Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Chelly's Chili

We had a bunch of hot humid rain last week that felt more like June instead of October. But, on the other side of the rain was that perfect, breezy, blue sky, 70 degree weather. At night, it even got a little chillier ... so I thought it would be a great time to make some chili!

This recipe never ceases to "wow" anyone that I make it for, especially my boyfriend. It kind of makes me blush in embarrassment because it's so simple. I'm a big fan of easy recipes where you can just throw all the ingredients into a pot to make dinner. Stews. Crock Pot Recipes. Chili. It's perfect for when you've had a long day and you just want something easy to put together to fill your tummy and warm you up. After a day of cleaning and entertaining, this is exactly what I want to plop down on my couch with.

Here are the key ingredients. A little pre-packaged and a little fresh.

You'll need ...

1 lb of ground meat. (Here I used beef, but you could go leaner with turkey or pork. I've even gone vegetarian with this recipe once and used frozen ground soy bits that were pretty tasty)

1 Can of Diced Tomatoes
1 Can of Tomato Paste
1 Bell Pepper
1 Yellow Onion
1 Can of Red Kidney Beans

Chili Powder or 1 Packet of Chili Spices
(Not pictured: Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning.
I sprinkle this on top for a little extra spicy kick)

First, I take my bell pepper and onion, chop 'em up and saute them in a little olive oil. EVOO as Rachel Ray would say. I like to carve out the top of a bell pepper and pull out the seeds all at once. Then I can rinse out the shell to get rid of the last remaining few seeds.

I cry my eyes out when chopping onions. While I was doing this I thought ...
"hey, they've got pre-chopped onions now! Why am I doing this to myself!?"
I even tried the old trick of sucking on a piece of bread. Yeah, that didn't work. All I got was the taste of stale bread in my mouth while I was crying the blues over an onion. Do you have an onion chopping trick? If so, let me know!!!

This is just a matter of preference, but I usually rinse all the syrup from the canned beans. Unless you like the syrup in your chili, then by all means ... skip this step.

After I've sauteed the onions and bell peppers for about 5 minutes, I then add the ground beef and spices. Mmm. Starting to tease my nose with the scent of chili! Now, I know that there are all sorts of chili contests out there where the main result desired would require the involvement of your local fire department putting out the blaze in your mouth. But not me. Nuh uh. I like it mild. With a little sprinkle of Chachere's. That's all the kick I need.

Sprinkle on some cheese or a dollop of sour cream and you've got dinner in under 15 minutes! A couple of things I "forgot" but usually like to add on the side are some chopped avocado and blue corn chips. Mmm.


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