Thursday, February 9, 2012

We interrupt this message for an important announcement.


Yes, folks, you heard right. It's chili day!

I LOVE chili. With Fritos. And sour cream. And lots of cheese.

I've become a bit of a chili fiend as an adult because I can count on one hand the number of times I ate regular chili growing up. My mom doesn't like it, so we always had a white chicken chili. Sad day. Now that I feed myself I've gone a little crazy.

I'm here to share the secrets of my chili. Brace yourselves.

There is no secret. Or recipe. Or plan of any kind.

I do follow a couple rules though, so I guess we can call this somewhat of a recipe.

1 lb-ish ground beef [the super lean kind. So I can be super lean, duh. And drain the meat!]
at least 2 cans of beans [this time around I used 1 can red kidney and 1 can spicy chili - drain them!]
some form of tomato something [I vary between cans of diced tomatoes or tomato paste, or whatever I might have on hand that resembles a tomato...this go-round I used diced tomatoes with onions and green peppers that I got on sale last month]
Chili packet [I bounce around brands, mainly because we keep looking for something that is in between the spice level of McCormick, but not as hot as 2 Alarm]
Shake in some garlic powder [or fresh garlic, yum!]
Chop up some fresh green pepper and onion, probably between 1/2 and a whole of each of them [you can chop the rest and freeze it and use it in pastas, omlettes, or your next round of chili]
Throw in some more chili powder if you like a little spice

Next: If you've been lazily reading this post, pay attention, as these are important items!

Yep, that's right, hot sauce and beer are imperative for chili around here. I prefer adding hot sauce over lots more chili powder because I like that it gives a depth of heat to the chili without being spicy. And the beer. Please include it. And not Bud Light [not that there's anything wrong with that], but go for a good imported beer. Beck's is excellent. I've also used Heineken. I bet the Oktoberfest beer, Warsteiner, is probably delicious.

So shake in some hot sauce [less is better, because you can always add more] and between 1/3 and 1/2 can of Beck's [as you can see, the can is larger than a normal can, so take that into consideration].

Also important, cook your ground beef, then throw it and all the other ingredients into a crockpot [my method of choice] or a large pot. Let cook at least 8 hours if on the stove, and at least 5 hrs on high or 8 on low in the crockpot.

Keep an eye on it so you can add more beer if necessary to your desired soupiness, but I usually don't add any more because the veggies give off liquid while cooking.

Now, while my chili is cooking and my mouth is watering, I must get back to my sewing.

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