Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Dad's Chili

Comfort food. Food that make you feel like home. Food that makes you feel like everything is going to be OK. Another recipe from my past that I have tried on for size is my dad’s chili. Now that the weather is growing colder, I am craving hot meals that make me feel good. And what a better meal than home cooked chili. On this particular December night, I wanted to share my comforts with my beloved roomies. One of my roomies is a vegetarian that doesn’t eat onions, so I wanted to make something that I cook modify for her, but still satisfy the carnivore in my other friends.

I started with a shitload of garlic to compensate for the lack of onions. Then, I added the green peppers until they were nice and soft. Next came the large can of crushed tomatoes. Crushed tomatoes these days come in so many different flavors, so this day I added the fire-roasted ones. You can use any variety that will compliment the robust, hearty, spicy flavor of chili. We had some crushed tomatoes with basil, and this would not work well with the flavor combination I was going for. The kidney beans come next. You can use other beans, too, but for me, the kidney is the most traditional. Next, the key ingredients, spices. I never measure my spices. I always fuck up and use too much cayenne. DON’T OVER SPICE WITH THE CAYENNE!!! This will totally overbear the chili with spiciness and not allow the other flavors to prevail. A heavy dose of cumin is required, and substantial dashes of paprika and chili powder. Since I didn’t add the ground turkey (you can use ground beef, if you want, too) at first, I browned it in a separate pan with the onions and a little oil. After the meat was slightly cooked, I added the same seasoning, just at a smaller volume. If I were making straight meat chili, I would have done this as the first step, and then added the ingredients above in the same order. I let the veggie pot simmer for about 30 minutes before separating a portion of the veggie version, then added the seasoned ground turkey to the veggie mixture. I doled it out to my roommates and got the reflective response of the feeling I was feeling in the depth of my soul. Home, warmth, and comfort. I amazingly didn’t over-spice it, and the heat was just perfect to allow the cumin, paprika and chili powder poke their heads through the curtain for their big debut. Every one of them gobbled up their bowls and asked for seconds. Guess I should have made a double batch.

Here is the recipe:

Little bit of oil
1 lb of ground turkey (or ground beef)
1 onion
Shitload of garlic (meaning about 5 cloves)
2 green bell peppers
1 large can crushed tomatoes (28 oz)
2 medium cans of kidney beans (15 oz)
About 2 Tbl. of cumin
2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper to taste


Gregory said...

You forgot Ground Cloves for a bit of sweet with the heat.

Celise said...

Thanks Dad! I don't even think I knew that. Can't wait to make it again.