Thursday, December 16, 2010

If Ya Can’t Stand the Heat Chili

As a child I always knew when winter was on its way because on that first cold snap my Daddy would come home from work and make a giant pot of his chili. Now let me tell you that his chili is not for the faint of heart, he likes heat in his bowl and sometimes forgot that the majority of his children and his wife (god love my Yankee Momma) were wimps in regards to the Scoville Scale. Yes, winter was on its way when chili was served for dinner in the Jones house.

The thermometer right now reads 52 degrees and falling and although I do love a break from the sweltering heat I am not a fan of the bitter cold, no thank you. Mother Nature can keep the bone chilling cold weather that is on its way to my front door as I sit here typing this. (Shiver) This “winter” has been a few cold days with a few comfortable fallish days and even a warm day thrown into the mix for good measure. God Bless Texas, right? Right.

Anyhoo, due to the cold weather I decided that chili was on tonight’s menu, being the carbon copy of my father that I am, so I called my Daddy to ask him how he makes his version. Now the recipe that follows isn’t really a verbatim copy of his his but it’s my variation because as I stated above I am a wimp. It’s also not his because with just two mouths to feed versus 8 mouths it would take us weeks to eat it all so I’ve scaled it down a bit. Oh, and I didn’t have all of his ingredients on hand so I improvised. Okay, so maybe this is actually Megan’s version of Ronnie’s (a.k.a. Daddies) Chili. Oh well. Either way his is my inspiration for the recipe that follows.

Baby Cakes LOVES this chili and I must concur, it is amazing. There is a subtle sweetness to it and the heat level is finally more on my level. However, there is enough heat for the BCakes to enjoy it as well, plus he added some extra chili powder. I would have eaten a second bowl but kept thinking about how nice it would be to come home from work tomorrow to another Frito pie for supper. I really can’t say enough about it, it’s wonderful.

If Ya Can’t Stand the Heat Chili
highly adapted from my Daddies recipe

1 lb. lean ground chuck beef
1 tbs. extra virgin olive oil
1-2 tbs. chili powder*
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 large onion, diced
1 can Rotel, regular, chunky*
1 small can tomato sauce
1 can ranch style beans, with liquid
2 cans dark red kidney beans, with liquid
1-2 cup(s) frozen corn

Measure in the olive oil into a large dutch oven, turn the heat up to high and add the ground beef and onion and sauté until cooked completely.

Add the chili powder and ground cumin and stir, cook about a minute longer. Turn the heat down to medium/medium high and add the rest of the ingredients, stir. Bring the chili to a low boil and then turn the heat down to low. Let it simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. The longer it slowly heats the more the flavors will marry.

*If you want more heat try adding HOT Rotel or 3 Tbs. of chili powder. It won't take much to take the heat up a notch.

(I do keep saying how wimpy I am but in all honesty I can handle quite a bit of heat, my idea of the perfect amount might truly be too much for some other people. So although this recipe isn't spicy it isn't mild either. Just a heads up.)

Now Daddy always served his over rice or with crackers and one of my sister Kayla always insisted on a slice of American cheese on top but I prefer a warm bowl of Frito pie. Fritos, shredded cheese and a huge dollop of sour cream, Yum. No matter how you serve it just serve it because it really is so flavorful. There’s something about chili, it warms the soul.

"Baby, it's cold outside",

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