Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Darn Good Chili!

In my continuing efforts to document recipes that I can throw together in minutes, but that go over well with most everyone, I present to you:  Chili!  Just the word, throws down the gauntlet, doesn't it?  Everyone's got a favorite recipe, and there's nothing spectacularly unique about mine -- but it's still pretty scrumptious.   Chili is another one of my simple, no brainer, crock pot meals that go well with cool temperatures, a busy day and a hungry family.  If I have the time, I try to make it with buttermilk cornbread -- Yummy!

You can do this with meat or without, depending on what you like and what you have on hand.  My favorite recipes are the ones like my Chicken Soup and Beef Stew, where whatever's in your fridge will likely work.  Forgiving, that's the word for it!  So, if you want to use stew meat, throw in a pound or two, depending on how much you want.  I always keep some in the freezer, so I generally have it on hand for things like the chili, beef stew and beef stroganoff (another yummy recipe I'll try to post at a later date).  I just take it out the night before to thaw or throw it in the microwave to defrost.  If you prefer ground beef, brown it on the stove first with an onion or two chopped up and be sure to drain before adding to the crock pot.  As for the rest, put in a mixture of tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes and diced tomatoes.  I'll give sample amounts, but in reality just use what you need to fill your crock pot.  Last night I used two 32oz cans of Tomato Sauce, two 32 oz cans of crushed tomatoes and one 32oz. can of diced tomatoes, just cause that's what I had.  Of course, if you have fresh tomatoes, chop those up and throw them in too.  I use the same rationale for the beans:  any combination of pinto, kidney, black or chili beans.  Whatever's in your pantry.  I used 2 16oz. cans of pinto, two of kidney and one of black last night.  For vegies, I generally toss in 2 green peppers and 4-6 stalks of celery chopped.  But I didn't have celery last night and it didn't matter a bit.  If you happen to have red bell peppers, use them instead.  It's all good.  If you haven't sauteed onion with ground beef, throw in 1 or 2, chopped.  Add about a tablespoon of ground cumin, about a 1/3 - 1/2 cup chili powder (depending on how big your crock pot is) and salt and pepper to taste.  I like to add a teaspoon or so of oregano too.  

That's it, basically opening up a bunch of cans and chopping a few vegies.  Leave it alone all day on low or 4-5 hours on high and prepare to have your socks knocked off.   Five minutes of work = fabulous dinner!

Crock Pot Chili Recipe
1-2 lbs stew beef or browned ground beef (optional)
Two 32oz cans of Tomato Sauce 
Two 32 oz cans of crushed tomatoes 
One 32oz. can of diced tomatoes 
Two16oz. cans of pinto beans
Two 16oz. cans of Kidney beans
One 16oz. can of Black beans
2 Onions (diced)
2 Green Peppers (diced)
6-8 stalks of celery (diced)
1 Tbsp Ground Cumin
1/2 cup Chilli Powder
1-2 tsp Oregano
Salt/Pepper to taste

Throw it all in the Crock Pot and go put your feet up :)

1 comment:

  1. Warning: Avoid serving to your husband an hour before all the plumbing in your house decides to erupt. If he's anything like mine he'll eat 5 bowls of the stuff and regret it the next few days when the facilities are unavailable :)