Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Trader Tuesdays: Our Chili

This is the chili that WH and I make. It's ideal for feeding the two of us lunches over a busy week, or feeding 10 guys picking hockey teams for our pool. It's easy and straightforward and yummy.

1. Brown between 1 and 2 lbs of ground beef. I use lean or extra-lean. I often add salt, pepper and the first dose of chili powder here, but if you wait until the whole chili is assembled, that's ok too. Drain the fat, and add the beef to the slow-cooker.

2. To the slow-cooker, add some quantity of beans. (Make sure to drain liquid from cans first!) We often just use a can of mixed beans, but this last time, I put in a can of kidney beans and a can of chick-peas. I like lots of beans. The older I get, the more I appreciate a good bean. Adding extra beans to this recipe has the added benefit of absorbing liquid to keep the recipe from getting too soupy.

3. Also to the slow-cooker, add:
  • one chopped sweet pepper
  • one cup of frozen corn
  • some sliced mushrooms
4. Add one jar of tomato-based pasta sauce, and a significant quantity of salsa. These are both excellent ways to get other interesting things into the chili, depending on what kind of pasta sauce and what kind of salsa you add!

5. Get serious about seasoning. Salt, pepper, chili powder (don't be shy), and I also add garlic.

Cook in slow cooker for at least 4 or 5 hours; longer is fine. If you have the opportunity, stir and taste for chili-ness.

Note that for this recipe, pretty much any ingredient can be replaced with something else. For example, if you don't eat beef, use ground turkey. Don't like sweet peppers or mushrooms? Zucchini, onions or eggplant. Can't find pasta sauce and/or salsa? Canned tomatoes (with liquid) and some tomato paste work too.

The only things that really need to be present are the beans and the chili powder. Beyond that, do whatever you want!

We top our chili with cheddar cheese, but sour cream is nice too.


Jan said...

Thank you! This sounds so good.

Crimson Rambler said...

Mushrooms? MUSHROOMS? Heresy! ;-)

My word verfication is "hingstic." There's a lot of it going around. All my hings have been stuc now for weeks.

Julie said...

This looks really good. I heart crock pot cooking. Am definitely going to try it!