bits with the back of your spoon, if you have any, and add them too. Drop heat to medium-low and cook about 15 minutes, until chili has a more chili-like consistency. Stir occasionally.

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Due to a small miscommunication with our gas company, our gas was shut off unexpectedly about a week ago. When they came out to our house, the hot water heater and range came back on, but the heat did not. Lucky for us, we have made do for the past week with a couple of space heaters (of which every hardware store in Houston orders 3 at the beginning of winter, and does not reorder when they sell out, so it is nearly impossible to find one in February).

I don’t care who you are – even in Houston, and even with space heaters, a house with no heat in the middle of winter is freakin cold. So finally yesterday we called our home warranty (thank you, seller of our new house, for purchasing a home warranty for us) and they sent someone out today to fix it. Yea! I am super excited that I don’t have to dread getting out of the shower anymore.

That said, I do realize that most parts of the country are experiencing blizzard-like conditions at the moment as a winter storm the size of Jupiter meanders across the United States, and that our high-40’s temperatures really aren’t all that impressively cold to you guys. And to that all I have to say is…

Cold is cold. Period. And on cold days, one of the best meals to warm up with is chili. It’s warm, cozy, and can be (like this one) healthy as well.

I encourage you to try this with chicken and/or turkey as called for in the recipe. If you have true texture issues with ground poultry, of course you can use beef. Regardless of your choice of meat, the flavor of the spices and other ingredients really makes this a great chili. Because of some things that came up last night, I didn’t quite follow the cook time. I let it cook a little over an hour and stirred in the beans right before serving.

Of course, like most chilis, it was excellent the second day as well.

Chicken Chili With White Beans (Original recipe here)
Note: This is not a spicy chili. If you want more heat, increase the cayenne or red pepper flakes.

  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 cups onions, chopped (about 2 medium onions)
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 6 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 pounds ground chicken and/or turkey (not extra lean breast meat)
  • Two 28 oz. cans chopped or diced tomatoes (I used one crushed because it was what I had)
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth (or use regular and decrease the salt a little bit)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1-15 oz. can small Cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

Make spice mixture by combining chili powder, cumin, coriander, red pepper flakes, oregano, cayenne pepper and 1 teaspoon salt in small bowl. Mix well and set aside next to stove.

Heat oil in a large, heavy-bottomed nonreactive (not cast iron or aluminum) pot over medium heat. Add onions and red bell pepper and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring to prevent garlic from burning, about two minutes more.

Increase heat to medium high and add the ground chicken and spice mixture. As the chicken cooks, use a wooden spoon to break the meat into very small clumps; cook until no longer pink, about 5 minutes.

Add tomatoes, chicken broth, remaining teaspoon salt and sugar. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer, partially covered (set lid ajar so steam has a few inches to escape), for about one hour, stirring occasionally.

Stir in white beans and let simmer, uncovered, for about 50 minutes more, or until meat is tender and flavors are well combined. For a soupier chili, you can add additional water. For a thicker chili, simmer uncovered until desired consistency is reached. Taste and add salt if necessary.

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So because my pictures were pretty horrendous on this one, I’ll send you over to the original site, Cooking Weblog, for better pictures and the recipe. David does a fantastic job of showing you step-by-step pictures and explains everything perfectly, so even if you’ve never cooked with tomatillos and frankly aren’t sure what the heck to do with them, you’ll feel right at ease.

Chili verde is essentially chunks of pork in a roasted tomatillo sauce. As for my own attempt, it turned out pretty good! I admit that I kind of screwed up a couple of steps (I put the 2 1/2 cups of water in with the marinate, not realizing I was supposed to add that after I’d seared the pork), but I forged ahead and ended up loving the result. The pork was really tender, and JW and I both loved the tomatillo sauce.

The only downside to this recipe was that it was a little time consuming. If you have three hours to prepare dinner, it’s perfectly fine and really pretty easy, but in the future I would like to try it in a slow cooker after making the tomatillo sauce, and cook it during the day while I’m at work. We will see.

All in all, tomatillos and I are getting along just fine!

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