Monday, March 12, 2012

basic chili with kidney beans

Winter in IL has been rather mild this year but it's definitely colder than this CA girl is used to. One of my favorite winter meals is a bowl of chili with all the works. Haha, well actually I enjoy a bowl of chili anytime of the year. Some people don't realize that chili is a soup and that it can be eaten on its own. The kind of condiment chili found on top of chips, burgers, hot dogs, and salad is usually a thickened version. Chili is definitely better the next day so this is something that can be made ahead. I usually make a batch and freeze half of it by pouring a serving size in a sandwich bag.

Basic Chili with Kidney Beans (adapted from ATK)
Group A:
2 medium onions, diced
2 medium bell pepper, diced
10 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeƱo, seeded and diced (optional)
1/4 cup chili powder
1 Tb cumin
1 Tb red pepper flakes
1 Tb paprika
2 tsp coriander
1 tsp oregano (or Italian seasoning)
1 tsp cayenne pepper (1/4 tsp for a less spicy chili)

Group B:
2 lbs 85% lean beef or ground turkey (turkey is obviously much healthier)

Group C:
2 - 15 oz. cans dark red kidney beans, rinsed
1 - 28 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 - 28 oz. can tomato puree

1. Cook Group A in a heavy-bottomed non-reactive Dutch oven until softened and spices have bloomed (when you can smell the spices). Add 1/4-1/3 cup of flour if you want this to be a thick condiment chili. 2. Add half of Group B, breaking the meat in to pieces with a wooden spoon and no longer pink. Add remaining meat and repeat. Bring the soup to a boil and simmer for 1 hour while stirring occasionally. 3. Season with salt and pepper to taste and simmer for another hour.

Top with shredded cheese, sour cream, cilantro, diced fresh tomatoes, scallions, avocado, or red onion.

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