We're possibly hitting freezing tonight, according to our weather forecast. And our home usually hits lower temps than what they predict, because of our location near a mountain. With that in mind, and the steady breezes we've had all day, we made some chili.
Eddie cooked tonight and chose a new recipe, Beef Chili with Kidney Beans, from Cook's Illustrated's The New Best Recipe cookbook. We enjoy watching the related show on PBS, America's Test Kitchen.
He halved all the "spicy" spices in the recipe, which was fortunate, because it was just right when we ate it.
We were able to use our own homegrown tomatoes, which I'd frozen as I collected them during the summer. I just put what I thought I'd need in a container in the microwave and zapped them for a minute or so, and the skins peeled right off. They were easy to chop half-frozen, as well. Then I zapped for another minute and added some canned tomato sauce because I wasn't sure it had enough liquid, compared to canned chopped tomatoes.
These are the tomatoes I had left on the vines today. I brought them in hoping to get them to ripen on the counter over the next week or so.
2 med. onions, chopped fine
1 bell pepper, 1/2 in. cubes (we used green, they called for red)
6 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1/4 cup (yes, cup) chili powder--this is why he cut it all in half!
1 tbs ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 lbs 85% lean ground beef--I think we used 80% lean
2 15 oz cans dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
1 28 oz can tomato puree--we used tomato sauce
Add everything through the cayenne pepper to a Dutch oven and cook until veggies are softened and beginning to brown. Increase heat to med-high and add half the beef, cook till beginning to brown, then add the other half and cook till no longer pink.
Add beans, tomatoes, tomato puree and 1/2 tsp salt. Bring to boil, then reduce to simmer and cook 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Remove cover and simmer 1 hour more, stirring occasionally. If it gets too thick, you can add 1/2 cup water. Cook till beef is tender and chili is dark and slightly thickened.
Ok, Eddie is not a patient cook when he's hungry, and so he tried to speed things up by "simmering" at a higher temperature. Some burned to the bottom of the pan (he also didn't stir often enough apparently). He switched pans and kept on going. :) I don't know how long he actually cooked it for, but it all tasted really great.
We added shredded cheddar cheese. I would have added fresh cilantro if I'd had any. The other thing we changed was to add cooked rice to the chili at the end. It came out thick and the rice was a nice addition.