Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Fall Leaves and Cold-Weather Chili

I said that chili was coming . . . In keeping with my cold weather theme I had to make some chili. I would like to add, as an aside, that I went up to Marin this past weekend and took in all of the beautiful fall colors – so for those of you who don’t believe California has seasons, here is a little proof that we do. 

Growing up, my mother always made beef chili with big chunks of beef accompanied by grated sharp cheddar and generous dollops of sour cream. I crave that chili but don’t think I can make it as good or as deliciously chili-y – so I ventured to make a new type of chili (which turned out to be delish but was a very different chili from that of my mom’s). 

To make: I fried up four slices of bacon (I like applewood) and then tossed in a whole chopped onion and let that cook in the delicious bacon fat. I tossed in some chopped bell peppers, some strips of poblanos and a healthy dose of chopped garlic. Once that had all married and sautéed I removed it all and set it aside so that I could brown my meat. I added a dollop of olive oil into my pot and browned 1 pound of ground beef (I like the fatty kind – because I can’t help myself) and 1 pound of ground pork. I added in 2-3 tablespoons cumin, 1 tablespoon chili powder, 1 tablespoon oregano, 2 teaspoons paprika and a generous dash of cayenne. Once the meat is browned I added in a huge can of pinto beans, 1 can of black beans, 2 cans of chopped tomatoes, a bay leaf and salt and pepper to taste. I added the onion mix back in as well. Give it a stir and let time work its magic.

I let the chili cook uncovered on medium-low heat for an hour and a half. To finish it I added a can of corn and served it on top of white rice. I put out bowls of cheddar, sour cream, cilantro and chopped avocado for people to sprinkle on top as they pleased. I made WAY too much chili and will have leftovers for about a month but the good news is – chili gets better with age (within reason).  Happy Thanksgiving!

1 comment:

  1. Happy Thanksgiving, ZZ and (my) family! Lovely photos of California, but not sure that boot counts for the fall colors... I am having a serious jones for some stuffing, so please FedEx some -- no meat, please. In fact, no offense, but a box of Stove Top would be ideal. You just have to find the one that doesn't have any meat stock in it. Has it been a year since we've seen each other? Why haven't you visited? Wait, you've been here like twice and your parents haven't, so it's their turn! xxoo your favey