Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Simple Chili

If you know me at all you know that I stalk certain cooking shows, blogs, facebook people, and my husband .....just saying.

But, back to the "if you know me" thing.  I do enjoy The Pioneer Woman's blog.  I find her humor is "real".  She is living out in the middle of no where and she has an unlimited budget, so she does fun stuff.  I like her photography and her cooking most of all.  I should have changed that last sentence to read, "I like her cooking and photography"...but I didn't say it that way, but that is how I meant it.  I do follow her recipes a bit.  I also watch her cooking show on Saturday morning. 

Recently on her cooking show she did a Simple Chili.  I have tried it.  But, as usual, I tweak things to fit me, and to fit what is in my pantry, and just to change it up a bit, so I don't plagiarize all her stuff.  I make it mine!  Yes, I own it.  I own Simple Chili.  And I can say that because I changed it.

I used Elk Burger!

Yeah, The Pioneer Woman is a rancher, and they raise and sell and butcher beef.  She does lots of beef, for free.  The rest of us don't get to have beef for free.  Instead, we send our husbands to roam the mountains of Idaho to kill wild game to feed our families.  The Pioneer Woman (Ree Drummond) has her husband make a phone call and they have beef delivered to their house.  Well, I don't know that for sure, but I bet I make a good guess.

Back to the Simple Chili Recipe:

Here is the cast of players I used, except for the Elk burger, which I forgot to take it's picture, because I cooked it first.... sorry,  I was in a hurry.

I added one secret ingredient.  You will love it if you like spicy and a little hot flavor to your chili or burritos, or eggs or soups or whatever.  Trust me, you will love it.  The people in Alaska love it.  They are the ones who taught me about it.  Do you want to know the secret ingredient?  I thought so.

It is.......*drum roll********************

This stuff is magical!  Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce. 
My family loves this stuff.
I season with it, but for me, I don't like really hot stuff, so I don't usually add it directly to my plate.

Okay, Lets Cook!

Brown 2 lbs of elk burger (or your preferred meat), and also brown the 1/2 chopped onion, and 2 or 3 chopped cloves of garlic, with the meat.

Try to take several photos of this step because only one photo of this step could be blurry so you need to have several to choose from.  Just saying..............

It is nice to showcase your cast iron pot, and the wooden spoon your DH hand carved for you, but it would be nice if I would show the meat in focus, since that is what I am talking about.  But this way you get a "twofer".  Two shots in one!

When you meat is browned and the onions are soft, add the seasonings, which are:
1 tsp. ground oregano
1 Tbs ground cumin
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 Tbs. chili powder
1 tsp. salt
and some pepper.....adjust the amounts to fit your taste buds. 

This is the amounts suggested by PW but I fudged on a few of them as I liked.  Since I was using Elk Burger I felt I needed to bump up nearly everything to add more flavor.

Add one 8 oz can of tomato sauce.

I also added one can of diced green chilies at this point.  I didn't take it's picture either, as it was an after thought.

This is where I added the secret ingredient, Sriracha!  Just add it to your liking.  I think I used about a .....maybe...........well..........might have been....... 1 or 2 Tablespoons.  I am not sure.  I just shook up the bottle and squirted some in.  You can do that, too, if you want.

Then it is time to add a few cans of beans. 
I chose Chili Beans and Kidney beans.  You can use Pinto if you want.

At this point you could be done.

I was.

But, I don't want you to not know the end of PW's recipe.
She added a can of diced tomatoes and 1 seeded and diced jalapeno.

With the diced tomatoes and the liquid from them, she had a watery chili so she mixed 1/4 cup of Masa (corn flour) with a little water and made a paste and added it to the pot.

We both agree that it should simmer, covered for a little while.  If it becomes thick add water.  If it is too thin add more flour paste.  If you are too hungry to wait, don't! Just dig in, or get a bowl and serve yourself like a human.  Maybe get a linen napkin and a big glass of water.  Or some crackers.  You can do what ever you want, because you have been cooking for all of 10 minutes and you are probably exhausted.

Serve with some grated cheese on top.  Add some sour cream if you want.
It is good with Fritos on the bottom of the bowl and then add the chili.
It is great on a baked potato.

Fill a red pepper with the chili and bake it until the pepper is soft.

Add a salad and some bread, and there's dinner.

I made a double batch of chili and froze some of it.  I put 2 cups in a quart freezer bag.  Just flatten out the bag and place it flat in the freezer.  Be sure to label the bag with the contents and date it.

The next time you need a quick dinner.....you have one.

Hope you enjoy it.

I have to give my Oscar speech now and thank The Pioneer Woman for the inspiration of this and many other meals I fix.  I love my kitchen and all the little things that are in it, and my cookbooks.  I could not be the cook I am today with out them.  Thank You!

Love, Me

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happy, in love, getting closer to retirement, love my family, love my Savior.