Saturday, March 20, 2010

Reasons I Love My Roommate: Chili Extravaganza

One day during my sophomore year, my friends all wanted to get together for "family dinner" at my friend Taylor's house.  Back then, he was the only one with an apartment and, therefore, a kitchen, so it was quite a novelty for all of us.  Plus, if we cooked for him, he would let us hang out there instead of in our own rooms, so it was a pretty good deal.

Because we had such a big group of people, Andrea had a great idea: why not call her mom for their family's chili recipe?  While I was very happy to be eating a hearty, delicious meal, I was also a little nervous.  First of all, I am a huge wimp when it comes to spicy.  Andrea knows this and enjoys mocking me for it, so I knew she would not back down on the spice on my account.  Secondly, I had only had homemade chili a couple of times, at my hometown's Fire Dept. picnics (I know, right?  Ridiculous).  Isn't chili so typical for a fire department get-together?  I resist to overstate the irony.

However, putting my fears aside, I ate the chili and let me tell you, it was mondo deliciouso!  It was so good that I got the recipe from her and now cook it every single time I am home.  Even my family loves it!  I've tweaked it slightly over the past year, and I use ground turkey instead of beef because it's better for Joe to eat and lower in fat and calories.  Trust me, once you make this Classic Hearty Chili once, you'll make it a staple in your recipe book.  Plus, it's easy and fast!

What you'll need:
  • 1 lb. ground turkey (you can use beef if you want, too)
  • 1 medium to large onion, chopped
  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 28-32 oz. can of diced tomatoes w/ garlic and olive oil (I use Red Pack brand- trust me, the garlic and olive oil kind is what you want)
  • 2 cans red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups medium salsa
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 10 oz. bag of frozen corn (optional)
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt, pepper, and garlic powder

How to make it:

1) Over medium-high heat, brown the ground turkey completely in a pan.  Drain and put in a large pot.

2) Wash your pan and use it again to heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add onion and garlic to the pan and cook until the onions are soft and translucent (about 5-6 minutes).  Add these to the pot as well

3) Add tomatoes, beans (washed and drained), and salsa to the pot.  Stir all ingredients together and turn the heat on to medium-high.  Add in the chili powder and stir well.

4) Bring chili to a boil.  When boiling, turn down to a simmer (medium-low heat) and cover.  Cook for 20-25 minutes.  When cooked, add salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste.  If you're brave, you can also add more chili powder- but not if you're a wimp like me!

5) If choosing to use corn, stir the frozen corn in and cover for five more minutes.  Although I love corn, Jonathan hates it, so we don't use it when I make it at home.

6) Serve with sour cream and cheese and enjoy!

This recipe is a staple in my many kitchens, so there's no need for a review.  The garlic and olive oil tomatoes just adds an extra something that makes the chili absolutely perfect, so I highly recommend finding it!  I also recommend that you use corn in the chili and then convince my little brother to stop being a teenager and realize just how GOOD it makes it.

Also, if you hadn't noticed, this recipe is GF/DF friendly!  Hallelujah!  It's one of Joe's favorites too, but he makes it much more spicy than I do.  To each his own, I suppose.

Thank you, Andrea, for this delicious chili, and I'm sorry I ever doubted you!

Are you a spice nut or a spice wimp like me?  What's the best chili you've ever had?

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