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Welcome to Our Blog

Monday, October 28, 2013

Burr it's Getting Chili Out

Fall is in the air here in Chicagoland and it is getting chilly out!  And fall makes me think of roasting marshmallows, leaves changing, bonfires and of course chili!  In the Clarke house chili is something that we can all agree on, even our 10 year old daughter Maddy.

I was recently checking out a post from someone out on Facebook and they had the "official" Wendy's chili recipe posted.  Interestingly enough mine is VERY close to it and I feel like I have been making it longer than they have; and frankly it is my mom's recipe so it is REALLY old!  HaHa mom... love you!

Let's start with the fixings...

Included in this picture is-
  • 2 pounds of 80/20 ground beef and 1 pound of 90/10 ground beef.  I like to use two kinds due to the amount of fat in each
  • Two kinds of beans, light and dark kidney beans (Why two? Mom did it that way!)
  • One whole green pepper and one whole yellow onion
  • Fire roasted tomatoes diced (two cans)
  • One whole can of tomato juice
  • Salt, black pepper, ancho chili powder and garlic powder
I finely chop my onions and peppers.  I find if they are small enough you get a little in each bite and more importantly the kids don't notice them as much!  That is sometimes the key, make it small enough not to be identified so no complaining!
Saute onions and peppers till soft and add your beef and a layer of each of the spices directly to the meat.

You might ask how much I added... well I have no idea!  At this stage I am creating a layer flavor, and making sure my meat has that chili taste as well as the beefy taste.  I will add the same spices when I pour in the juice, beans and tomatoes.  So taste the meat when it is browned, if you over spice it and back down on the spices later.  Under seasoned then add more when you add the rest of the ingredients.  It is all about your taste and your preferences.  Taste, taste and taste... that is the key.  

After the meat is browned take the water/fat out and add your tomato juice and tomatoes.  Drain your beans and give them a little rinse and put them in the pot.  Shake in more of each of the spices and let it cook on low for a good hour to develop the flavor.  Taste along the way and adjust the seasoning.

We like our chili with something crunchy...

We served it with good chips with cheddar and jack cheese melted on them... excellent for dipping and crunching.  It also gives the kids something else to concentrate on besides the chili. 

A few days later we like to do a little twist with cornbread.  Grab a good cornbread box mix.  We use Trader Joe's cornbread mix as it is AMAZING and easy and quick.  It has corn kernels in it and has a good slight sweet flavor to it.  Make the cornbread according to the box and select the appropriate pan according to the box directions.  Spray the whole pan with your favorite non-stick spray and ladle in your leftover chili in the bottom; top it with your cornbread mixture and bake according to the package.

Everyone in our house LOVES this dish.  I can almost taste it now... well actually all I can taste is Sour Patch Kids that I am eating which are supposed to go to the trick or treaters!!  I better go grab some for lunch!

Happy Halloween from The Clarke's!