Monday, October 13, 2008
Chili Is for Fall.
I knew it was coming. The outer leaves on oak trees are starting to fade to orange and then red, and there's finally got that "crisp" fall feeling when you step outside. So it is definitely chili weather. This is the chili recipe I grew up loving, straight out of a Better Homes and Gardens cookbook published back in 1975. Classic. I did have a couple issues making this ridiculously simple meal. One, I found a pound of ground beef at HyVee for a whopping $1.99. Woah! That's way less than a gallon of gas. You may be asking, What's the issue here? Well all I could think when I picked up the meat was: "This cow was abused and shot with loads of hormones, this cow was abused, this cow was abused." I felt bad. For a second. But come on, we are in an economic crisis (or so evidenced by the quarterly report on my 401k--down 20 percent for the year!!!!). Issue number two occurred while lettting the chili simmer for the allotted hour. I left it on the stove with the burner as low as I (thought I) could and settled down to watch Friends reruns. I went back to check on it after 45 minutes, and it was almost burned and parts of it were singed to the bottom of the pot. It's the stove, I tell you. I thought these burners were supposed to be the preferred choice of chefs because it's easier to control the heat. But our not-so-cutting-edge stovetop has two settings: high and off. Not to worry, I still ate the chili and it was/is still good. Megan also made chili. As she is a vegetarian, she's not going to be eating my stew laced with neglected cow meat (I don't blame her). I would argue that Megan's chili had more flavor and more kick than mine. As spices, she added a packet of taco seasoning and a packet of dry ranch mix. Good. And guilt free (unless you're talking about sodium levels). So I ate two bowls of chili on the perfect fall night. Not a bad life. Chili Con Carne: 1 pound ground beef 1/2 cup chopped green pepper 1/4 cup chopped onion 1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes 1 14.5-ounce can kidney beans, rinsed 1 8-ounce can tomato sauce 1 4-ounce can diced black olives 1 bay leaf 2 teaspoons chili powder salt and pepper to taste Brown meat. Saute onion and green pepper until soft. Add the rest of the ingredients. Bring to a boil and simmer for one hour, covered. The olives are optional. They're my mom's addition to this recipe.