Happy Tuesday, lovely friends!
I have an old favorite for you today. Thanks to the freezing cold, nasty, rainy weather we have been having for the last couple of weeks, I have been in the mood for cozy comfort food. Of course, a good pot of chili is one of my favorites. Now before I start I should warn you. I am not a follow the recipe kind of cook. Even when I have a recipe I view it as more of a jumping off point. So, there aren't exact measurements. And if you don't like something, just change it.
Here's what you'll need:
ground beef/chicken/turkey - whatever you like. I usually use a pound, but you can use more or less depending on your personal tastes
chili beans - I only use one can, but you can certainly use more if you like beans (I don't)
tomato sauce - one can - use more if you like your chili soupier, less if you like it chunkier (but please for the love of everything holy do not use tomato paste - yuk)
chili ready tomatoes - one can, these just make things a little easier, if you can't find them just use regular canned tomatoes and a little extra seasoning
For seasoning you can certainly use the packets you get at the grocery store, but I have found that I don't really end up liking the flavors as well. So I use smoked paprika, chili powder, fresh ground pepper and salt.
1. Start by browning your meat.
2. This step is critical to me because I hate beans. However beans are cheaper than meat, add great flavor and make your chili go farther. So, I use them. However I smash them up with a potato masher before I add them. This makes them blend with the meat and minimizes the beany texture. If you have bean haters in your family, give this a try. Coming from a super picky eater, it works. ;)
3. Once your meat is browned add your seasonings. Remember that you can always add more so go easy until you know how much you like. I use a lot of the smoked paprika and just a dash of chili powder since we don't like our chili to be super spicy. More chili powder = spicier chili. If you like your chili to burn the skin off your tongue try adding cayenne. And of course salt and freshly ground pepper. If you don't have a pepper grinder, go get one. You'll never go back to using the preground stuff. Promise.
4. Add your smooshed up beans to the meat and stir to combine.
5. Open and drain your chili ready tomatoes then add them to the mixture and stir. If you like a really chunky chili, you can be done here.
6. For a soupier chili add tomato sauce (you could also used crushed tomatoes). (Do not use tomato paste!!!) Stir it up and taste test for seasoning. Add whatever seems to be lacking. If it seems to acidic, add just a touch of sweetener (sugar, honey, grape jelly, splenda - whatever you have). Just a tiny little bit will cut the acidity of the tomatoes.
7. Turn the heat down and simmer until ready to eat. You can keep this on the stove for quite a while, or you can brown your meat, add everything to a crockpot and cook it all day. The longer you let it simmer the better the flavors will blend. And the chili-er your house will smell.
Finally, serve however you like. I use a dollop of sour cream and lots of cheese. Hubby eats it straight or with some onions on top. The kiddo likes it with fritos. It's all good. We usually get at least two meals out of this. Sometimes three. We'll do chili the first night, then frito chili pies and finally finish up the leftovers on chili dogs. Yum.
So, let me know if you try this out or make any changes.
And here is a single image with all the steps in case you want to pin it! ;)
Have a wonderful Tuesday!