Take a good look at today's date. Now keep that in mind when I tell you this. Chicago is in the grip of a rather lengthy thunderstorm. And it's not the first one of the year. Last year we had one in January that spawned a few tornados in the outlying areas and nearby small towns. This is the weather we should be getting in say April. Or MAYBE late March. Not the tail end of February.
That being said, I have a love-hate thing going with thunderstorms. I love the drama of it. The energy. I hate the possibility that it could be hiding a tornado. I hate, hate, hatehatehate tornados. They scare the bejeezus out of me. It is currently 2:30 in the afternoon and so dark that even with floor to ceiling windows that stretch the length of an entire wall, I have to have a light on. The street lights are on! It's been staying light longer lately and we've been spoiled by that I think. Because this just plain sucks!
So last Sunday it was pretty chilly out. So much so that I didn't get a walk in. I didn't really get much of one Saturday for the same reason. So last Sunday we made chili. TWO FREAKING BATCHES. We're gonna be eating chili for WEEKS! I like chili, I do. Just not quite that much. There are currently about 6 containers that each hold two servings or more in my mother's freezer. And two in mine. This is not counting the half a stock pot that is sitting in her fridge. Or the 10 helpings that have already been consumed since we made it. If any one has ideas or suggestions on how to doctor chili or turn it into something else, please, let me know!
Texas Style Chili
serves about 6 (really hungry people)
3 lb. ground chuck
1 lb ground pork
2 medium yellow onions, chopped
4 garlic cloves minced
1 minced serrano pepper de-seeded
1/4 cup chili powder
1/4 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp chili caribe
1 Tsp dried oregano
1 tsp salt
1 28 oz cans whole tomatoes, chopped, with their juice
Four 16 oz cans kidney beans, drained
1 can black beans
Combine the ground chuck, pork, onions, and garlic in a stockpot. Cook over medium heat until the meat is browed; stir the meat to break it up as it cooks. Stir in the spices and stir well to mix. Cover, and simmer for one hour, stirring occasionally. Add tomatoes, beans and and serrano pepper simmer for 20 minutes longer.
Note: you can add fresh cilantro when adding beans. You will probably want all the chili fixin's to go on top of this, sour cream, shredded cheddar, chopped green onions, cilantro, and for a nice touch chopped avocado. You can also add a bit of beer to the chili when adding the tomatoes if your chili looks too dry.
My chili actually has WAY more spices and peppers but I'm not gonna tell you which ones! But this is the bascic recipe to start with. Play with the recipe, make it your own.
--Little Bird has a stocked freezer