Wednesday, January 26, 2011

For a Crowd: Chili and French Fries

I am a big chili fan, but in a different way than most people. I like most of the chilies I have ever tried, regardless of the variety: full of meat, no meat, chicken chili, white bean chili, Mexican chili…I usually enjoy all of them.  It seems most people prefer one time or one recipe, and won't stray from that. Additionally, I don’t have “the best chili recipe ever” in my repertoire. I am constantly experimenting and in all honesty I usually just use whatever I have on hand. Here is an easy one I have posted before.  This past Sunday the FH and I were settled in on the couch to watch the NFL championship games and I thought a big pot of chili would be the perfect meal for the afternoon; luckily I had everything I thought necessary to put it together: ground beef, onions, spices, canned tomatoes, and kidney beans; and some extras to make it even better: carrots, peppers, beef broth and French fries. Most likely all these ingredients make perfect sense except the French fries, but I LOVE a big pile of salty French fries smothered with a heaping ladle of chili and topped off with cheese! I mean come on what is better than that? Yes, the more usual suspects: corn bread, Fritos or tortilla chips, are all delicious, but I think French fries are the best choice. I just used the Orieda frozen kind, and sprinkled them with a lot of Cajun seasoning and salt before cooking…I wanted to watch the games, not stand by the fryer all afternoon. Oh and the other great thing about chili…leftovers, alot of times the repeat is better than the original…I can’t wait until dinner tonight! I am posting my recipe below, but you should think of it as more of a guide, as even I don’t follow it all the time. Use what you have, more of what you like, omit something if you don’t like it…have fun!

Do you have a favorite or go to recipe for chili? Is it a family one that has been handed down, or did you make it up, or find it on a book or TV show? Or is anyone else like me out there and just make it up as you go along?  What is your favorite chili aaccompaniment?
Sincerely Loving Food,
1 lb Ground Beef
2 small onions, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
4-5 small sweet peppers (orange, red, whatever) or 1 bell pepper, chopped
5-7 baby carrots, chopped
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can whole tomatoes
1 can tomato sauce
1 ½ C Beef Broth
1 can Kidney Beans, rinsed and drained
1 tblsp Lowery’s Seasoning Salt
1 tblsp Black Pepper
1 tblsp Cayanne Pepper
2 tblsp Paparika
2 tblsp Cumin
2 tblsp Corriander
3-4 tblsp Chili powder
1 tbl salt
1 tsp fine sugar

Heat some olive oil over medium-high heat in a large pot or dutch oven. Throw in the onions, garlic, peppers and carrots and cook for about 5 minutes or until they become soft. Turn the heat a little higher, add the ground beef and spices cook until meat is browned about 8 minutes. Turn the heat back down to medium-low and add the tomatoes (with all their juices), beef broth and sugar (to cut the acidity of the tomatoes). Let the mixture come to a boil and taste for seasoning; add more of whatever you like. Reduce heat to low and let simmer 30 minutes to 5 hours or however long you want. Enjoy!


  1. Lainey - I think the sugar is a great idea! I had leftover chili today and I wrapped it in a whole wheat tortilla for lunch, yummy! Oh and I love to use black beans and corn too... :)

  2. My favorite chili recipe is from the Food Network - "Jaime's Chili". It's from one of Paula Deen's sons. It's pretty basic but tasty. I've adjusted it 100 different times and it always comes out great. When I'm not trying to be healthy, I love to add in lots of sausage with the ground beef - YUM!

  3. Nice Kaki - its like a chili burrito! who wouldn't love that?

    Melissa - sausage, I have never tried that but it sounds like a great idea! and i choose to believe the veggies in the chili would cancel out the bad of the sausage...

  4. I think the best chili I ever had was the chili at my high often can you say that about ANY food that comes from a high school cafeteria??

  5. i have a family recipe that is my "go to" but i recently made a great veggie version from Runners World.