Chili is a great go to meal for us. It is one of Barry’s favorites and always a pleaser. With just the two of us home now, I can make a pot and it is dinner for a few nights! Fall brings cooler temperatures quickly in the Catskills. Today I woke up to 40 degrees on the back porch so I was extra happy that I had been to the market yesterday and picked up the ingredients for my chili. And tonight’s pot of chili will feed friend, neighbor, and supporter, Mark, as well. If you are thinking of making chili here is what you need:
- 1 lb. ground beef ~ Buy the 80 percent….you want a little fat for flavor.
- 3 or 4 peppers ~ Green peppers are on sale right now but I did buy one red for color.
- one large or two small onions ~ The color is your choice. I tend to use reds, but I bought Vidalias on sale!
- tomatoes ~ Depending on how diehard you are, you can use fresh, but I use large cans of San Marzano tomatoes (2 cans will do). I sometimes use one of the fire roasted for extra zip.
- kidney beans ~ Again, you have a choice of colors. These things can only be decided by you. What do you like best? What I know in my home is that there should be A LOT of beans. I mix dark red, light red, and cannellini beans.
- one small can beef broth ~ I had seen one of the Food Network Stars do this and said it added a ‘depth of flavor.” Imagine my surprise when my husband (AKA critic) said, what did you do differently? This is the best chili you have ever made!
- optional toppings ~ sour cream and shredded cheddar are my favorites!
- salt & pepper
- the flavor four ~ parsley, dill, oregano, & basil
- chili spices ~ you can buy a packet of ‘chili seasoning’ at first, but learn the flavors so you can tailor this to your own taste.
**Please note: For my vegetarian friends, you can substitute faux ground beef ~ soy ‘crumbles’ ~ and veggie broth. I have not tried mushroom stock yet, but network foodies are starting to use it and say it is great too. In fact, Rachael Ray said it adds the same depth as beef broth. Part Two will be the “how to”! So easy….and delicious.
Go shopping. See you back here later!