Friday, March 26, 2010

Easy basic chili

I think everyone ought to have a basic chili recipe that their family likes and that they can throw together very quickly when needed.  We use a crock pot for ours, and I love how the flavors mingle and develop during the day as the pot chugs along on low.

Part of pleasing your family is finding the combination of beans that best suits them.  We like to vary it.  I use a mixture of the following, depending upon mood and what's currently in the pantry: great northern, kidney, pinto, pidgeon peas, black, black-eyed peas, and sometimes soybeans.

Easy Basic Chili

Olive oil
1 lb ground beef 
Onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 t cumin seeds, ground
1 t cocoa powder
1 t dried oregano
1 t molasses
1 small can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
4 - 15 oz cans of beans

Shredded jack or mozzarella cheese (optional)

Brown the ground beef in a large non-stick skillet and remove to the crock pot.  Saute the onions and garlic over low heat until almost cooked through.  Add the cumin seeds, cocoa powder, and oregano and heat till fragrant.  Add the molasses through the tomatoes and bring to a low boil.  Remove from the heat and add to the crock pot.

Drain and rinse the beans, and add them to the crock pot.  Cook on low for several hours.  Adjust spices as needed before serving, adding salt and pepper to taste.  Serve with jack or mozzarella cheese if desired.

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