Monday, October 24, 2011

Homemade Chili

All Photos (c) 10/23/11, Kathy Fannon
(Click to enlarge)

Fall means soups and chili! Are ya ready?

I grew up eating “Chili Con Carne” from the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook and always liked it. But when I met my husband I was encouraged to try new foods, textures and spices that I’d never had (or thought I liked) before.

After a few years of marriage I decided I wanted a spicier chili than the one I grew up with.

At the time I had a subscription to Country magazine and looked forward to the recipes each month; I cut them out and kept them in a recipe box. So when I wanted to update my chili I gathered all the chili recipes I had saved from Country magazine. I compared them to see which similar spices and measurements they had in common, and which ones were unique, and put together my own creation.

This recipe is still basically what it has been for 20 years, but there have been additions and changes through the years.

Since this is very Mexican in taste because of the cumin, I added the juice of a lime. I also heard that beer is good in chili, so I tried it; some is definitely better than others! (Cheap beers leave an after-taste while quality beer gives good flavor.)

I also substituted ground turkey for the ground beef since I no longer eat beef. Actually, I’d prefer to leave the turkey out and make it vegetarian, but since the men of my house like meat I leave it in. (I would otherwise add another can of beans.)

My Chili

Prep: 35 mins

16 oz Jennie-O ground turkey (or ground round)
Onion, chopped (large palm full)
3 – 4 cloves garlic

Sauté onion and garlic for 1-2 minutes in OLIVE OIL; add turkey and brown. (Be careful not to burn the garlic or you'll have to start over.)

While browning, add (measurements don’t need to be exact):
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/4 t pepper
  • 1/2 t basil
  • 1/4 t celery seed
  • 1 1/2 t cumin
  • 1/4 t marjoram
  • 1/4 t paprika
  • 1 t oregano
  • 1/4 t Worcestershire
  • 2 t chili powder
  • 2 chilies (in adobo sauce) (Found in the Authentic Mexican food section) (Freeze leftovers for future use)
  • 3 - 4 t adobo sauce (opt, creates heat!)
  • Tabasco sauce if desired

When turkey is browned, add:
  • 1 – 14 oz can crushed tomatoes (I like the Dei Fratelli)  (If you can only find the 28 oz, freeze half for next time, OR double the recipe for leftovers)
  • 1 – 8 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 – 15 oz can beans (pinto, kidney or black beans), undrained (I use two different kinds if I double the batch)
  • Juice of one Lime
  • Optional: One bottle good quality beer (I like Beck’s); then omit the 8 oz tomato sauce
I let the beer simmer for a minute before adding the crushed tomatoes and beans

Simmer 20 – 45 minutes (or longer).

Top with shredded mozzarella (or cheddar) cheese, plain Greek yogurt (or sour cream) and green onion as desired.

Serve with tortilla chips!

What are your chili secrets? Please share in the comment section!

Read my previous post: Wind and Rain = Day Off!
Read my next post: Chinese Omelet