Is it chilly enough to make some homemade chili? Each year a group of my friends go camping to kick in the Fall season and this year I tagged along. Since I live in Florida, the day-long drive to the middle of the Smokey mountains is the best place to get my “chill” on and wear some long sleeves.
I pre-made a bunch of dishes that we froze and re-heated for dinner. My cooler became my refrigerator. The campfire, my stove, heater and nighttime entertainment. On my list of new camping equipment for next year is the gigantic commercial stock pot I spied while doing a shoot at Portobello in downtown Disney with Orlando Brewing company. Take a look at it to the left … it’s half the size of my body. That should be large enough to feed a small army. Though, you’d have to quadruple the size of my recipe to fill that thing!
One of the dishes I pre-made and brought with me was the Smokey Sage & Butternut Squash Pasta. The other was my chili recipe. Because you can’t chill out by a campfire without some chili and some s’mores for dessert!
The last time I had chili, I just dipped my spoon into the bowl, took a good long look at all the ingredients and committed them to memory. Then I
experimented with it at home, throwing a bunch of ingredients into a stockpot to taste what the results would be. Over the years I tweaked it a bit, and now it’s something I can do with my eyes closed. Though, making a recipe from memory isn’t too helpful to my friends that ask for a copy of it. So … here ya go … my chili recipe in writing.
1 pound ground meat (turkey, lean ground beef, soy)
1 15 oz can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed.
2 15 oz cans stewed tomatoes
1 6 oz can tomato paste
1/4 cup diced Vidalia onion
1/4 cup diced green bell peppers
1 garlic clove, minced
4 tablespoons chili powder (nearly half a standard spice bottle)
1/2 teaspoon Hungarian paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Tabasco (to taste)
1) Add tomatoes, tomato paste and kidney beans to a large stock pot, stir, and set on medium heat.
2) Saute onions, garlic and green bell peppers in a large frying pan with a little olive oil until almost caramelized. Add ground meat and cook until meat is done. After meat has browned, add chili powder, paprika, cinnamon, cloves and Tabasco and mix.
3) Add meat mixture to stock pot with tomatoes and beans and stir together. Cover and let cook for another 3 to 5 minutes or until everything is at the same temperature.
4) Serve with grated sharp cheddar, sour cream and corn bread on the side.