Sunday, January 10, 2010

Cold Weather Chili

My husband claims I have an aversion to chili. I don't really--it's just that his definition of chili is taking everything going bad in the refrigerator and putting it in a crock pot. Not so appealing, eh?

While Jeff complained to one of our friends (who is an amazing cook in her own right), she insisted on sending me a recipe to try out. I agreed to try it last weekend at my husband's urgings. It was delicious. Adding the fresh cilantro and basil at the end especially lightens and brightens the rich chili flavor.

Here's the recipe. It's an adaptation from the "Pinto Bean Chili" recipe in Great Good Food by Julee Rosso (Crown Publishers, 1993).

Olive Oil
2 Diced Onions
6 Garlic Cloves, Minced
2 Pounds Lean Ground Beef
2 Teaspoons Paprika
2 Teaspoons Ground Cumin
2 Tablespoons Minced Fresh Oregano
2 Tablespoons Chili Power
2 Cans Plum Tomatoes, Corarsely Chopped w/Their Juice
1 Chopped Red Bell Pepper
1 Chopped Yellow Bell Pepper
1 Chopped Orange Bell Pepper
3 Cups Beef Broth
3 Cans Pinto Beans (drained & rinsed) - NOTE: I only use canned b/c it's easier for me - you can use dried beans if you have the time to soak them overnight. In that case you're looking at 3 cups of beans
1/2 Cup Minced Fresh Basil
1/2 Cup Minced Fresh Cilantro

1. In a large stockpot, heat the oil over low heat. Add the onions and garlic and saute for 5 minutes. Add the meat and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until browned. Sprinkle with the paprika, cumin, oregano, and chili powder, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in the tomatoes, peppers, broth, and beans. Bring to a boil, partially cover, and simmer 2 1/2 hours.

2. Taste and adjust for seasoning; stir in the basil and cilantro.

I also add salt, pepper, extra chili powder and a little cayenne during the 2 1/2 hours simmering.

Now Jeff swears that where he's from (the Midwest), people eat peanut butter sandwiches with chili and dip them into the chili bowl. I think that sounds gross, but he insisted I put a picture of it in here.

He is one happy husband.

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