Sunday, January 29, 2012

Basic (and easy) Chili

I used to be afraid of chili. Whenever my parents made chili, I cringed (but not quite as much as I cringed when they made stir-fry. Stir-fry was their crack. To this day I won't touch the stuff.). I liked absolutely nothing about chili. I find chili tolerable now. It's not my first choice, but its not one of those things that I'd rather go hungry than eat.

And since every family has their own variation on the old classic, I'm going to share ours. It's gluten-free, but that wasn't intentional, just lucky, especially considering chili is one of Larin's favorite foods. Yes, this is just a basic chili recipe, but Tim always devours it – eating until the point of sickness each time I make it. Thus, I'm just going to have to assume that its tasty. I wouldn't know. All chili tastes pretty much the same to  me. There is one thing I love about chili, however, and that is the fact that, aside from browning the meat and cooking the onions, you can pretty much just dump it in the pot and walk away.

I guess I should have named this blog "The Lazy Cook." Oh well, too late now.

Basic Chili 

  • 1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 2 cans kidney beans
  • 1 lb. ground beef (or more, if you like meaty chili)
  • 1/2 of a green bellpepper, chopped
  • 1 medium sweet onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil 
  • 4 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp California garlic salt with parsley
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tsp salt

Brown the ground beef in a saucepan. Put the olive oil in a saucepan. Set the saucepan on medium and multitask, cooking the ground beef and onion/bellpepper mixture simultaneously (Not required, but it saves time.) Or better yet, ask your significant other to cook one while you cook the other. Cook the ground beef until it is completely browned and the onion/pepper mixture until the onions are translucent. 

Set a stock pot or Dutch oven to medium low. Add the crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, cooked ground beef, onion/bellpepper mixture, kidney beans, garlic salt, chili powder, and water to the pot. Bring the chili to a boil, stirring it regularly. If you're using a Dutch oven as instructed, you shouldn't have to worry about scrubbing burnt bits of chili out of the bottom of a pot later on. 

We're lazy, remember? We don't like scrubbing.

Take the chili back down to a simmer, put the lid on the Dutch oven and leave it for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes stir the chili and add the butter. Stir the butter in well until it melts. Voila! You're done. You get to eat. As for me, I get to spend the next 20 minutes fighting to get a spoonful of chili in my four-year old's mouth. 

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