Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The best easy chilli recipe ever!

If you are anything like me you probably have those two or three really phenomenal chilli recipes in your recipe box. However if they are anything like mine they are sure to require plenty of time in a pot or a slow cooker. Sometimes we like it slow cooked and sometimes we just want it fast. For those times when you just need to throw it together this is the best recipe I have tasted. To make it even more perfect for those of us on a budget(what a dirty word)it's incredibly cost effective. You get a large pot of it for under $10 dollars as long as you have some basic seasonings in your pantry.(As a good southern girl I'm sure your mama taught you the basics to have on hand)

The first thing I start with is 1lb of ground beef. It's always best to find yourself a good reliable butcher so you can be sure you are getting the best, and we all want the best right? They are usually able to offer better quality meat for the price since that's what they specialize in. If you become a regular friendly type of customer(sugar cookies at Christmas time anyone?)sometimes you can even get that extra "friends" discount. You can use whatever fat ratio you like but I stick around 80/20. I just hate dry meat! Everything else in this dish is low cal and low fat so we can afford a higher fat meat. Start browning this beef at medium heat.
Now for the spices and beans. Start with peeled and crushed tomatoes, add dark red kidney beans, and pre-seasoned chilli beans. You can choose hot or mild. I made this batch with mild since we don't have a lot of heat lovers in the house. After the beans and tomatoes we can start with spices. Turmeric, season salt, ground black pepper, red pepper flakes, Tabasco sauce, a small onion and one garlic clove(more if you are a garlic lover and not plannin on givin any sugars today) and one packet of McCormick s chilli mix once again the heat factor is your choice.
Chop your onion into smallish bits.
At this point your ground beef should be about 90% cooked, which is what we are going for. Go ahead and drain it then toss it back in your pot.
Now you need to add your onions and crush your clove/s of garlic. Toss this in the heat for a second.
Now it starts looking like chilli. Add your crushed tomatoes, and both things of beans. I just eyeball my spices, around a 1/2 ts of turmeric 1/4 tsp season salt, black ground pepper to taste, and a sprinkle of Tabasco and red pepper flakes. Don't forget your McCormick spice packet either.

Cook this over high medium heat for about ten minuets, stirring occasionally.
These are the last two steps. I add(it sounds weird just trust me)ketchup and mustard, around a table spoon of each. Then I start adding chilli powder until I get the desired taste. Just keep adding and tasting until you get that flavor you want.

Let that come to a quick simmer and you are done! Just add the desired toppings. I personally like a mound of cheddar cheese and a scoop of sour cream.

It's not unusual for me to make a double batch of this and freeze half of it. It makes a great party dip. Just spread one softened box of cream cheese in a pan, add chilli on top, cover with cheddar or Mexican cheese and bake until bubbly. Serve with tortilla chips. Or throw some thawed chilli in a blender until it's a bit chopped up and serve over all beef hotdogs(from the butcher, we have all heard those hotdog horror stories)to make your own coney dogs. I may sort of, kind of , sometimes substitute ground turkey for the beef. With the recent ground turkey recall I haven't done that lately but I have done it frequently in the past and nobody has ever called me on it. Once its cooked with the spices you just plain can't tell the difference.

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