Friday, January 9, 2009

Chili Recipe, with Photos!

Okay, so I have a chili recipe that I absolutely love and wanted to share. So, I took pictures of it as I was cooking and thought I'd share them. Here goes:

Recipe:

1 1/2 pounds ground beef or turkey
1 small onion (I add a green pepper and some celery)
3 cups water
12 oz. can tomato paste
12 oz. can tomato sauce (I also add a can of petite diced tomatoes)
2- 29 oz. (large) cans kidney beans (I add an extra small can of pinto beans)
4 tbsp. chili powder, this makes a nicely spiced dish. If you REALLY don't like spice, decrease it slightly, but even my kids are okay with it. You can add more chili powder to it (which I like) but it is a lot easier to add spice if you want it and nearly impossible to get it out.
2 tsp. sugar, don't leave it out!
1 tsp. oregano
2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. pepper

So that is the actual recipe, but as you will see in the pictures, I deviate quite a bit. That is actually one of my favorite parts about it- there are so many ways to change it up if you need/want to.

Step 1:
Chop (dice) onion. I also dice a green pepper and 3 celery stalks, but if you don't have them on hand, no biggie. You might want to experiment with other veggie choices, but these are my normal stand-bys.

Step 2:
Add a tablespoon of coconut (or olive oil or butter) to a large skillet. If I am only using the onion and no other veggies, then I don't take this extra step, I just toss the onions and ground beef in together; it's faster and you get about the same results. It doesn't work as well when you have this many vegetables though. Since I don't always let it simmer all day, it is good to make sure your veggies are already tender.

Step 3:
Saute vegetables until tender.
Step 4:
Add the ground beef. This recipe is really good with fresh ground turkey and if you are a little short in the quantity, it doesn't matter; it's all a matter of personal preference. I have even used a 50-50 mix of turkey and beef before. You couldn't really tell. I imagine that this would work equally well with any ground meat.

Step 5:
Add all the other ingredients to the crockpot, or if you don't use one, a large soup/stock pan. Since I am using canned beans, this is really a quick meal, because you only need to cook it long enough to allow everything to warm up and mesh together (about 30 minutes) or you can let it simmer on low all day long. If you choose to use dry beans, it would probably be best to soak and completely cook them before using t his recipe since I hear tomato products inhibit the bean's ability to rehydrate and cook properly. I like kidney beans, but I am sure this would work well with any other bean. Maybe a pinto/black bean combo would be good. I also normally make this a "bean-heavy" dish, meaning that I double up on the amount of beans I am supposed to have. It stretches this meal even further.

Step 6:
Add drained ground beef to the crockpot and stir to combine everything. You can see the plastic liner I have on my crockpot. I don't always use them, but when they work, they work well. I am not sure how I feel about cooking my food in plastic though...this was my last one and I won't be purchasing them again.

Step 7:
Cook as long as you want. I prepared this at night, after dinner and let it cook on low for a couple of hours. I am going to store it in the fridge tonight and let it reheat in the crock for several hours from lunch until dinner. I take the chance to cook whenever I get it. I easily could have done all this at lunch tomorrow for dinner that same night, but this chili really is better the second day. About 10 minutes before you serve it, mix in the can of tomatoes, I use petite diced.

Step 8:

Serve! We like to eat this with whole wheat saltine crackers. I dip them in, my husband crackes them up and mixes them in. (Which probably decreases the spice a little for him...ketchup is spicy for him...:) ) We also top it with some cheese. This would be a good baked potato filling too. Next time, I am going to try it with pintos and black beans and make a "frito pie" out of it...yummy! This recipe fills my large oval crockpot (I think it's 5 quarts?) so we usually eat it once and then I save a small amount for leftovers and freeze the rest in individual servings. It is really easy to reheat and doesn't lose any flavor!

4 comments:

Milehimama said...

I make chili a lot too!

If you use dried kidney beans, you must boil them. Red kidney beans have a poison in them that has to be boiled out (other beans are fine), and that's why you can't sprout them.

http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~mow/chap43.html

Kristi said...

I have used dried kidney beans before without a problem, but my crockpot does reach high enough to create a boil (high is 325 degrees). I would definitely recommend cooking any dried beans before adding to this recipe. So in the morning, take your soaked beans, boil them or cook them in your crock on high until they are completely cooked through. After the beans are done cooking drain off the bean liquor and make the recipe like I described.

To avoid the hassle altogether, used canned beans or as I suggested, omit the kidney beans and use something else. Thanks for the warning though.

Mary said...

That recipe looks terrific! I have never made chili from anything but a prepackaged seasoning mix. I will definately make this, probably Wednesday.
Also... How did you put up the list of blogs on your sidebar? I would love to do that, but I am a computer idiot. Really. Any help you can give me would be much appreciated.
Mary in TN

Kristi said...

Mary, I think I left a comment on your blog about how to do it. You have to go into your layout page. If you are logged into blogger and viewing your blog, you can click "customize" on the upper right OR when you log into blogger, you can click the "layout" tab on the top left. Either way, you will then be in the right place. You should see all of the components of your blog. Header at the top, big box in the center for posts and then a list of smaller boxes on the right which include your profile and archives. On top of that list is a link called "Add a Gadget". Click that and it will pull out a pop-up box where you can choose a bunch of different things for your blog. Try some of them out...they are fun and once you get an idea of what each one will do, your options are virtually endless. The one you want is (I think) the first one on the list, called "Blog Roll". Once you click on that, it will open another pop-up that will walk you through the process. You will need to know the complete website for each blog you want to follow and each blog needs to have "RSS" listed in the address bar. If they don't, blogger will give you a warning and you can either delete it or leave it. If you leave it, the blog will just create a link for it, but won't keep it updated, so it will always be at the bottom of the list. Keep adding a new blog until you have added all the ones you want. After you save, take a look at the list of boxes to the right. It probably put your blog list on the top or your profile, so you might want to change the order which you can do by clicking and dragging. You can email me if you need more help...ekgatzke@gmail.com