Sunday, November 8, 2009

Crock Pot Chili Beans

Now that it's getting chilly outside, I'd say it's a mighty fine time for some chili!!! And, what could be better than simmered all day long crock pot chili? Nothing, I tell you ... well, maybe smores.

Whatcha Should Be Needing ... plus a few extras for kick:
  • 1 pound Ground Beef/Chuck
  • 1 whole Medium Onion, Chopped
  • 1 can Red Kidney Beans
  • 1 can Pinto Beans
  • 1 can Chili Beans
  • 2 cans Mexican Style Diced Tomatoes
  • 1 small can diced green chiles
  • ½ can Water (use the tomatoes can)
  • Salt And Pepper (to Taste)
  • ½ teaspoons Ground Cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Red Chili Flakes
  • 2 Tablespoons Chili Powder Or One Packet Chili Powder
  • 2 Tablespoons of Worcester Sauce
  • 1 cup Cheddar Cheese, Shredded (optional)
  • 1 tub Sour Cream (optional)
  • 1 whole Red Onion, Small, Diced (optional)
  • 1 package Saltine Crackers (optional)

1. Brown the ground beef/chuck with some salt and pepper. Seriously, this recipe is so yummy, yet elementary, it'll leave ya scratching your head.

2. After the ground beef/chuck is browned. Put a nice rough chop on your onions. In chili, I almost prefer to pulverize the yellow onions because I add red onion on top at the end. But, some folks to like big pieces of cooked yellow onion.

3. Add your browned beef/chuck and onions to the crock pot and then top with one packet of chili seasoning. We use hot, but we're crazy fools. Here you can also add about a teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper,1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, and 1 teaspoon of red chili flakes or cayenne. You can adjust the chili/cayenne to the preference of your family.

4. Now add in your tomatoes and your water. I suggest half a can of water because you'll have all of the juices of the tomatoes and beans, but if you prefer a more saucy chili, just add more water.

5.) Now add in the green chiles and two Tablespoons of Worcester sauce . These two add a super good smell to the dish!!

6.) You could easily stop right here and just have normal red chili. But, the addition of beans is crucial around this household. I usually add two cans of pinto beans and 1 of red kidney. Sometimes I'll even find canned chili beans and I'll use one can in place of one of the cans of pinto beans.

7.) Now put the lid on your crock pot and let it go on low for at least 6 hours. But, really, it could simmer on the stove on medium for about an hour to achieve the same taste. I just like the smell of a hot chili simmering all day in my kitchen. I'm a sucker for good food, I do say.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Thanksgiving Simple Dressing

Every family has "their" Thanksgiving dressing that they declare is the best. Well, my friends, this one is my little family contribution and for us, it's the best. It's savory and simple and goes with pretty much any poultry.

Whatcha Need:

1 lb. package Stuffing Mix (I like Pepperidge Farms)
1/2 loaf bread slices; toasted and torn into small pieces
3 large stalks of celery; diced roughly
1 medium onion; diced roughly
3/4 of an 8oz package white button mushrooms; chopped roughly
4.25 can chopped black olives
4 T. butter; torn into small pieces
1/2 T. salt
1/2 T. black pepper
1/2 T. sage
6 C. chicken broth (I mix 6 C. water with 6 chicken bouillon cubes)
1 egg

First, we get to chopping. I do the celery first because I really like the smell of celery. Yum.

Next, we chop the onion into small pieces. I would call this a rough dice. I used a medium sized onion here but you could use half of one of the big honking ones if that's what you have.

Now chop up about 3/4 of a package of mushrooms. I'd say into about 1/2 inch pieces.

Now add your torn up bread pieces to your mixing bowl.

Atop that, add your bag of dressing mix. The dryness of dressing mix plus the soft bread gives the dressing a better texture.

Now toss all your veggies (celery, olives, mushroom, and onion) on top of that mound.

Now you can add your seasonings. Go for about 1/2 Tablespoon each of salt, black pepper, and sage. Don't get too heavy handed on the salt because you are using seasoning bread crumbs, olives, and chicken stock that will balance your salt levels in the dish.

Here is the chicken broth I made. I just combined 6 C. of water with 6 bouillon cubes. Make sure to let it cool a bit before using it.

Start ladling your stock into the dressing about a cup at a time until it gets a loosely firm texture to it. You want it to jiggle when shook, but you do NOT want it to slosh at all. After this step, go ahead and taste the mixture and adjust the seasonings as your see fit. After you're satisfied, add in one egg and 4 T. of butter to bind the mixture together.

Put it into a buttered casserole dish and bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes. Enjoy!