Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Chili con Carne

When I started this blog, I wanted to combine my cooking with my experiences in this part of the world. Alas, lately I have been so tired at the end of the day that I barely had the energy to type out my recipes. I did take notes though and jotted down a lot of ideas for remarks to be included in my blog in the near future. So here is one of them. Just the other day at a department store, I had one of these annoying occurrences. After spending some time in the mall, with my 3-year-old running a lot and everybody getting tired, I was at the checkout with my purchase, ready to pay and leave. I was in the middle of paying and the person at the checkout just kept going through their annoying routine of "Don't you want to register for a rewards card", "You get x percent discount at this at that store", blah blah blah. I am kind of used to that by now, although every time I have to hold myself back from saying "Shut up! I just want to pay and leave!". But this time, my son was standing next to me fussing and squealing and wanting his jacket put on. And this stupid robot-cashier just kept on with her routine. Well, I guess it wasn't as bad as when I went to a maternity store with my then 2.5 year old son and me 7 months pregnant. After the cashier had asked me if I wanted to join and sign up and register for about 7 or 8 different things and my son playing hide-and-seek in the store all that time, I finally had to tell her rather annoyed and directly that I please just wanted to pay and NOT JOIN ANYTHING!

This chili recipe is based on my Chili con Turkey. I really liked the "setting" for that chili. The combination of diced tomatoes and tomato sauce along with the spices makes a nice basis for the meat and veggies you would like to have in a chili. Which makes this a super flexible recipe. Just chose the meat and veggies you would like and  voilà, there is your own special chili dish.

1-2 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 lbs ground beef
1 to 1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground pepper
3 garlic cloves (minced) or 1 tsp garlic powder
1 medium onion, chopped
3-5 tbsp chili powder
1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes
1 can (15 oz) tomato sauce
1 can (15 oz) kidney beans, drained & rinsed
1 small can corn kernels, drained
8 oz green bell pepper, cut into 1/2 inch squares

Heat the oil medium-high heat. Add beef, salt, and pepper. Cook for 4-5 minutes, breaking up the meat. Add the garlic, onion, and chili powder and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in the tomatoes, tomato sauce and 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes, until thickened. Add the beans, corn, and bell pepper and simmer for 15 minutes.
There are several option for serving the chili: Either you eat it just like it is or maybe you have a slice of toast or a roll or you serve it with rice.  Some might like the chili topped with sour cream and shredded cheese. Well, whichever way you choose, I hope you enjoy it!

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