Fall = Chili!

October 22nd, 2012 at 11:31 pm by under Food Joy

When the leaves fall and the season’s chill sets in, nothing satisfies like a nice, hearty bowl of chili.  My Crock Pot fills up just about every weekend and chili is  what fills it most often.  Whether it’s red made with beef or white made with chicken, spicy, sweet, savory or just full of beans and veggies, every bowl served gets emptied in a hurry.  Let’s get right to the recipe so you can give this a try before the next big game or impromptu family gathering.  I’m sure I’ve never made the same chili twice, so this recipe is just as close as I can get.  Every batch depends on what I have on hand.  Experiment, stir and enjoy!

Joy’s Traditional whatever’s-in-the-cupboard Chili

1 lb. ground round or ground chuck
1 onion, big as you want
1/2 green pepper
1/2 red pepper
4 stalks celery
2-4 cloves garlic, chopped

Sautee all of the above ingredients together over low to medium heat in a large, deep sautee or fry pan until meat turns from pink to brown. Add the following seasonings to taste.  I never measure any of these seasonings. I guess I go by what looks right and, occassionally, I’ll taste some of the meat-veggie mixture to see if it’s right.  Let’s call these ‘close estimates’:

1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp ground pepper
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp galic pepper mix
1 tsp Jane’s Crazy Salt
Cilantro – Fresh is essential for me, but dried or the squeezy stuff in the tube is better than none

Sprinkle the meat-veggie mixture with all of the above seasonings and mix.  Let this cook down while you prep your Crock Pot with beans and tomatoes. I admit it, I use canned goods in this step. Of course, you can sort, soak and cook ‘real’ beans and chop lots of fresh tomatoes, too.  Remember, this is my whatever’s-in-the-cupboard variety.  You use what’s in yours.  Here are some of my favorite additions, but it really is never the same thing twice:

14 oz can Bush’s Chili Beans in Medium sauce (these are my favorite)
14 oz can chopped tomatoes with green chilis
14 0z can Kuner’s Southwestern Chili beans with cumin and cayenne
14 oz can Garbanzo beans (you can use great northern or navy beans)
14 oz can refried beans (secret ingredient)

Open and dump all of these into your Crock Pot on low to medium heat.  This needs a little loosening, so here’s my little trick.  Add water to the empty Bush’s and Kuner’s cans and swish it around to get all the good stuff. Add that swished water to your Crock.  When you add the refried beans, stir them up to loosen them and they will thicken your chilli.  Stir the seasoned, sauteed meat and veggies into the Crock mix.  Take a look and see if you want to add a few more tomatoes, fresh or canned.  Let this sit in that Crock as long as you want.  When you are ready to serve it up, top each bowl with chopped onions, fresh cilantro, tomatoes, avocado and shredded cheese and a whole lot of Charley’s Chips or El Matdors on the side. Enjoy!



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