For my first 2012 recipe post I thought I would give you a recipe I've been eating since I was a child.
We recently had a cold snap here in Orlando. It made me want to cook something warm and comforting. I picked chili, because it is the perfect cold weather food. I used the same recipe my mom has been using for years, which involves a pre-made spice mix. I have no shame in using certain kits for my cooking, because it can speed things up (especially on a weeknight), and also, this particular one has great flavor. While I use the spice mix for the spices in this dish, I don't follow the package directions exactly, so my recipe is going to be exactly how I make it (with side notes on what is optional).
This meal was particularly special because it was the first meal I made for a special someone in my life. It wasn't what I had planned to make first originally, but this meal fit the day and the weather, and still tastes great.
I also made cornbread to go with the chili, but that was from a box mix (Jiffy to be specific). Add a couple of ingredients, bake for 20 minutes, and you have quick, tasty cornbread.
Fast, Easy, and Tasty Chili
1 package Carroll Shelby's Original Texas Chili Mix
2 lbs ground beef (or your favorite ground meat)
1 cup water
14.5 ounces tomato sauce (I use Hunt's) *recipe only calls for 8 ounces
14.5 ounces diced tomatoes (I also use Hunt's for this) *optional
1 onion, diced *optional
1 green bell pepper, diced *optional
12 ounces beer (I use Bud Light, but use your favorite beer) *optional
*optional-sour cream (for garnish)
*optional-shredded cheddar (for garnish)
*optional-cornbread prepared according to package directions (I use Jiffy)
***You can also add in beans if you like, I am a Texas chili purist and don't use beans. Other great garnishes include cilantro and lime wedges.
Saute onions and bell pepper for about 5 minutes in a tablespoon of oil. Add in ground beef and cook until beef is browned. Drain (to remove excess fat from beef). Place back in pot, stir in big spice packet in mix, cayenne in mix, and half of salt included in mix. Cooke for 2 minutes, then deglaze pot with beer. Cook for two minutes then add in tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, and water. Stir well. Let chili simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir masa packet (included in mix) with 1/3 cup of water. Add in to chili and cook an additional 5 minutes. Serve warm, with sour cream and cheddar. I always serve cornbread with my chili as well.