JOEJOE’S 1st CHILI RECIPE
1st ? Oh, yeah, the 1st…not exactly the first time I made chili—read on, I will explain.
So, who doesn’t like chili? I don’t know of anyone. It’s always a popular dish, and if ten people make it, you will have ten different dishes. And they will all be good…and each will be the Very Best Chili Recipe. But how can you make it ten different ways, and still be good? Well, let’s see. Oh yeah, the disclaimer: I am not a chef, have never played one on TV or in the movies, and didn’t stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night. But I like to cook, and I like to eat, and I want to share some of what I have learned with you…so here goes…
You can make it with ground beef. You can make it with ground turkey. Or chicken. You can make it with pulled pork, ground pork, sausage, leftover beef roast, shredded, or cut into bite-sized chunks. Or meatless!!! Been there, done that, too. My recipe calls for ground turkey, because I really made it that way, just to see what it is like…and, frankly, with all of that other “stuff” in there, I don’t think anyone can tell.
I do recommend browning the meat separately in a skillet, with the seasonings, and then drain the fat/grease, if any, before adding to the slow cooker. Also, I advise not adding hot items to a cool slow cooker, and not adding cold items to a hot slow cooker–there is a possibility the cooker can be damaged.
You can use mild chilis and spices, or really spice it up—I mean burn-the-house-down hot…but not for me…I can’t take that hot stuff. But that’s just me. I typically use Old El Paso Mild Chiles, and have used Great Value Medium Chiles at times, and have also added Jalapeno peppers for my neighbor’s batch.
And beans…oh, my, you can go crazy trying to figure out the best bean combination—black beans, pinto beans, chili beans, kidney beans (light or dark—or both?). Use only one variety, or mix two or more? I have used Pintos, Kidneys, Black Beans, and Chili Beans.
And spices. Ah, the spices. Not even going to start with those, except to say that I begin with an envelope of Chili Seasoning added to the meat when it is ready to be added to the other ingredients, and then use other seasonings to adjust to taste.
OKRA AND CREAMED CORN
Both the Okra and Creamed Corn add subtle flavor and aid thickening. If you know someone doesn’t like okra, not a problem.
After several hours of cooking, the okra will break up, and for any pieces that don’t, all you have to do (when they have cooked enough) is pick them up with a spoon and break them with a fork. The broken bits will look like the pieces of the peppers, and the specific flavor of the okra will disappear in the combination of the other ingredients.
Hominy is a good addition, too.
So What’s In It?
My biggest downfall has been documentation. I love to cook, and just “wing it”. For years I would make meatloaf, stew, chili, and just throw different ingredients in, and they would usually turn out pretty good. I would feel pretty good about that, until I heard my wife say “did you write this down?”…uh oh. Of the last ten batches of stew I made, none were the same, all were pretty good…and I can’t duplicate a single one— AAAAAGHHH!!! …chili too…:-(
Well, that’s going to change, beginning with this post, with my first DOCUMENTED chili recipe, hence the title:
JOEJOE’S 1st CHILI RECIPE
One thing I would advise is for you to print this recipe, so that if you make any changes, you can document them.
As I said above, you can make changes to this recipe any way you like, but the recipe as written is fairly thick and mild, safe from a heat standpoint for all ages. You can make it as written, and then divide it in half, leaving one half for the kids (and ME!!!), and heat up the other half with hot sauce or hot peppers to your taste.
So, without further ado, here is the recipe:
CHILI (TURKEY–SHHH!) 1/7/2019
1 LB GROUND TURKEY (OR BEEF, OR PORK, OR CHICKEN)
1 PACKET CHILI SEASONING, YOUR CHOICE OF MILD, MEDIUM, OR HOT
SAUTE MEAT, AND ADD PACKET OF CHILI SEASONING. DRAIN, IF NECESSARY
UNLESS SPECIFIED, “CAN” REFERS TO THE STANDARD SIZED VEGETABLE CAN, APPROXIMATELY 15 OUNCES…WEIGHTS MIGHT VARY FROM ONE MANUFACTURER TO ANOTHER.
WHILE MEAT IS COOKING, ADD THE BELOW TO SLOW COOKER AND TURN ON HIGH. ADD MEAT WHEN COOKED.
1 CAN BLACK BEANS
1 CAN DARK RED KIDNEY BEANS
1 CAN PINTO BEANS
1 CAN CORN, DRAINED
1 CAN CREAMED CORN
1 CAN PETITE DICED TOMATOES (I DRAIN THE LIQUID AND RESERVE IT TO ADD LATER IF NEEDED TO THIN THE CHILI)
2 SMALL CANS CHOPPED CHILES (OLD EL PASO MILD CHILES ARE 4.5 OUNCES)
CHOPPED JALAPENOS TO YOUR TASTE
1/2 CUP FROZEN CUT OKRA
1 MEDIUM ONION, COARSELY CHOPPED
1 TBSP GARLIC POWDER
1 TBSP COFFEE LIQUEUR (ALCOHOL WILL COOK OUT AND NOT BE PRESENT WHEN READY TO SERVE)
1 TBSP COCOA POWDER
TO YOUR TASTE, IF NECESSARY, ADD CHILI POWDER BY THE TABLESPOON, AND/OR CUMIN BY THE 1/2 TEASPOON (A LITTLE OF THIS STUFF GOES A LOOOONG WAY).
SPICES TOO STRONG? OH NO!!! WELL, NOT REALLY…JUST ADD MORE OF SOMETHING IN ONE OF THOSE CANS–BEANS, CORN, TOMATOES–UNTIL IT SUITS YOU.
CONTINUE ON HIGH FOR 2 HOURS, THEN ON LOW FOR 2 TO 4 HOURS, OR UNTIL IT SUITS YOU.
If your Chili is too thick, you can add water, tomato sauce or juice, or even beer; if too thin, cornstarch can be used to thicken (take some of the liquid out, add a little cornstarch and mix, then add back to the chili).
Well, eat it, of coarse!!! Just as it is, or on any kind of pasta or rice, and/or topped with shredded cheese, freshly chopped onion, crumbled chips, corn or tortilla. One of my favorites is Frito Pie–in a bowl, first corn chips, then lettuce, followed by chili, freshly chopped onion, chopped tomatoes, and shredded cheese…or Chili Dogs…or maybe you have a favorite way to serve it…if so, please share it with us in the Comments below.
OK, now what? There is a LOT left over…depending on the number people you are cooking for, you might want to freeze all or some of the leftovers. Since I am only cooking for one, that is exactly what I do, and have several servings in the freezer right now. Here is how I do it:
When cooled, I put a serving size (1 to 3 cups?) in a plastic (I use Rubbermaid) containers and into the freezer for a couple of hours, or until frozen firm. Then I prepare the same number of vacuum sealing bags, sealing one end and adding the date and contents. I take one container at a time, and pop the frozen chili out of the container and put it into a vacuum bag, and process it with the vacuum sealer, and then back into the freezer. Vacuum sealing practically eliminates freezer burn by taking the air (oxygen) out, which is the cause of freezer burn…it will be good for a year or two, frozen that way,
I hope if you try my recipe that you enjoy it, or at least get ideas to use in your favorite chili recipe. Please share your thoughts in a comment below.