Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Best Simple Chili

By popular demand, I am reposting this which I ran in 2004 (that seems so long ago!). This is not too spicy as long as you are not using really hot chili powder.

Just remember ... no beans. As we discovered on vacation one time, we have raised the girls to be good Texans in that respect. "No beans," Rose said sharply. "Chili should never have beans and that is that."
Because you need something to have with the Skillet Cornbread, here's my favorite chili recipe. I found this in Matt Martinez' Culinary Frontier, one of the best Tex-Mex cookbooks ever. I almost always have to adjust seasonings but I can live with that because he has the easiest techniques I have ever found to replace the usual ones found in Mexican cookbooks.

From Matt Martinez's Culinary Frontier. I'm pretty sure I increased the seasonings in this but otherwise it is his recipe.

Step 1:
1 pound ground beef
3-4 tablespoons chili powder
1-2 tablespoons ground cumin
2 cloves minced garlic
2-3 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon oregano
4 tablespoons chopped onion
Brown the meat, then drain most of the fat. Add all the seasonings, garlic and onion and saute for 2 minutes.

Step 2:
1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
2 cups water
2-4 tablespoons cornmeal
Add tomatoes and water, and simmer uncovered until tender, about 1 hour or more, until the meat reaches the desired tenderness. (If the chili seems too soupy, mix the cornmeal with a little water and mix it into the chili. Simmer for 15 minutes to thicken.)

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