Slamming January Chili

It’s wintertime. I will get to the why’s and how comes of this blog eventually. For now I just want to get a meal up. It’s January 18, and I have the day off. Thank you, Dr. King, for your example, your courage, the change you inspired,  and what must probably be the best timed holiday in the year. NOBODY wants to work in January. It snowed here last night, too…all anyone wants to do these days is lay around and watch football.

And have something warm and good and easy for dinner. So here we go…

SlamminGFood of the week – January Chili

 

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About measuring. I don’t go in for half teaspoons of salt and pepper. If you feel half a teaspoon is the difference between success and failure, then you’ll have cooking-phobia. Yes, in some cases half a teaspoon makes a difference, like with crushed red pepper, like you use in this chili. But most of the time it doesn’t.

Remember, it’s OK to make mistakes. It’s not fatal. If your chili is too spicy or not spicy enough you can fix it next time or throw in some more tomatoes or spice to make it better. This is YOUR chili so you get to be proud of it no matter what.

Step 1 – Garlic up!

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Use however much or little you want. If i have 3 good ones i use 3. If i have 7…it’s good for you.

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Step 2 – Veggies

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I just happen to like big ass onions.

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That’s about half. Next up, green pepper…

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What’s up with this green pepper?! This was a regular, conventionally grown, cheap ass green pepper. That’s a piece of onion skin that got on it..but look at the top..discolored and weird. Something’s not right. The rest of it seemed okay. This happens when you buy fruits and veggies. You get burned sometimes.

 

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So I threw in some red pepper to make up the difference.

Next, celery.

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Organic celery. It was $3. The regular celery was $3 too. And I am DOWN with celery. Guys take note. Celery has magic. You’re gonna WANT it. I put it in everything.

Now get the following ready….

 

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-some salt (it helps the veggies cook)

-some pepper (a lot is good)

-some olive oil. Honestly, I would rather use coconut oil…I trust it not to turn into free radial hell. But it doesn’t feel right for chili and pasta sauce.

Put all the veggies in the pot.

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Whatever pot you HAVE is as good as any. I’ve made this in any number of pots. Just has to be big. I am using an electric stovetop. It SUCKS. So if you have gas, you are the MAN! Put your heat to like…4. Figure out what 4 is in flames. It’s less than half. This will take about 5 minutes, to soften them up.

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Get a paper plate and get your veggies out. It’s time to brown the ground beef. As you can see, I get most of my stuff from Trader Joe. It’s cheap and it’s good. Their meat is good. Their veggies and fruits…better the closer you are to California. In Massachusetts I’m at the end of the distribution line so things like spinach, you get like 30 minutes until it hits the expiration. So I get most of my fruits and veggies from the regular supermarkets…Roche Bros, Big Y, Stop n Shop.

Step 3 – The MEAT!

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That’s a pound. It doesn’t look like it but it’s a big pot.

Step 4 – Everything else.

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Big can of tomatoes and half a tube (or a small can of) tomato paste.

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Girlfriend told me to buy the whole peeled tomatoes. That the diced ones were the odds and ends from the factory floor. I used to use em all the time. No harm if you do. But this is what I’m using and my girl knows some stuff I didn’t know.Why isn’t SHE cooking this? Am I a bitch? Answer: in the canned tomato department, yeah. That’s my cross to bear. Also…context: she’s 3,000 miles away. Long distance. Sigh.

PICTURE MISSING – put the veggies and tomato/paste in with the meat and stir it up.

Where were we….add spice. The cheap spice is what I always end up getting.

Chili power…more than you think. Not that much. Like 2 big (imaginary) tablespoons.

Cumin…..Less than chili powder. 2 tsp? ish?

Crushed red pepper…you can sprinkle it over the meat and see what happens. A little goes a LONG way.

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Step 5 – The beans.

You will have been cooking your chili for 10-15 minutes by the time you get to the beans. I always imagine myself soaking actual dried pinto beans overnight….and then I realize I’m too lazy.

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I do this one extra step…which is to rinse the beans. I do not want bean water in my dinner. And every time I do this it foams up like soap suds. I don’t understand it but I feel better not eating soap suds.

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Step 6 Add the beans and simmer your chili on low for however much time you got.

If you are hungry and it’s late you’re gonna eat it in 20 min. It’s fine. You are going to have leftovers. And a lot of 2nd day foods (chili, pasta sauce, soup) has magic qualities.

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I’m going to make brown rice and put the chili over the rice. With a blob of sour cream on top. You can do whatever. You can add grated cheese. Put it on pasta with cheddar and melt it in the oven. Eat it straight up. Put raw tomatoes on it. Have a salad on the side. As you wish. And now you have enough that you have at least one more night covered. Some night when you DON’T wanna cook.

Serve. Bon appetit!

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