I was lazy this weekend. Really lazy. I didn’t want to go out, I didn’t get much accomplished at home and I certainly didn’t want to go to the grocery store. Well. I wanted to, but I didn’t want to *go* grocery shopping. So I went for the last meal from my box and the Indian delivery on Sunday. Yes, I intended to cook, but it just didn’t.
But Monday came and I knew I needed to shop and cook. In addition to the holes punctured on the interstate, causing Northern Virginia type traffic, I have been craving chili for a while. The original intention was to make two versions, one regular and one vegetarian, but after a long day at work, I went basic and one chili. All weekend Bob and I have debated what should go in chili; does it have beans, peppers, onions? How much spice should it have and should it be over rice or plain. Is cheese a central component? … Can I just say, that for someone who doesn’t know how to turn the stove on, he has strong opinions about chili.
The glorious part of actually cooking is that, ultimately, I decide what goes in. Since I went with a beef version, I decided onion and a little red bell pepper would also work.
I found a lot of different options for spices for chili, but I went with chili powder (duh), cumin, Italian seasoning, paprika, cayenne pepper and garlic. I also added about two ounces of double concentrated tomato paste.
I added the spice mixture to the beef, pepper and onions with a cup of beef broth, a can of diced tomatoes and a bay leaf. I let this all cook together for about 20 minutes over medium heat with no cover for the pan. (Yes, I pretty much won on all debates about what went in the chili, but Bob got a meat version instead of the vegetarian version. Fair trade.)
The results were really, really good. Bob couldn’t taste any bell pepper in this (I could) so he was happy and I didn’t have the beans. I’m trying with beans, but it is still a texture issue for me. I made a soup last week with cannelloni beans and kale. Very good with lots of flavor; I ate the beans, but every time I chewed I remembered why I don’t eat them regularly. If I was a kid these days Mom and Dad would probably be told I had a sensory integration disorder; I just think I’m fussy about food whether taste or texture.
I got the basic recipe for the chili here. I tried to follow the recipe, but used way less pepper (about a quarter of one medium red bell pepper), less tomato paste and no salt or extra pepper. Also forgot anything resembling a garnish, but I did put it over the coconut rice we had a few nights before. Oddly, that worked really, really well with the chili.
Stay warm everyone – even Florida saw snow today. /shiver