Wednesday, February 13, 2008

RECIPE: Chili when it's chilly

Last night was such a perfect night. It stayed light until way after 6:00 p.m., even though the sky was very overcast and it was actively snowing. The snow looked very pretty coming down; our big front window framed a perfect winter scene.

It was cold and blustery, a good night for chili. We eat a lot of chili around here, first of all because it's very cheap to make, second of all because we all like it. I make two varieties that I never use a recipe for, so I thought I'd add them to my file here, just in case I ever forget. Which, considering the fact that I forgot to put on deodorant the other day until I was downstairs in the kitchen and suddenly thought, "What's that smell and why do my underarms feel sticky?" forgetting my chili recipes is a good possibility.

CHILI RECIPE #1 -- Grade School Chili

This is a classic chili recipe, the kind you eat with saltine crackers, the kind that was served in the James Whitcomb Riley Elementary School cafeteria with half a peanut butter sandwich on the side, where it (along with Beef Manhattan) became one of my life's major comfort foods.

1# ground beef
1# ground turkey
1 large onion, diced

a whole lotta chili powder

1 can hot chili beans, undrained
1 large can tomato juice
1 cup elbow macaroni
1 tsp sugar
salt to taste

1/4 cup jalapeno pepper juice, optional
ten jalapeno pepper slices, optional


Brown ground beef and turkey in a soup pot, covering the meat liberally with chili powder. A lot of chili powder. More than you think you'll need. More than seems possible. If desired, add the jalapeno pepper juice and peppers. Add the diced onion and stir until onion is translucent and meat is cooked through. Drain slightly, because chili is supposed to be a little bit greasy. That's what makes it good. Add the chili beans, salt, sugar and tomato juice; allow chili to come to a simmer. Cook for fifteen minutes. Add the elbow macaroni and allow chili to simmer for another ten minutes.

Decorate with shredded cheese and more jalapeno slices, if desired. Serve with saltine crackers. Makes enough for four people with plenty of delicious lunch leftovers for the microwave.


CHILI RECIPE #2 -- Mexican Chili

1# ground beef
1# ground turkey
1 large onion, diced
1 clove garlic
1/2 teaspoon cumin

2 envelopes taco seasoning

1 can hot chili beans, undrained
1 can whole kernel corn, undrained
1 large can tomato juice
1 teaspoon sugar
salt to taste

1/4 cup jalapeno pepper juice, optional
10 jalapeno pepper slices, optional

1 cup shredded cheese
1 bag corn chips
two green onions, diced

Brown the beef and turkey in a soup pot, adding the taco seasoning, onion, garlic and cumin. Drain slightly [see above]. If desired, add the jalapeno juice and slices. When the meat is cooked through and the onion is translucent, add the chili beans, corn, tomato juice, sugar and salt. Allow the chili to come to a boil and simmer for fifteen minutes. Turn down the heat and cook slowly for ten more minutes.

Serve with shredded cheese, green onions and corn chips sprinkled on top. Muy delicioso! Serves four with leftovers, etc.

5 comments:

Kbg said...

What is it with Hoosiers and putting pasta in their chili???? I grew up in Northeast Iowa and we did not put pasta in our chili. Chili was chili. Pasta was Pasta. Never the twain shall meet.

I don't even want to discuss those Ohio people who put sugar and cinnamon in their chili...what on earth made that seem like a good idea????

Your taco version sounds interesting...may have to give that one a whirl around here next week and see how that goes over...they like those flavorings.

We eat a lot of chili, too, as it is something everyone seems to like and we certainly have had plenty of chili-eating-type of days...i.e. cold and snowy...this winter.

Shelley said...

I'm with you on the sugar and cinnamon -- I like just a very small touch of sugar to cut the acidity of the tomato juice because I feel that chili is supposed to be rich, not acidic. But not THAT MUCH sugar, and definitely not cinnamon.

Himself is always trying to get me to go the Cincinnati-based chain called Skyline Chili and I simply won't do it. Cinnamon in chili is wrong. And while I don't mind noodles in the chili, I do not want chili served over noodles, as one would serve spaghetti sauce. Uck.

Kbg said...

Well, we can just send those TWO HIMSELFS (I know that is not grammatically correct, but said in fun)...to Skyline by themselves, then as Mark has this weird craving for Skyline occasionally also...all his years spent in Cincinnati, I guess. And, don'tchaknow, he is dragging the boys into that arena also. Go figure.

jason said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Shelley said...

Oh, my Himself lived in Cincinnati for a while too. Something about that city does something very strange to people and their chili.

Art and Michelle both like Skyline chili, too. Again, the Cincinnati Factor comes into play.