02 December 2008

Weeknight Chili

I'm a soup kind of girl, BUT only in cold weather. So now that we have a burst of cold weather, I am in the soup mood! I had soup last night for dinner and I was so inspired that I decided to come home and make chili. With my Czhilispiel experience (and cheating and watching the pros there), I thought I could pull off a good chili with no recipe. I would say for a first timer I did pretty decent. It wasn't as full bodied as I would have liked, but then again I made it in an evening and wasn't able to let it simmer as long as I would have liked. I know the pros do different "dumps" to layer the flavors, but I was hungry! So below is a weeknight chili; you can make it without simmering it all day and it still tastes great! I like mine with cheddar cheese and cornbread. Since the hurricane, I lost my cornbread pan so I had to improvise with corn muffins and although they weren't they same, they definitely did the job. I like my chili pretty spicy and bold, so I didn't include measurements for spices (also, I have a real problem measuring spices). But chili is a very individual thing so don't be afraid to experiment with what you like (but just in case you're nervous, I'll put my estimate of spices in parentheses). I hope you have a chili day to enjoy some chili (pun intended)!

Fully Dressed with Cheese and a Cornbread Muffin

Weeknight Chipotle Chili

3 slices bacon
1 large onion, finely chopped
5 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 chipotle chiles, chopped, with 2 tsp sauce

1# ground sirlon
1# Chicken and Poblano Sausage, casings removed (found at HEB)

28oz crushed fire-roasted tomatoes
16oz Diced Tomatoes, Chili Style
16oz Diced Tomatoes, Sweet Onion
16 oz tomato sauce, no salt added
1 tomato sauce can of water
1 c. beef broth, no salt added
tomato paste

Salt (3T)
Chipotle chili powder (2T)
Dallas Dynamite Chili Powder (5T)
Lemon Pepper (1T)
Brown Sugar (2T)
Pepper (1T)

1/3c. flour
8oz cold water

Brown bacon in soup pot. Remove bacon and saute onions in bacon grease until opaque. Add garlic and chiles, keep sauteing until onions are translucent. Add ground sirloin and chicken sausage and cook until brown. (This is very important: add some seasonings HERE or else your meat will be plain jane.) When the meat is browned, add all of the tomatoes, water, beef broth and tomato paste. After the chili begins boiling, add seasonings to taste. After the chili simmers for ten to fifteen minutes, taste for seasoning and adjust. Simmer for as long as you can and constantly adjust as you go. When you can't wait any longer to eat, mix the flour and water and add to the boiling chili. Let boil for a few minutes longer and enjoy!

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