Monday, January 10, 2011

Chili Warm-Up

We're right smack in the middle of winter in Central New York.  We've got cold weather, along with a lot of (beautiful) snow...a record 70 + inches for December alone!   This is the type of weather that makes me want to cook comfort food like Chili!  Here is a recipe I tried out this week.  It's not too hot however if you do like it spicier, you can adjust the heat to your liking.   One important thing to remember about dishes like chili and soups is it will taste MUCH better the second day.  So make this one night, put it in the fridge overnight and enjoy for dinner the next night.

Chili
adapted from the Marlboro Chili Roundup Cookbook
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
3 cloves of garlic
1 pound of ground beef
1 Tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 of a milk chocolate bar, broken into small pieces
1 Tablespoon cider vinegar
1 28-oz. can of diced tomatoes (regular or fire-roasted)
2 Tablespoons of tomato paste
1 15-oz. can of kidney beans, drained
1 15-oz. can of black beans, drained (or you can use all kidney beans)
Garnishes: oyster crackers, grated cheddar cheese, chopped onion, sour cream, etc.

In a large pot, saute the onions in olive oil over medium heat until they begin to soften, then add garlic.  Stir frequently, to avoid burning, for about 5 minutes until the onions have carmelized.  Remove from pot and set aside.

In the same pot (add a teaspoon more oil if needed), cook ground beef.  Stir frequently, breaking up the beef so it looks crumbly.  Once the beef is cooked through, drain the fat from the pot.  Return the cooked onions and garlic back to pot with the meat and add all the other ingredients EXCEPT the beans.

If there is not enough liquid to cover the mixture, add just enough water to cover (maybe 1/2 cup).  Mix well and bring the chili to a boil and then reduce the heat.  Simmer for one hour, stirring occasionally.  Add beans and simmer for an additional 15 minutes and then serve.  Makes 4 (hefty) portions.

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