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11:59 a.m. - 2013-01-09
The Chili Recipe

My friend Alison, who is a sweetie-pie and has been a staunch ally as I muddle through the misery of quitting smoking, asked for my chili recipe. Normally requests for recipes are returned with a cheerful shrug and a "Sorry, chica, I don't use recipes. Not a fricken clue about measurements and temperatures, I just wing it." Which I do. Aside from my new fixation with baking I've never used recipes. I do everything by eyeball, smell, and taste. 40+ years at the stove will do that for a girl. However, along with wanting to give a hand to Alison the sweetheart I got curious about whether I could write it down. So I dug the cans out of the recycle bin and rooted through the spice cabinet making a list of all the stuff I threw in the pot yesterday. Please be advised that all measurements are approximate and err on the side of caution. The Sage clan is not a fan of fiery mouths (or butts the next day) so if you use this recipe PLEASE sample as you go along and adjust according to how it tastes to you. As written this chili will give a nice glow to the taste buds, not a scorching.

LA's Mildly Alarmed Chili

Ingredients:
2lbs ground meat. (I used 80% lean hamburger, but I assume any ground meat will do fine. Or no meat for you vegetarians, just add more beans.)
29oz can tomato sauce
Plus one can of water
1lb 13oz can of pink beans with juice
15.5oz can black beans- drained
15.5oz can of red beans- drained
One small jalapeno or cubanelle pepper stripped of seeds and minced fine
One large green bell pepper cut in small chunks
Ten mini carrots
4-5 tablespoons of corn starch or fine corn flour stirred into a ╝ cup of cold water
One tablespoon of ketchup

One heaping teaspoon each of the following:
Paprika
Oregano
Adobo
Parsley flakes
Cayenne pepper
Fresh ground black pepper

One heaping tablespoon each of the following:
Cumin
Kosher salt
Dried minced onion
Dried or fresh minced garlic
Crushed red pepper flakes

Prep:

Begin by browning meat in a large frying pan with some of the salt and cumin. SautÚ until meat is crumbly and no longer pink. Drain.

In a large stock pot add all ingredients except corn starch/corn flour. Add drained meat.

Bring to a slow boil.

Taste. Remember the hotter spices and pepper will continue to get hotter as the chili cooks so don't go overboard spicing things up yet, but I usually find it needs salt at this point.

Reduce heat to bare simmer and cover pot. Let simmer for 1-2 hours, stirring every once in a while.

Taste and if necessary add salt/cayenne/black pepper in pinches until it suits you.

Add corn starch/corn flour and water mixture and stir until thoroughly integrated. Simmer uncovered for 15 mins.

That's it.

Serve with shredded cheese and sour cream. Instead of spoons or forks we eat our chili with those scoop shaped tortilla chips. Tostitos makes good ones.

Yield: Gads, I don't know. A gallon? We get 3 dinners out of a batch. One right away, one for leftovers and I usually freeze a third to have handy on nights when I don't feel like cooking. The chili also makes excellent nachos. Put tortilla chips on a baking sheet, plop spoonfuls of chili over chips, sprinkle with shredded cheese, dot with minced jalapenos. Heat in 350 degree oven for approx: 4 minutes or until cheese is melty.


*If carrots in chili sounds weird, the carrots temper the spiciness, add a touch of sweetness, and are a sneaky way to get vegetable-averse husbands to eat them. In yesterday's batch I also added a big handful of roughly chopped sun-dried tomatoes because I found them lurking in the back of the spice cabinet, but they are not required.

Warning: If you make this and veer wildly from the recipe please do NOT come back and chide me because it came out nasty.

"LA, you bitch, I made your chili but didn't have beans so I used spaghetti instead, also didn't have cumin/paprika/cayenne so I used pancake syrup and Mrs Dash and you know what? Your chili SUCKS! Drop dead, you evil cow. Signed- Disgruntled Cook"

However if you DO follow the recipe and like it, YAY! Glad to share.

Thank you, Alison for asking.


Be bold. Trust your taste buds and skill. Most of all...have fun! ~LA

6 Wanna talk about it!

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