Thursday, December 11, 2008

Super-Easy 15-Minute Chili

We have been eating this about once a week. My husband refused to eat chili until about a year ago; he claimed he "had just never liked it." I don't know what happened, but after I coaxed him into eating a bowl of it last winter, he now loves it. Which is fine with me. This is the easiest way I know to make chili. It tastes great - even better the second day - and it is super-fast.


1 lb. hamburger, ground turkey, deer burger, etc., or meat subsitute of your choice
1 can Bush's (or whoever's) chili beans, mild, medium, or hot according to your preference
1 large jar "thick & chunky" salsa, hotness level also to your preference
Garlic (fresh finely-chopped or powder, it doesn't matter)
Onion (freshly-chopped or dried, it doesn't matter)
Chili powder
Black pepper
Whatever else you like to put in chili


1. Brown hamburger/meat substitute with onion and garlic in a dutch oven (if you have one). If you don't have one, you can use a large, deep skillet, or brown it in a skillet and then dump it in a stock pot. It doesn't much matter, as long as the meat gets cooked. I only drain my hamburger if it's really, really greasy, but usually it's fine.

2. Leave the burner on. Dump in salsa and chili beans. Re-fill salsa jar halfway with water, replace cap, shake, and add salsa-water to pot. You can also skip this step if you started with really watery salsa or if you're short on time.

3. Add spices, to your taste. I'd give amounts, but I never measure. I use a lot of everything, and add some cayenne pepper too. Then we dice some fresh jalapenos and put them right in our individual bowls. We love spicy food around here. Really, I'm only satisfied when the food can actually burn its way through my gut to the outside.

4. Cook on medium heat until it's warm all the way through. If you have time, simmer it a bit so it thickens and the spices mix. If you don't, it's still delicious. And the leftovers? Fabulous.

We usually have cornbread with this - I just use a mix and bake it in a shallow pan so it cooks fast. If I mix it up and put it in while the meat is browning, it's done and ready by the time the chili is.

If I have the time, I spread some frozen corn kernels on a baking sheet and cook them alongside the cornbread. A few minutes in the oven and they're roasted crisp. I love the taste of roasted corn. I sprinkle some into my chili along with the fresh jalapenos and then I crumble my cornbread into it. MMMMM.

No comments: