Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Here Comes the Rain Again

So I have to start this post with a quick note-someone OTHER than my sister commented on a post!!!! Yay!  So thank you to Kristine at The Painted Hive for her lovely comment about my twig wreath.

OK, so apparently Mother Nature checked her calender and realized it was August 31st so she better get the rain started.  It is wet out there today.  No, I'm not complaining, in fact I do love the rain on the "wet" coast.  It keep things green all year round (I bet you didn't see brown grass during the Winter Olympics did ya?), rain keeps things clean (no ugly sand on the roads in winter), and it helps control my allergies.  The other great thing about cooler weather is I get to make some of my favourite foods-warm, filling, stick to your gut comfort food!  I made my meal plan on Sunday, a nice 20 degrees Celsius day-little did I realize how genius it would be, since I had scheduled to make chili today-the first grey, rainy day we've had in a while!!!!

Now, I know that alot of people are gonna fight me on this, but I truly believe i have the BEST chili recipe ever.  It's something of a family secret (I can't even believe I'm posting it, but it's THAT GOOD).  I've tried a lot of other chili's out there, but hands down, mine is the best.  Try it for yourself!

Daddy Lou's Kick Ass Chili

1 lb ground beef
1 onion chopped
1 green pepper chopped
2-4 stalks of celery chopped
1 can Tomato sauce
        (or paste. Tomato paste will give a different flavour)
1 large can diced tomatoes
1 can condensed tomato soup
chili powder
garlic salt
ground coriander seed
ground cumin seed 
        (You don't need much coriander/cumin, but both are important)
salt & pepper
dried jalapeno
1 can kernel corn
        (optional-but I always put it in)
1 can kidney beans
1 can regular deep brown beans

Coarsley chop your veggies and lightly saute in a large stock pot.  DO NOT OVER COOK.  Remember, you're going to be simmering the chili at the end, you don't want your veggies to end up all mushy! Yuck.  Don't chop your veggies too fine either.  I like a nice chunkly chili, so precision is not necessary.

As the veggies are cooking, brown the ground beef with salt and pepper.  Again, don't over cook.  Browning means strictly that, brown it.  We're not making burritos.  Drain the ground beef in a collander and add to veggies in a stock pot.  I always drain my beef-even if it's lean.  Make sure that you have the hot water running in your sink whenever you're draining meat.  This will allow th liquid fat/oil to stay liquid and it will be less likely to plug up your drain!

Next add the canned tomato products to the veggies and meat.  Keep the stove on at medium so the chili stays warm.  Please note that the brand of beans and tomatoes you use will make a difference how your chili tastes.    

  I was a bit of a bonehead and bought tomato paste instead of sauce.  You SHOULD use tomato sauce.  Tomato paste gives the chili a DISTINCTLY tomato tase (which is fine).  Just be prepared to alter your seasonsing (usually using more) if you're using tomato paste.

Next add your seasonings.  This is all to taste.  I don't measure I just sprinkle.  I use A LOT of chili powder and garlic salt.  Those are staples.  A bit of cumin and corriander and allspice.  Still, to this day when I make chili, I smell the spice before I put it in.  By smelling the spice on it's own, it clues me in to how much I should be using in the chili.  Ii didn't have any dried jalapeno so i used crushed red pepper flakes.  Stir in all the seasonings. 

Once the seasonings are in, I toss in a can of kernel corn, kidney beans and deep browned beans and stir.  Now you've added all the ingredients.  I keep my spices out, just in case I need to make adjustements.  Once all the ingredients are added, cook for at least 1 hour.  I like to keep my chili on low between 2-5 so that the bottom doesn't burn (Ty has to do the dishes, and he gets cranky when I burn things).  Stir the chili every 5-10 minutes to ensure even cooking and no burning.  Serve hot and top with freshly grated cheddar/marble cheese and half a bun!  What I love about this chili is that there is flavour and spice, but neither overdoes it.  It's a great balance, not too spicey, not bland, great veggies/crunch!  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!


Jill said...

Hmmm, I haven't made chili in a while. That will have to go on the list now that summer appears to be over.

Also, almost done making the roses for your mock center piece! I'll post it asap, but right now I'm busy making myself a dress for Alan's wedding (on Saturday!)

Kristine at The Painted Hive said...

Hey again! Firstly, loved your opening paragraph - that cracked me up and I'm so glad to have made you go 'YAY!'. Secondly, chilli rocks and I am definitely making this (it's still Wintery weather here so it will go down nicely). Thirdly, head on over to my blog when you get a chance - I just featured your wreath in my Busy Bees showcase!