Autumn is definitely in the air in New England. Fall colors have peaked, the air is crisp and refreshing on a good day and cold and rainy on a bad day. Both leaving me wanting the likes of a pot of chili, beef stew, shepherd’s pie; anything warm and comforting.
Earlier this week with the rain pounding outside my kitchen window adding to the chill in the air, I decided to make chili. It is not something I have made in a while as my other half believes his is the best. I think it’s relatively difficult to make a bad chili unless you mess up the intensity of the heat. The thing about chili is that it is quick and easy to throw together; it can be cooked on your stove top or slow cooked in your crock pot. I opted for my stove top.
chili on the fly
- ground beef
- onions, chopped
- green pepper, chopped
- red pepper, chopped
- light kidney beans
- dark kidney beans
- diced tomatoes
- chili seasoning, packaged or your own blend
- grated cheddar cheese, optional
- sour cream, optional
- Scramble the ground beef in a sauté pan. You could substitute ground turkey. I have also substituted grated zucchini entirely or in part. I find the zucchini gives chili a great consistency when added towards the end of your cooking time.
- Drain the excess oil from your ground beef and set aside.
- Chop your onions and peppers.
- Sauté onions and peppers.
- Pour cans of kidney bean into colander and rinse with cold water.
- In a stockpot, combine ground beef, sautéed vegetables and kidney beans. Season with chili seasoning (I opted for a package of seasoning instead of mixing a blend of spices).
- Add crushed tomatoes.
- Simmer over low heat.
- When thoroughly heated and flavors have blended, serve with optional garnishes of shredded cheddar cheese and sour cream dollops.
You will notice I didn’t add amounts in recipe, this really is a matter of how much ground beef used and personal preference. I only had two peppers and a few onions in my pantry so that dictated the quantity of chili I made. I used three cans of kidney beans, two large cans of crushed tomatoes and a pound to pound and a half of ground beef.
Chili is a quick and easy fix for what’s for dinner tonight. It can be prepared in a crock pot or on stove top. To save time you can brown meat ahead of time and freeze until ready to use. Try adding shredded zucchini in place or in addition to ground beef to add bulk. Chili is a definite go to meal during the cool fall and winter months. Even a novice cook can prepare a good chili.