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Thursday, November 5, 2015

Chili!

October, November...to me those months are the best time for making Chili.  We are done with summer and looking forward to the cooler days ahead.  If you live in the South, those days may or may not be a long time coming.  Thankfully, we do have cold snaps and teases for the wonderful winter that lies ahead.  The prescription for the intermittent chilliness in the air? Chili in a bowl!  with or without meat.  I have a recipe for each.

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili
This is a super healthy and delicious recipe that combines the sweetness of the potatoes with the bite of lime juice and comforting flavor of beans.  I love it with shredded cheddar on top and multi-grain tortilla chips!  Here is the recipe from one of my favorite sites:  http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/sweet_potato_black_bean_chili.html



Now for the meat recipe.  I wish I had some sort of carnivorous dinosaur reference here.  But my 3-year-old son is totally into large trucks/tractors and superheroes right now.  No dinosaur inspiration to speak of.

Nevertheless, last year, my next door neighbor shared a wonderful Chili recipe with me.  I can't reference the source because I'm not sure what book it came from.  I will rewrite it here for you...and tell you how I like to serve it.  

Texas Chili (not my original recipe)
Ingredients:
1 tablespoon Bacon Grease or Vegetable Oil
2 medium Yellow Onions, chopped
3 tablespoons minced Garlic
3 tablespoons Chili Powder
2 tablespoons Paprika
1 tablespoon Cumin
2 teaspoons dried Oregano
1 lb. Ground Beef Chuck
1 lb. Italian Sausage Links (removed from casing and crumbled)
2 teaspoons Kosher Salt and more as needed
2 (28 oz) cans Crushed Tomatoes
1 (15 oz) can Kidney Beans-drained and rinsed
1 (15 oz) can BBQ Baked Beans, drained
1 tablespoon minced canned Chipotle Chilies in Adobo Sauce (these are canned and usually in the taco/chili section of the grocery store)
Instructions:
Heat the grease or oil over medium heat in a large soup vat.  Add the onions and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender (7 to 8 minutes).  Add all the spices and stir until combined.  Add the meats and 1 teaspoon of salt.  Increase the heat to medium high and cook until meat is no longer pink, stirring frequently.  Stir in the remaining ingredients, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally for one hour.  

I like to serve this chili over white sticky rice.  You can add shredded Cheddar and any other toppings you like...green onions, avocado, sour cream, etc.  It's your call!


The holiday season is getting closer.  This is the perfect time of year to have a group of friends gather in your home to celebrate life and all that we have for which to be thankful!  Chili is a great dish to serve at a party because you can easily make a lot of it.  Make it a fun game night.  Whatever you do, just make a point to be in community with others and eat some yummy chili while you're at it!