Cooler weather turns my thoughts to colorful sweaters, pumpkin-spice candles, fall foliage and above all … cold weather food. Chili is the king of cold weather foods. But this isn’t just chili — it’s award-winning chili!* I think the secret is that it’s a very simple, very basic, not-too-spicy recipe that can be adapted to suit any palate. Think of it as the culinary equivalent of the “little black dress” and the toppings are its accessories. My own favorite toppings are shredded cheddar, Fritos Scoops, and lots of red wine vinegar.
1 TBS olive oil
Small onion, minced
½ green bell pepper, minced
1lb ground hamburger meat
1 ½ – 2 TBS chili powder
1 can (15 oz) tomato sauce
1 can (15 oz) whole tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 can (16 oz) chili beans, with sauce
1 can (15 oz) dark red kidney bean, drained
½ can of water
1 ½ – 2 TBS red wine vinegar
A couple dashes of sugar
1. Sauté onions and pepper in oil for about 5 minutes until onions become translucent. Transfer to crockpot.
2. Without adding more oil, crumble hamburger meat into skillet and stir frequently for about 5 minutes.
3. While meat is browning, add seasoning salt, garlic salt and pepper to taste, then chili powder. Drain and transfer to crockpot, stirring in with onion mixture.
4. Add to crockpot tomatoes, tomato sauce, water, chili beans, kidney beans, vinegar and sugar. Mix well and turn on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4.
Suggested toppings: shredded cheddar cheese, chives, sour cream, crackers, Fritos
NOTES & SUGGESTIONS
- Use 93% lean meat – less grease
Shred whole tomatoes with clean hands instead of chopping them with a knife
I like to use Bush’s brand chili beans in a mild sauce
Consider serving over rice — yum!
Check label of chili beans to ensure that they are gluten-free; when in doubt go with Bush’s
Great for freezing and reheating
*It’s won first place twice in chili cook-offs!