Chili is one of my very favorite Fall meals. It is so comforting and so delicious. Chili is fun, because it is one of those meals that can be made a million different ways and each person has their own specialty. My chili recipe (or actually, it is my Aunt Patty’s) is a sweeter version, with cinnamon and cloves in combination with the spicy chili powder and cumin.
Since I’ve met Ross, we usually include beer in our chili, just like his father has always done. Larry makes some prize winning chili that is hard to compete with, but we try to take some tips from him to capture some of the flavor.
On my way home tonight, I was kind of dreading coming in the door and starting dinner right away so that it would have time to simmer. Luckily, Ross had already come home, taken care of the dogs and prepared our meal. That was by far the best part of my day. As much as I love to cook, it sure is nice to have a day off here and there, yet still have a nice hot meal at home to sit down to.
I’m not sure exactly what he did, and he’s too busy playing his new early birthday gift…the Wii (thanks a lot, Ed and Emily for getting us addicted) for me to ask him, but I think this was the general idea. The new ingredient was 3 bars of the Hershey’s miniature dark chocolate that we had in the fridge from when my parents were here (thanks, Dad!). I don’t think we’ll make chili again without adding that one little ingredient. It was great.
He started out by browning the ground beef with a half of an onion, minced. Ross likes to season, so who knows what spices he put in there. He added some tomato sauce and tomato paste. He put a can of whole tomaotes, drained, in the blender along with some jalapenos to get them nice and chunky, but not quite pureed, and tossed them in the Dutch oven with the other ingredients. A bunch of chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper, about 3/4 a bottle of beer, and some dark chocolate topped it off. We let it simmer for awhile while we played a round of Mario Kart before we enjoyed it with pepper jack cheese and a dollop of sour cream. It was so good that I had to have seconds even though I was stuffed.
I guess I better go work it off on the Wii.