Tuesday, October 28, 2008

When It Gets Chilly, Make Chili

I make and eat this year-round, but it's especially comforting in the cold months. I first found a recipe on Epicurious but have tweaked it a lot, cutting down the massive size of the recipe, cooking the bell pepper at the beginning instead of the end (too raw for me), and adjusting seasonings and ingredients. Instead of biscuits or cornbread, I spoon up the chili with tortilla chips. When I cook it for my sister, she asks me to make enough for leftovers.

1 large onion, chopped
3 tbs vegetable oil
2 carrots, sliced thin
1 tbs minced garlic
1 green bell pepper, chopped
About 1½ lbs lean ground beef
1½ tsp cayenne pepper (more to taste)
1½ tsp ground cumin
1½ tsp dried oregano
1 tbs paprika
1½ tsp red pepper flakes
8 oz can chopped tomatoes, drained
3 tbs tomato paste
6 oz beef or chicken broth
14 oz can red kidney beans
1 bag tortilla chips, preferable in the "scoops" shape

In a large pot or dutch oven, saute the onion and green bell pepper in the oil until the onion is translucent, then add carrots and garlic. Cook and stir for 1 minute. Add the beef, breaking it up and cooking until browned.

Add the cayenne, cumin, oregano, paprika, and red pepper flakes and stir. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, and broth. Bring to a simmer and cover, cooking for 1 hour. Add the beans and cook 15 minutes more. Taste and add more cayenne if desired.

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