The challenge this time is to write out a recipe for something. This is probably one of the hardest challenges I have ever done, not because of the style of writing, but because most of my cooking doesn’t involve recipes.
Don’t get me wrong, my cooking skills are definitely higher than sticking it in the microwave and hitting the cook button. It’s just the fact that my cooking style is plain.
I never got into the whole gravy or super mixture of spices. I always felt that meat should taste like the animal it came from and should not be hidden of disguised.
There is one dish I do make that does have a recipe. It’s my chili. My chili is a nice, mild chili, so you don’t have to worry about holes burning in your stomach. It is the one chili my wife eats and will actually plan for on a cold day. Here it is.
1 to 1&1/2 pound of lean hamburger or ground chuck
½ medium sized yellow onion
2 20oz cans of tomato sauce (not Hunts!)
3 to 4 15oz cans of Dark Red Kidney beans
McCormick Chili powder
2 tablespoons of sugar OR 12 to 15 baby carrots
A pinch of salt
A pinch of pepper
Using a large skillet, brown the burger while breaking it up into tiny pieces and adding the salt and pepper.
In a chili/spaghetti pot pour in the tomato sauce.
Open up one can of Dark Red Kidney beans and pour into the empty can of tomato sauce.
Take your potato masher utensil and mash the beans until you get a ratio of 2/3 mash and 1/3 whole bean. Pour and scrape into the chili pot. Repeat for every can of beans. (I know it takes longer this way than mashing them on the chili pot itself or putting them into a blender, but you have a better chance of an even crush with this method without breaking the masher or reducing the beans to a liquid mush as you would with the blender.)
Dice the half-onion and toss it into the chili pot.
If you are using the baby carrots, throw them in now. The carrots absorb some of the acidity of the tomato sauce, reducing the chance of heartburn. (This is also why I highly recommend you not to use Hunts tomato sauce. It has the highest amount of acidity I have found and causes a lot of heart burn.)
Drain the chopped hamburger and pour into the chili pot.
Sprinkle McCormick Chili powder into the pot until it covers the entire sauce.
If you are using sugar instead of the carrots, add the two table spoons full here. It does the same thing as the carrots and gives a faint sweetness to the chili.
Set to medium heat and stir occasionally so nothing burns on the bottom. Keep this heat up until it starts to bubble.
Taste and see if the chili powder flavor is coming through strong enough for you. I will sometimes recover the entire sauce with another coating of chili powder.
Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for at least a half hour to forty-five minutes. The longer it simmers, the better the ingredients mix, and the smoother it will taste.
When ready to serve, remove the carrots and eat separately. (Or feed them to the dog, let the cat lick the chili off them, give them to the rabbit, or suck the chili off them and add the carrots to the compost bin. Whatever your pleasure.)
Pour into bowls, garnish however you like, and enjoy!
This recipe amount should serve four or five well.