Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Chili Today, Hot Tamale

I am not a chili fan (and it doesn’t like me either), but the Y chromosomes in the house are big fans. My DH especially loves chili, but I really don’t like the canned slop that they sell in the store. In perusing the labels, I’ve been Horror Struck! (insert rolling of eyes and gnashing of teeth here). This is also not taking into account that the “serving size” is less than half a can and the nutrition info is labeled thusly. You need to do the math to determine how much artery clogging sludge is in each can, because let’s face it, does your Manly Man eat 1 cup (246 grams) at a time or eat the whole can? The whole can of course! One little gem has 180 fat calories/20 grams fat (aka: 30% of your daily value) and 8 grams of saturated fat which equals 40% of your DV. Fiber and sodium are equally off the charts.

Keeping this in mind for my men, I made chili. I made CI’s Simple Beef Chili with Kidney Beans, to be precise. None of them like green peppers, so those were left out and I eased up on the amount of heat: I halved the cayenne and chili powder and only used about a teaspoon of cumin – it’s one flavor they haven’t grown to like yet.

They loved it. Men/boys sitting around snarfing chili, crunching up saltines and making low grunting noises over their bowls. Just sampling it to get the seasonings right gave me heartburn. Nope, male bonding and chili. I’m good with that.

Cooks Illustrated Simple Beef Chili

Good choices for condiments include diced fresh tomatoes, diced avocado, sliced scallions, chopped red onion, chopped cilantro leaves, sour cream, and shredded Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese.

Makes about 3 quarts, serving 8 to 10

2 tablespoons vegetable oil or corn oil
2 medium onions, chopped fine (about 2 cups)
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
6 medium cloves garlic, minced or pressed through garlic press (about 2 tablespoons)
2 pounds 85 percent lean ground beef (see variations below)
2 (15-ounce) cans red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes, with juice
1 can (28 ounces) tomato puree
Table salt
1/4 cup chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1. Heat oil in large heavy-bottomed nonreactive Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering but not smoking, 3 to 4 minutes. Add onions, bell pepper, garlic, and spices; cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened and beginning to brown, about 10 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high and add half the beef; cook, breaking up pieces with wooden spoon, until no longer pink and just beginning to brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Add remaining beef and cook, breaking up pieces with wooden spoon, until no longer pink, 3 to 4 minutes.

2. Add beans, tomatoes, tomato puree, and 1/2 teaspoon salt; bring to boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour. Remove cover and continue to simmer 1 hour longer, stirring occasionally (if chili begins to stick to bottom of pot, stir in 1/2 cup water and continue to simmer), until beef is tender and chili is dark, rich, and slightly thickened. Adjust seasoning with additional salt. Serve with lime wedges and condiments if desired.

Thank you to the Fabulous and Talented Cathy over at The Tortefeasor for giving me The Butterfly Award!

Thanks Cathy! You sincerely rock.

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  1. I love chili! But my husband says I'm the "man eater" of the family so that's no suprise....:)

  2. I like some chili but not all of them fancy me! You are nice to make it for everyone else:)

  3. Oooh, we love chili and the hotter the better! I made some Bobby Flay chili a couple of weeks ago (haven't yet posted it) - a ton of work and probably not worth it. Good job, you, making your men folk happy!

    ps my verification word is "colopolo" made me smile.

  4. Although I'm loathe to discourage anyone from cooking, I've found that the chili served at both Wendy's and TIm Horton's is not terrible. Now, I haven't seen their nutrition facts panels but I know that the chili at Wendy's is recommended by Weight Watchers as an okay choice and it is a very filling serving.

  5. I love chili, and I love to experiment with chili, but I am the only chili lover in the house, so I never get to really make it. But if CI makes a recipe for it then I must try it as it has to be good.

  6. My husband is a huge chili fan. He makes it himself with great abandon. I'll have to give him this recipe. I just wont' mention it's from Cooking Light.

  7. That chili looks good. I am going to have to try using ground beef next time instead of beef cubes.


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