Saturday, January 1, 2011

Semi - Homemade Chili

Mmm this is one of my favorites - even though I tend to make it slightly different every time.  Chili was one of the first real meals I ever learned to cook for myself when I was in college. (Do hot dogs and grilled cheese really count?)

This recipe is super simple, and my major variations are the additional vegetables I throw in - usually whatever is in the fridge.  I also prefer my chili really thick and spicy, so if those things aren't exactly your cup of tea, I would opt out from draining all the cans and skip the extra spices.

Semi-Homemade Chili - Serves 8-10
1 lb ground beef (or turkey)
1 can tomato paste
1 can diced tomatoes drained
1 can black beans drained
1 can kidney beans drained
1 can Green Giant Mexicorn drained (optional)
1 package McCormick's Taco Seasoning Mix (not the Chili Mix!)
1 small onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped (optional)
1 jalapeno pepper chopped (optional)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp chili powder (optional)
1 tsp cumin (optional)
1 tsp ground red pepper (optional)
Sour cream for garnish
Shredded mozzarella for garnish
Tostitos Scoops for dipping 

Simply brown the meat in a large sauce pot and drain.  Add the onions and carrots (I like mine chopped into pretty big and visible pieces) to the meat and let cook about 10 minutes, until onions and carrots are softened.

Add beans, tomatoes, paste, jalapeno and spices.  Let cook on low heat about 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Even though it doesn't look like much, the sauce will really thicken up as it cooks.

Stir in mexicorn and turn off heat (the corn will turn to mush if you cook it).  Serve hot with a dollop of sour cream, a sprinkle of cheese, and some Tostitos Scoops!

This recipe will make a LOT of chili, so it's great to serve at parties or to heat up for leftovers when you've got a busy week. When I'm looking to make a smaller recipe I usually opt out of the can of kidney beans and only use about a 1/2 lb of chopped meat.   Enjoy!

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