DON'T buy the premade chili mixes from McCormick, etc. Either buy your own jars of the various spices (and don't misplace them between one kitchen and another...) and adjust your own seasonings or get the Wick Fowler stuff (he's a war correspondent/journalist famous for winning chili cook-offs all over the place). I like his kits because you can still control how much of each spice you're using - the spices are packaged SEPARATELY. The premade mixes are what they are - mostly SALT.
Maybe I'll go look under the car seats and see if I can find those bottles...
Chili For a Cold Wet Day
Sear a couple of pounds of ground beef, pork, and or turkey (I see what's on sale)
Drain any fat and then add:
Lots of onions - at least 2 biggies, chopped
6 cloves (or more) of garlic - you can never have too much garlic!!
1 green pepper, finely chopped
1-4 jalapenos (probably 1 at the farm), seeded and finely chopped
Cook together about 10 minutes
Add the spices:
chili powder 3-4 T
cayenne pepper 1/2 - 1 t
cumin 1-2 T
dried cilantro 1 T
oregano 1 t
crushed red chiles - anywhere from 1t to 2 T - depends on my mood
Let the spices sizzle in the meat and veggie mixture to release their oils
1 large can of crushed tomatoes
1 large can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 large can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
2 T better than bouillion beef flavor
At home, I also toss in a bottle of beer
If the chili is too thick, I add more beer (or water)
If it's too thin, I add fine corn meal or corn flour I've mixed with a little water to make a paste
I don't add salt because of the bouillon, tomatoes, and beans
I DO keep tasting and adjusting as the pot simmers away on the back burner.
Let chili cook AT LEAST an hour - more if you can manage. Just give it a stir every now and then and adjust the liquid if you need to. This a great in the pressure cooker and also in the slow cooker.
I usually serve this in a bowl with a scoop of rice on the bottom, topped by the chili, a handful of shredded cheddar and a scoop of sour cream, and garnished with a lime wedge.
Optional - forget the rice and serve with corn bread
Better optional - ditch the starches and serve with a margarita! (or two!!)
When I'm feeling really virtuous, I've been know to shred carrots and even zucchini into my chili for an extra blast of nutrition. I've also done this leaving out the meat entirely and using about 6 different kinds of beans - whatever works and fits the budget, right?
This weeks's recipe detective was Amy