Last week we were stuck inside for two days straight. I survived with lots of Pinot Noir, including my absolute favorite, Erath (http://www.erath.com). At around $15 a bottle, I promise you will love every sip. If you’re a Pinot person, definitely try it. I usually get mine at Trader Joe’s.
Frankly, a liquid diet would have been just fine for me after two weeks of eating my way through the holidays. When I went to put on my yoga pants this morning, I felt like a sausage being crammed into a casing that was way too tight for me, (yes, even with all that lycra). However, I needed to come up with something to keep Mr. Wonderful and the three kids from starving. I pulled out my crock pot and decided on chili.
One of the best and worst things about making chili is that there are about ten zillion recipes on the internet. I love the variety that offers us in the kitchen, as I’m always looking for easy and tasty recipes. I was thinking about my grandmother sixty years ago, when the options were either THE JOY OF COOKING or some other archaean cookbook with notes in the margins about how to keep your husband happy with a good meal. My husband found an old cookbook of his grandmother’s at the family cabin up in Maine like that, and he got a real kick out of telling me how I should pamper him more after a long day. I know I’m not alone when I say I’m very happy to be handing my husband a basket of laundry to fold instead of a gin and tonic when he walks in the door after work. Thank goodness for progress, people!
All kidding aside, here’s what I came up with:
Brooke’s Snow Day Chili
1/4 c. olive oil, 2 lbs. organic beef, small yellow onion, 1 can of pinto beans (15 oz.), 1 can of kidney beans (15 oz.), Can of tomato sauce (30 oz.), Can of diced tomatoes (30 oz.), TBSP of chili powder, 1 1/2 tsp of oregano, 1/2 tsp pepper (I would add more if you’re a pepper person. I’m just not), 1/2 tsp. Tabasco, 1 1/4 tsp kosher salt.
Cooking chili is something even a complete culinary moron can master easily. Simply saute the onion in the olive oil on medium/low for about 10 minutes before adding the beef. Brown it all, drain the fat, and put into your crock pot. Start adding everything on my list, stir it all up, and cook on low for 5-6 hours. Taste along the way, and adjust seasoning as needed to your liking.
Do you have a favorite chili recipe you can share? I would love to start a chili chain. I’m looking for beef, turkey, or chicken recipes. Sadly, my kids will not eat vegetarian chili. Mine turned out well for small children because it was not too spicy but could be doctored up for those who want a little more vavoom.
**In full disclosure, I forgot to photograph my chili before we ate it all, so this is a photo I found on the internet and deserve no credit for it.
Enjoy your chili!