Monday, November 14, 2011


I've been painting the trim in my dining room.  AND I'M ABOUT TO GO CRAZY.

So I thought I'd take a break from painting and from destroying my house in a search for big sister's one missing Mary Jane (why couldn't she have lost one of her $9 Target tennis shoes?  Seriously.) to make chili.

Nothing says fall like chili.  And there's nothing I like better than a meal I can put sour cream and cheese on top of.

I make chili about five different ways.  This is one of them.  It's thick, hearty, know you want to make this.

Anyway, here's what you want to do.  Chop an onion really small, and throw it into a pot with some ground beef.

It was at this point that I realized I had forgotten how to cook and my kitchen, while unpacked, is still new).  Actually, it's rather old.  But it's new to me. And I'm having a hard time remembering where I put everything.  Apparently I'm getting old too.

So glad I'm making new pathways in my brain.

Once the meat is browned and you drain off the excess grease (no need to clog our arteries with ground beef grease.  We're going to be doing plenty of artery-clogging with the butter on top of our cornbread), stir in the garlic and the three cans of tomato products.

I've inhaled too many paint fumes and put the beans in the picture instead of the diced tomatoes.  Oops.

Now add the seasonings.  I added two types of chili powder, simply because I got this Ancho chili powder:

here, at the DeKalb (pronounced DeCab, in case you're not from Georgia) County Farmer's Market and I wanted to try it out.

If you're ever in the Atlanta area or anywhere in the state of Georgia, for that matter, you must go to the DeKalb Farmers Market.  It defies any description I could give it.  I was tempted to move to Atlanta after my friend Bethany introduced me to the market.

Anyway, Ancho chili powder is a bit more bitter than regular chili powder, so I did one tablespoon of ancho and one tablespoon of the regular stuff I buy in bulk at Sam's.  Not quite as exciting as the farmer's market, but it worked.

Okay, now add a little water and let it simmer.  The flavors need time to meet, mingle, and marry.

How's that for alliteration.

Okay, now add the beans and sugar.

Now here's the weird part that makes this chili different:

Cornmeal mixed with water and cooked in the chili.  I stole the idea from Pioneer Woman.  It's different, and I like it.  It doesn't add a whole lot of flavor, but it's enough to make you wonder what's different about this chili.

I love subtle things like that.

Let this simmer away for another 20 minutes or so.


Now top with cheese and sour cream.

I don't know where you're from, but where I'm from, cornbread is simply a must with chili.  Either whip up a box of Jiffy or make this yummy sweet cornbread.

Okay now.  Back to the trim in my dining room.


2 small or 1 large onion, diced small
1 1/2 to 2 pounds of ground beef (I like to use a higher fat content like 80/20 - better flavor)
6 cloves garlic, minced
10 oz. can Rotel
15 oz. can diced tomatoes
28 oz. crushed tomatoes
2 heaping tablespoons chili powder
2 heaping tablespoons cumin
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 cup water
2 15 oz. cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 T sugar
1/4 cup corn meal
1/3 cup hot water
Grated cheddar
Sour cream

Saute the onion and beef together in a large pot, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, until it is cooked through and no pink remains.  Drain the excess grease from the pot.  Return the pot to the stove and stir in the garlic, Rotel, diced tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, chili powder, cumin, salt, pepper and water.  Simmer for 25 minutes, stirring frequently.  Add the beans and sugar.  In a separate bowl, mix together the corn meal and the hot water and stir it into the chili.  Return to a simmer and cook for another 20 minutes.  Serve topped with cheese and sour cream.

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