Thursday, May 13, 2010

My No Fail Chili

It's May. It was 90 degrees a couple of weeks ago. Say goodbye to warm winter meals, and hello to grill marks, fresh veggies and cool drinks...or at least that's what I thought. With Tuesday being cold and gloomy, however, nothing seemed as appealing as a satisfying bowl of chili. That being said, we also had all the ingredients on hand--such a luxury. So, here's a really simple, really tasty week-night fix.

What ya need (for about 5 servings--1 cup each):
1 lb ground beef
1 medium onion
2 cloves garlic
1 can (16 oz) whole tomatoes
2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp Worcestershire
Hot sauce
2 tsp Cocoa Powder (optional)
2 medium celery sticks
2-3 tbsp chili powder
1 cup cooked elbow macaroni
1 can kidney beans drained

What ya do:
Cook and stir burger, onion and garlic in saucepan until burger is light brown.
Drain, stir in tomatoes (with liquid) celery, chili powder, salt, sugar, Worcestershire, cocoa powder (if using…it adds a nice warmth, and brings out the other flavors) and a few shakes of the hot sauce (to taste); heat to boiling, reduce and simmer for one hour.
Stir in beans and macaroni, heat to boiling and reduce. Simmer uncovered until hot (about 15 mins). If you want a thicker consistency, simmer longer.
This, alongside some good bread and you've got a filling (cheap) meal. The elbow macaroni is another optional ingredient. I added it because we have a big eater on our hands and I wanted to  bulk up the recipe. It's perfectly fine without any pasta, too. Give it a try! I'm sure you could also substitute ground turkey, but we never have that.

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