Friday, October 10, 2008
Guest Blogger Shares His Chili Recipe
My husband Rob is our guest blogger for the day. He is going to share his chili recipe with us. It is delish, as is all of his cooking. Just Thursday evening he was out smoking a 12 pound bit of pork for a BBQ at his office. He makes his own sauce, and let just say, it smells divine for all the many hours that it smokes and it makes one very hungry. I did get some of the leftovers last night. Thanks dear!
Take it away Rob:
Even though daytime temps here near Atlanta have been pretty warm recently, it’s chili season. Ok, at my house it’s always chili season, but that’s beside the point. My chili is award winning and internationally acclaimed (meaning there were missionaries at the church chili cook-off I won), so I figured it’s a good time to post about it. I have never really used a recipe. I come from a large family, so chili was a good way for mom to stretch her meat budget. My recipe is similar to hers, but I’ve made a few changes. If you’re looking for an “all homegrown ingredients” recipe, you’ll have to look somewhere else, but if you want a nice, simple, filling bowl, you’ve come to the right place. So, here is what I call “Simple Chili.”
1lb ground beef
1 med onion, diced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
2-4 rounded Tbs chili powder
1-2 rounded Tbs ground cumin
2-4 cans kidney beans, drain half of the liquid (I like the look of half dark red and half light red)
2-4 cans diced tomatoes, drain half of the liquid (I like petite diced)
Brown the ground beef with the onions and garlic together till the ground beef is no longer pink; drain (and rinse if you’re worried about fat). Stir in the beans and tomatoes, bring the chili to a boil, and turn the heat down to a simmer. Add 1 Tbs chili powder and ½ Tbs cumin. Let the chili simmer (stirring occasionally) till it is nearly the consistency you want and add another Tbs chili powder and ½ Tbs cumin. Stir the spices in and taste. Depending on your preferences, the spices you use and the salt content of your canned goods, you may need to add salt or pepper or increase the amount of chili powder or cumin. Given a choice, I will use almost all the bean and tomato liquid and simmer my chili for a few hours (till it’s nearly the consistency of canned). If I don’t have much time, I’ll use less liquid and simmer for less time, but it won't taste as good. The longer this cooks, the better it tastes.
This chili tolerates variations well. I have used(and did for the chili above) black beans (rinse them very well – trust me, use none of the liquid from the can), pinto beans, and a mix of just whatever we had in the pantry at the time. I’ve used Italian tomatoes with basil, tomatoes with green chilies, and all crushed tomatoes at different times. I’ve (again, at different times) added unsweetened cocoa powder, star anise (remove before serving), cayenne, ground chipotles, beer, and red wine. I usually don’t add any kind of hot peppers unless I’m going to be the only one eating it. I’d rather make my chili well seasoned but mild, and let folks add Tabasco, salsa, or sliced jalapeños at the table.
Most of the time I used ground beef, but lately we have had a freezer full of ground venison (thanks to my hunter brother-in-law), so that has been my meat of choice for the past few batches. I’ve used ground turkey, diced chicken, and cheap steak that I cut up pretty small.
For a vegetarian version, I’ll cut three or four carrots into about a half inch dice and brown them with the onions and garlic. The carrots do make for a sweeter chili, but give the mouth feel of meat.
I buy all my spices at "Your DeKalb Farmer's Market" in Decatur, GA. They are always fresher than what I find at the grocery store and cost a whole lot less, too. At the in-laws, I have made this with grocery store spices, and I had to use more chili powder and cumin than usual. If you have a good source for high quality spices, pay a little extra if you must; they're worth it. If you live in the metro-Atlanta area, go to YDFM.
Rob (Christina's husband)