Monday, March 2, 2009

Chili

So I had a pretty eventful weekend. Usually I am super lazy, but I finally finished a few projects I had been putting off. Woohoo for that. :)

I also tried to make that deer head from the previous post and it was no easy task. Do you know how hard it is to cut through foam core with an exacto blade? Pretty freggin hard. I gave up halfway into the first, of six, piece. I’m stubborn enough to finish eventually; it’s just going to take a while.

Grrrr...

My friends and I decided to get together and have a pot luck on Saturday. Since I’m the one who likes to cook, I make the main dish and this time I made a big pot of chili. There are ton of chili recipes out there, but this one is by far my favorite. It’s easy, chunky, spicy, and serves a whole crowd.

Here’s my chili recipe (adapted from Food Network):
Ingredients:

1 pound EACH spicy and regular Italian sausage (you can substitute the pound of sweet Italian sausage with pretty much anything else, like ground chicken. The spicy sausage is a must though.)
1 medium onion, diced
2 green bell pepper diced
2 cups chopped celery
2 (28-ounce) cans diced tomatoes
1 (28-ounce) can whole, peeled tomatoes (optional)
1 Tablespoon Ground cumin
1 Tablespoon Chili powder
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can pinto beans (liquid and all)
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can black beans (liquid and all)
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can kidney beans (liquid and all)
1 package chili seasoning mix (use the regular packet if you like it really spicy, otherwise mild works great)
Shredded cheddar, sour cream, chopped green onions, for garnish

Directions:

1. The first step is to brown the sausage over medium to medium high heat. You can do this in a skillet if you like, but I just use my big chili pot. I don’t see the point in dirtying two pans. Once browned, drain any excessive grease and put aside. Chop onion, bell pepper, and celery during this step.





2. On medium heat, spray your large pot with nonstick cooking spray and add the onion, bell pepper, and celery. Sauté briefly just to soften the veggies a little (about 5 minutes).
3. Stir in the cans of tomatoes and the cumin and chili powder. Cook for about 8 to 10 minutes.




4. Add the beans (with their liquid), chili seasoning, and meat into the pot and stir to combine.


5. Cover and cook on low for 3 to 4 hours. Stir occasionally and serve with whatever toppings you prefer: Cheddar cheese, sour cream, green onions, rolls, bread bowls. Personally, I always have crostini with mine since our grocery store bakery makes the most delicious ones I’ve found. Plus, I love a little crunch to my chili.

I forgot to take a final picture and it was eaten so fast that I had to settle for taking a picture of my sons bowl. The picture’s not as pretty as I would’ve liked to have made it, but it’s super tasty. I promise.

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