Monday, April 30, 2012

Mom's Chili

Growing up with Mom's Chili was my first introduction to comfort food.  And joyously I've found that chili can be enjoyed at any time of the year, whether winter or summer, spring or fall.  Below is my mom's original recipe, slightly tweaked for my aging taste buds, which now require more spice than they did as a child.  It's simple and easy, but oh so delicious.

1 pound ground meat (your choice of ground beef or turkey *)
1 Medium Onion, chopped and seeded
1 Green Bell Pepper, peeled and chopped
1-3 Jalapenos, depending on your spice preference, sliced in circles
1 28-oz can of crushed tomatoes
1 14-oz can of Rotel, drained
1 14-oz can of diced tomatoes
1 14-oz can of kidney beans, the darker, the healthier, rinse out contents of can
1 14-oz can of stewed tomatoes, drained
1 4-oz can of diced green chiles
4 Tablespoons Chile Powder
1 teaspoon Paprika
1 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
1 Dutch Oven
1 Wooden Spoon

* For a healthier option, use ground turkey breast, but for a heartier option, use ground beef (still try to get a lower fat percentage sirloin).

1.  In the Dutch Oven combine the ground meat, onion, green pepper, and jalapeno and cook over medium heat.  Stir occasionally so as to brown and cook through.  Using the wooden spoon, break down the meat into smaller pieces as it cooks completely through (if I am using just turkey breast, no oil, I add one of the Tbs of Chile Powder to flavor the meat).  Onion will become slightly transparent.

* If you want to be extra healthy, drain the meat and vegetables of the extra fat and return to Dutch Oven.  If you are going for more flavor, leave all the goodness in the pan.

2.  Add contents of the six cans listed above, taking mind to drain and rinse certain items as noted. 

3.  Add the Chile Powder, Paprika, and Cayenne, and stir it all together.

4.  Bring to a bubble, then reduce heat to low and let simmer for 1/2 hour up to 2 hours.

5.  Spoon into individual bowls, and enjoy!

Serves 6-8