If ever there was a day for a steaming bowl of chili, today is the day. This morning, Andrew greeted me with a cup of coffee and news that the downstair's furnace is out. Ugh! We have both furnaces checked and serviced every autumn to try and prevent such an occurrence. The fireplace and a space heater will have to keep us warm until a technician can come out.
This chili "guide" is basically my mother's. It comes from my memory because she rarely wrote any recipe down. Mother used green bell peppers but Andrew doesn't like them so I use red, orange or yellow--sometimes all three. Mother used garlic powder. In fact, I never saw fresh garlic in her kitchen. She didn't like her chili to be too thick. Neither do I. I like to add corn if I have it. Add more chili and cumin if you like. Or less. The recipe is very adaptable and very tasty.
Now to go dig out another pair of socks!!
Just Plain Chili serves 6 to 8
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 large sweet onion (Vidalia, Walla Walla if possible)
1 medium red bell pepper, diced
3 Tbsp minced garlic
2 Tbsp chili powder
1 Tbsp ground cumin
2 pounds ground chuck
28 oz can diced tomatoes
14 ounce can tomato sauce
1 15 ounce can dark red kidney beans and a l5 ounce can of pink kidney beans, drained and rinsed.
Salt and papper to taste
Toppings: Seeded and chopped jalapeños, grated cheddar and/or Monterrey Jack cheese, sliced green onions, chopped avocados, fritos and sour cream.
1. Heat in the oil in a large, heavy pan. Add the onions and bell pepper and stir frequently until the onions are opaque, 3 to 4 minutes.
2. Add the garlic, chili powder and cumin. Stir for one minute. Add the ground chuck, breaking up and stirring until the meat is lightly browned, about five minutes.
3. Add the tomatoes and their juice, tomato sauce and the beans. Salt and pepper to taste.
4. Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat and cover. Cook for about 45 minutes.
5. Cool and refrigerate overnight if possible. This is a dish that improves when reheated.
6. Serve in heated bowls and pass the toppings.