Tuesday, October 12, 2010

For a Crowd: Chili + Fritos = Frito Pie

For me fall really begins with the first pot of chili. There is something about the smell of chili simmering in the crock pot that screams, “HEY, I’m autumn and I’m here now.” On Friday I made my “quick and easy chili” for the Saturday tailgate. We used the chili for Frito pie, which if you’ve never heard of: one - You are missing out and two - You must not have ever been to a Sonic Drive-in. Frito pie is the perfect tailgate food: a layer of Fritos topped with a good helping of chili, sprinkled with cheese, sour cream and green onions if you so desire. Does it get any better than that? I am kicking myself for not taking a picture, but it just got gone too fast. So if you want to see it make the chili below and then create a Frito pie with whatever toppings you like; believe me you won’t regret it!  What is your favorite tailgate food?  What signals the start of fall for you?
Sincerely Loving Food,
Quick and Easy Chili
1 Onion, diced
2 Cloves of Garlic, minced
1 lb Ground Chuck or Sirloin
2½ tbl Chili Powder
2½ tbl Ground Cumin
1 tbl Garlic Powder
1 tsp Cayenne Pepper (adjust to your taste)
1 Can Red Beans, rinsed and drained
1 Can Diced Tomatoes
1 Can Tomato Sauce
Salt/pepper/Olive Oil

Heat a deep medium skillet over medium-high heat. Swirl the pan with olive oil and add the onion and garlic, and cook until just translucent about 4 minutes. Add the ground meat and brown about 5 minutes, then add the spices and continue to brown until the meat is cooked through. Add the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, beans and salt & pepper, stir well and let come to a simmer. You could let this continue to simmer for 30 minutes and then eat or for a deeper flavor, pour it into a cock pot on low for up to 12 hours, adding a little water when needed to keep it from getting too thick.

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