Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Chili Delayed

I wrote this post over a month ago when the weather was crazy, now summer has settled into LA and the sun is shining bright!! Still, slow-cooked, full-of-flavor chili is a fabulous dish year-round....so if you're headin' to a bbq or cook-off anytime soon (or want a SUPER easy crock-pot dinner to save some time so you can make more out of a longer day).....ENJOY! (and enjoy reading my old post to take you back to a colder time or bookmark it for later in the year! LOL!)

Oh Boy, there was some RAIN on Sunday, big, torrential rain. We had to cancel dinner in OC because the 405 had zero visibility, insane wind and every crazy nut driver you've ever seen- after 5 minutes on the freeway and almost getting sideswiped twice- we pulled right off the exit, turned around and went HOME.
Sooooo, what do you do when the weather gets crazy and cold and not fit for hangin' about outdoors? Bust out the crock pot and make some spicy chili OF COURSE!

I love this recipe for trips to Mammoth too- it's super quick and easy to prep- like get the coffee pot percolatin' mix up the chili, throw it in the crock pot and head for the lift lines while dinner gets itself ready for ya! Then, after an exhaustingly fabulous day of braving the cold out on the slopes, you come back to a hot delicious dinner- perfect to serve in individual bread bowls if you can find em- or over a baked potato, or alongside some corn bread and a giant salad!

Here's how to make it happen....lots of notes below because we like it with some HEAT, so if you prefer a more mild chili- read on, it's all there.

1 lb ground beef, browned & drained (if you are in a mad rush you can skip the browning- ONLY if you use EXTRA LEAN beef or turkey- not to exceed 5% fat), the browning & draining is mostly to cook the fat off the meat so your chili's not swimmin in it.
1 pkg/ about 1lb Beef for Stew, steak already cut into 1-2 inch cubes
1 can of pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 of a finely chopped red onion
1/2 tsp cyanne pepper (you can do 1/4 for a little less spice)
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp oregano
2 tsp cumin
1/4 cup chili powder
1 finely chopped jalapeƱo pepper 
(I don't know about your market, but ours has GIANT jalapeƱos these days- so weird!- so I use   about 3/4 of one of the gigant-O jalapeno peppers- and leave some of the membrane in there for heat- be sure to get all the membrane and seeds OUTTA there if you don't want that kick....I chop the other 1/4 to garnish the chili later!)
1 15oz tomato sauce 
1 1lb 12oz can diced tomatoes, not drained
salt & pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl & stir with wooden spoon until well combined. 
Pour into crock pot. 
Cook on low for 7 1/2 to 8 hours.

See above for a few various serving suggestions & try to stay warm as we welcome the first week of SPRING!!!!!