Recipe: Saturday Night Chili

Sunday, February 28, 2010

This Atlanta weather does not want to warm up, so Jim & I thought that making a pot of chili would bring us a little heat.  I should admit that when I cook, my measuring is approximate.  I add until I smell or see what I like going on in the pot.  Everyone's taste palates vary too...  adjust the spices to your liking.

Chili Recipe:  Serves 6 or So People / 1 - 1 & 1/2 Hour Prep & Cooking Time

Getting Started:

>Salt & Pepper 

>Dry Spices - Chili Powder, Cumin, etc...

>1/2 of a Large Onion - Diced

>1 Red Pepper, 1 Yellow Pepper, 1 Green Pepper - Cut into Strips
**For a Smoky Flavor, Replace the Yellow & Green Pepper for 2 Habanero Green Peppers - Place Habaneros On Top of the Flame of a Gas Cook-top to Blister & Blacken the Exterior Skin.  Once Cool to Handle, Peel Away Blackened Skin.  Cut into Diced Pieces. 

>Open 2 Large Cans (28oz Size) of Whole Peeled Tomatoes in Juice

>Open Cans of Beans (15oz Size) - Any Combination of Pinto, Black, Kidney, White, Chili - But Use About 3 Cans Worth.  (I Like Seeing the Different Sizes & Colors of the Beans Together in the Pot, So Keep That In Mind When Selecting Your Favorites).  Once Opened, Place Into a Colander to Rinse and Drain.

>1 - 1 & 1/2 lb. Ground Sirloin (Using This Lean Meat Means Not Having to Drain Off Any Fat Once Cooked)

>1/2 - 1 Cup Dark Brown Sugar (The Brown Sugar Helps to Complement the Acidity of the Tomato)

>Hot Sauce if Desired (I Like the Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce)


>Heat a Large Pot, Stainless or Cast Iron, with Extra Virgin Olive Oil on Medium High Heat - Couple of Turns of the Wrist of Oil.  When You See the Oil Almost Ripple in the Pot, its Hot.  Add Onions, Salt & Pepper, and Dry Seasoning.  This Step is Creating Your Base for Flavor of the Chili, So Add the Dry Seasoning to Your Liking... At Least Start With a 1/2 Teaspoon of Dry Seasoning and Add More if Desired.  The Onions Should Take on a Nice Amber Red Color Once Mixed with the Dry Spices. 

>Once the Onions are Translucent, Only About 5-10 Minutes, Add Ground Sirloin.  Keep Stirring, Breaking the Meat Into Smaller Pieces.  

>Once the Meat Is No Longer Pink, Add Peppers & Stir. 

>Once Meat, Onions & Peppers Are Combined, Add 2 Cans of Tomatoes with the Juice.  Stir, While Also Using Your Spoon to Break Down the Whole Tomatoes Into Smaller Chunks.

>Add Beans...  Stir & Combine Everything.  Add Salt & Pepper -  a Generous Amount, Your Beans & Tomatoes Need it for Seasoning.  Bring to A Boil.

>Once Bubbling, Turn Heat Down to Low to Simmer Everything Together.  Give Your Chili A Good Stir.  Simmer for About 30-40 Minutes.  Keep Near By for Occasional Stirs.  The Chili Sitting at the Bottom of The Pot Could Burn if Not Looked After.

>At the 20 Minute Mark, Stir in the Brown Sugar.  Add a Couple of Shakes of Hot Sauce, to Your Liking.  Continue to Simmer Until 30-40 Minutes is Up.  The Peppers & Beans Should Be Soft Looking... All Ingredients Should Look as if They've Melted Together A Bit and the Chili Should Have a Nice Overall Consistency - Not Too Thick, Not Too Thin.
>Serve with Any Assortment of Shredded Cheese (Monterey Jack, Cheddar, etc..), Avocado Chunks, Fresh Chopped Cilantro, Corn Chips, and Instead of Sour Cream, Try Adding a Dollop of Greek Yogurt.  My Favorites...
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