Thursday, November 3, 2011

Hot n Spicy Chili

Chili - mmmmmmm

It's Novem-brrrrrrrrrrr.  Nothing like a good, hot, spicy, steaming bowl of chili to fight off the 'chili'-ness in the air out there!  I make my chili early in the day on a weekend - it smells soooooo good simmering at the back of the stove all day long!

The chili I make isn't for wimps.  It's HOT - and I don't mean temperature-wise - spicy, loaded with beef and beautifully studded with red and green peppers, onions and garlic.  I use beans in my version, but not a lot of them - definitely a high meat-to-bean ratio.  I like to use whole tomatoes, break them up coarsely and just let the simmering process reduce them to the perfect consistency for chili.  To me, that means some nice chunks along with that beautiful brownish red sauce. 

I like a good "depth" of flavor in my chili - deep rich notes along with the acid high notes of the tomatoes - so I use coffee and a bottle of beer  (gluten-free beer in our house) to give the concoction a balance.  And LOTS of chili powder including some good smoky chipotle chili powder and LOTS of smoky cumin, too.   (And if you don't like your chili as hot as we do in our house, just use less chili powder!)

I serve the chili in bowls as it is, but sometimes I'm feeling just a little adventurous (such a wild woman - lol!) and top it with some finely diced onion and shredded cheddar or maybe a couple of pickled jalapeno slices and a chunk of cornbread on the side. Cornbread's sweet, buttery goodness sets off the spicy chili just right! 

( I use the Gluten Free Pantry cornbread/corn muffin mix.  It is the BEST on the market - no difference between that and a really good regular mix!)

Hot n Spicy Chili

  •   3  lbs        ground beef
  •   3 T           olive oil
  •   2              bell peppers, 1 red and 1 green – large ones,chopped
  •   3              onions -- large, chopped
  •   6 cloves  garlic -- chopped
  •   1 t            basil
  •   7 T           chili powder (that’s right! SEVEN – I use 5 Hot Mexican and 2 chipotle chili powders – sometimes more!
  •   1 T           oregano
  •   4 T           cumin – heaping! – yep, sometimes I use more!
  •   1 can        black beans -- drained
  •   1 can        kidney beans -- dark red, drained
  •   2 - 32 oz  cans  whole tomatoes – break these up roughly
  •   3 T           coffee powder, instant
  •   1 - 12 oz  can beer – I use gluten-free beer
  •   1 T           salt
  •                   fresh ground black pepper -- to taste – lots
  •   1 T           granulated garlic

In large soup pot, saute crumbled ground beef, stirring well and breaking up the beef.  When the beef is browned thoroughly, drain in a colander while you cook the veggies.

Add olive oil to pot, and saute peppers, onions and garlic.  Add drained beef and rest of the ingredients.  Let simmer and taste to adjust seasonings, adding whatever you think the mixture might still need...salt, more chili powder, cumin, etc.

Simmer for 1-2 hours.  This freezes really well!

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