Sunday, November 6, 2011

Chili Takes the Chill Off

Fall is chili time around here. Actually, anytime is chili time at our house. Romie and I both love it, even if it’s 95° outside. Our girls love it too, and have been begging for my recipe for years. Well, there’s the rub. I don’t use one, per se. I do have one that I loosely follow, then add my own things to it and I just throw those things in without measuring. I just know. But today, I tried to measure as I threw. This is the result.

If you like your chili with beans, I suppose you could add them, but as true chili connoisseurs know, real chili doesn’t have beans. And that’s the way I prefer it. Romie likes chili both with and without beans. Since I’m the chief cook here (he’s the bottle washer), it’s no beans. Go ahead and ruin the chili if you want to, and add them.

This chili isn’t your thick soup kind of chili, but if you like to add crackers to it, it’s perfect. (Yeah, go ahead and ruin it that way too, if you’d like.) As you look over the many ingredients, you’ll notice lots of spices. You’ll also notice lots of sugary things, so this isn’t a chili for diabetics or those watching their sugar intake. Salt either. But to us, it’s the right balance between salty and sweet and spice. And it’s sure to warm your tummy on a chilly fall or winter day.

Kylee’s Chili Recipe

2 pounds ground chuck (90/10 or leaner)
2 large (28 oz.) cans diced tomatoes (I use Del Monte w/ basil, garlic and oregano)
1 small can (6 oz.) tomato paste
3 T chili powder
1 T oregano
1 t basil
1 t black pepper
1 t thyme
1 t cumin
1 t cinnamon
¾ t minced or powdered garlic
½ t celery seed
1 t salt
¼ cup each brown sugar and granulated sugar
2 T Worcestershire sauce
1 T soy sauce
⅔ cup honey barbecue sauce
2 shakes Tabasco® sauce
2 medium onions (I prefer sweet red), chopped chunky (I slice in half horizontally, then quarter each half)

Use a large dutch oven. Brown ground chuck and drain. Add canned tomatoes, then rinse each can with ¾ can of water and add it to the pot. Add tomato paste. Stir well. Then add remaining ingredients, adding onions last. Simmer for 30 minutes.

There are so many variables in this recipe, you can really tweak it to your heart’s content. If you like it a little less spicy, just cut back the chili powder to two tablespoons instead of three, or leave out the Tabasco®. If you like it a little more spicy, add more, of course. Sometimes I add elbow macaroni to it, but then we call it goulash.

I really hope you’ll make it first the way it is here and let me know how you like it. Don’t worry about hurting my feelings. I’m a very picky eater, so I know how individualized people’s tastes are. I won’t be changing the way I make it, because this recipe represents years of my own playing around with it and we think it’s reached perfection and we’ve never found another chili anywhere that we like better.

But that’s just us.


The Frizzy Hooker said...

I will try this!

The Frizzy Hooker said...

Made it tonight for dinner - much to hot for me. I replaced some of the powder with chili's from the yard

Kylee Baumle said...

The Frizzy Hooker ~ Thanks for letting me know you tried it and what you thought! There is a big difference in chili powders, so maybe yours is hotter than mine. I had bought a big container of it awhile back and I thought it wasn't as hot as some, so it's possible. You can just cut it back if it's too hot. Or maybe it was the chilis from your garden that made it too hot? Anyway, you can adjust to your taste if you like the basic recipe! Also, sugar helps cut the spicy hotness, so you could add more sugar. I think I'd cut back on the hotter ingredients, though.

The Frizzy Hooker said...

I can't believe I never responded to this. I think it was too hot because I had used the chili spice that my tutor from Indian had given to me. I make this at least three times a year. And today for our Tutor and Mentor Appreciation Meeting.

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