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Saturday, February 4, 2012

Nicole’s Favorite Chili Con Carne

There’s no real trick to making chili. Throw in a few kidney beans, chuck in an onion, add a little (or a lot) of spice, some ground beef … But let’s back up a moment. Some people like it hot - others, not. Purists don’t add beans. Vegetarians don’t add meat. Some chill lovers use ground beef; others prefer cubed steak. And some add chocolate, for a molé. Other than that, just as I’ve said, there’s no real trick to making chili. I like mine con carne - with plenty of meat! 
With tomorrow’s Super Bowl looming, you gotta admit that chili and football go together like cheerleaders and testosterone. I’ve always been a sucker for a man who wears padded shoulders, so I’m making chili for the big game! While I have many chili recipes, this is one of my very favorites. 
Nicole’s Favorite Chili Con Carne:
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 large onion, peeled and sliced paper thin
1 large green bell pepper, chopped
1-½ lb. ground beef
2 - 19 oz. (540 mL each) cans red kidney beans, drained
1- 28 oz. (796 mL) can diced tomatoes with juice
7-½ oz. (213 mL) can tomato sauce
3 tbsp. chili powder
1 bay leaf
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
Dash of hot sauce
Sour cream, as needed
Grated cheddar cheese, as needed
Heat oil in large, heavy saucepan. Add onion, green pepper, and beef, breaking beef apart and separating onion rings to brown all surfaces. Add beans, tomatoes, tomato sauce, chili powder, salt, bay leaf, cayenne pepper, and hot sauce. Cover and cook gently over low heat 45 min., stirring occasionally. Remove cover, cooking a further 45 min. Top with a dollop of sour cream and a generous sprinkle of grated cheddar. Serves 6.


Chop green pepper, slice large onion

Stir pepper, onions, and beef, breaking beef apart

Drain kidney beans
Add beans and tomatoes to chili



Add hot sauce, spices, bay leaf

Cover and cook on low 45 min.; uncover and repeat

Serve in a bowl ...

Or, for a healthier choice, serve over cooked butternut squash

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