Friday, September 28, 2012

Rain, Rain, Go Away - 3 Bean Chili

     The rain started Sunday night.  A deep groan spread across the local area..."Oh no, it has started.  Say good-bye to the sun.  Get out the rain-boots."  In our household, a general malaise settled in upon us.  Dear Husband claims the days are already shorter here than they are in the States.  Dear Daughter whines just a bit more than usual.  It is harder to get up in the morning.  The rain stayed...and stayed...and stayed.  Then just as the sun began to gather enough courage to peek through the clouds yesterday afternoon, the bully dark clouds raced in and erased that possibility.  More rain dumped on us and the temperature dropped.

     Comfort food was needed.  Overripe bananas became banana bread.  The last of the carrots were transformed into carrot cake bread (again).  I spent the week restocking the freezer with Chicken and Sausage Gumbo, White Bean and Sausage Soup and Sunday (Spaghetti) Sauce.  Now, it is Friday and the rain has stopped and the sun is courageously shining.  So this note will be short as I need to be outside soaking up the rays before they inevitably disappear.
Come back soon, Sun!

     Lots of travel scheduled for the next few months.  So, while we need an adventure this weekend, it will need to be an easy one.   Not sure yet what the weekend will hold...

    In the meantime, a bit pot of Chili is on the stove - one hour into its four hour simmer.  This is our "go-to" comfort food and we needed it this week.

3 Bean Chili

Three Bean Chili
(Adapted from Jamie's Chili, Jamie Deen, Food Network)

I really like chili made with a mixture of ground beef and italian sausage.  It gives the chili a bit more flavor.  While you can use a packaged chili seasoning mix, I prefer to make my own so I can control the amount of sodium.  Finally, I used one cup of beef broth (since I had it) but you could also use a beer instead.

1 1/2 pounds mixed ground beef and mild italian sausage
1 medium onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
2 cups chopped celery
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (28-oz) can whole, peeled tomatoes
1-2 (15-oz) cans diced tomatoes
1 cup beef broth
1 (14 1/2-oz) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 (14 1/2-oz) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 (14 1/2-oz can) black beans, drained and rinsed
1T vegetable or olive oil.
Ground Cumin
Chili powder
Chili Seasoning (recipe follows)

1.  In a skillet, brown ground beef and sausage, drain and set aside.
2.  In a large pot, heat the oil and then add the onion, green pepper and celery.  Sauté for five minutes.  Stir in the minced garlic and sauté another two to three minutes.  Add cumin and chili powder (I added only 1 tsp as I like my chili on the mild side).  Stir in the diced and whole tomatoes and cook for about 5 minutes.
3.  Add the beans, browned meat and chili seasoning.  Bring to a boil and then lower heat and simmer, partially covered for three to four hours.

Serve with sour cream, Cheddar cheese and green onions.

Chili Seasoning Mix

This makes more than you may need for the one chili recipe.  Store any leftovers for another batch.  I added 1 1/2 tablespoons to the chili at the beginning and then added a bit more after the two hour mark.  Add according to your personal taste.

3 T  chili powder
1 t   garlic powder
1 t   onion powder
crushed red pepper - I added only 1/4t but you can add more
1 t  oregano
2 t  paprika
2 T ground cumin
1 t   salt
1 t  pepper

Mix in a small bowl.  Store any leftovers in an airtight container.


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