Friday, January 30, 2009

dn's Chili Con Carne

There are countless chili recipes out there, each claiming to be the definitive version or a perfect variation. Chili is one of those recipes that inspires creation and variation. Mine never turns out exactly the same every time, as I rarely measure the veggies or spices. I go by what I have on hand and what looks about right. That meant that to create this recipe in print for this post, I actually took the extra time to MEASURE every single ingredient when I made this a couple of weeks ago! This recipe has a lot of ingredients, but once you try it, I'm sure you will agree that it has a great variety of flavours all rolled into one. It is heavy on protein and has lots of veggies thrown in. I garnish each serving with a bit of grated low fat cheddar cheese, a dollop of fat free sour cream and a sprinkle of chopped green onion. I also have a small side salad and either my Focaccia Bread, Corn Muffins or Homemade Buns along with it. All in all this is one very hearty and healthy meal!
dn's Chili Con Carne

olive oil
1 pound/454 grams lean ground beef or turkey
2 cups chopped onion (1 large)
1 cup chopped red bell pepper (1 large)
1 cup celery, chopped (1 rib)
2 Tablespoons minced garlic (bottled type)
1 cup grated carrot
1 cup grated zucchini
2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
1 540 gram/19 ounce can white kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 540 gram/19 ounce can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 540 gram/19 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 398 ml/14 ounce brown beans in tomato sauce
2 cups frozen kernel corn, thawed
1 cup crushed stewed tomatoes
1 680 ml/24 ounce pasta sauce
1 1/2 cups salsa (mild or medium)
1 Tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons dried basil
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic pepper (or black pepper)
6 -10 drops Tabasco sauce

Add about 2 Tablespoons of oil to a dutch oven and heat. Add the ground meat, crumbling it into small pieces as you add it. Brown thoroughly, stirring often. Remove the meat to a paper towel lined plate. Add the onion, pepper and celery to the dutch oven. You may need to add a bit more oil. Stir and cook till onions are translucent. Add the garlic, carrot, zucchini and mushrooms and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring often.

Return the meat to the veggies in the dutch oven, then add the white, kidney, black, and brown beans. Also add the corn, tomatoes, pasta sauce and salsa. Stir well. Bring to a gentle boil then reduce to medium low heat and simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring often.

Add the chili powder, basil, oregano, cumin and pepper. Stir well. Add a few drops of Tabasco sauce - stir well and simmer for another 10 to 15 minutes stirring occasionally.

- All of the ingredients for this recipe were no name or store brand products, so that will cut down on the cost, but it does not cut down on the flavour!
- Tabasco sauce is VERY potent, so use sparingly! 6 to 10 drops will give you a mild chili - if you like it hotter, you can add a bit more - just go easy as you can't take it out once it is in!
- Don't cook the chili (or any other dish for that matter) more than 15 to 20 minutes after adding the spices, or they will loose their potency and leave a bland taste to the dish.

This recipe makes about 10 cups of chili. One cup is more than enough for one serving with this potent combo of protein and veggies. Garnish with grated cheddar, sour cream and chopped green onion.

Portion the leftovers into individual servings and freeze in an air tight container for up to six months.



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