Like chili? Read this and you can learn the basics of creating your very own! You are unique, your chili should be too.
I've been trying for a long time to figure out how to make a good chili. There's thousands of recipes, everyone claims to be the best in the world. After making about 10 batches over the last few months, I've found the answer: don't use a recipe. Just mix stuff together til it tastes good. You absolutely need:
tomatoes or tomato sauce
meat (if vegetarian, use Boca products)
Chili should be spicy and thick. Add lots of spices and peppers, and cook it for 2-3 days. If you're creatively challenged, here's a starter, adjust to taste:
2 16 ounce cans tomato sauce
1 16 ounce can kidney beans
1 pound of hamburger
1 large onion
2 bell peppers
1 8 ounce can mushroom parts
1 Tbsp chili powder
First off, turn on the crock pot to low. Add the tomato sauce, you can use real tomatoes if you prefer. Just make sure you get plenty of tomatoes, they're the prime ingredient!!! You can use any kind of beans, kidney beans are easy but spicy chili beans are always good too. Whatever kind of beans you use, taste the sauce it's in. If you think it tastes yummy in chili, dump in the whole can. if it tastes odd (kidney beans tatse funny), drain the can first then add the beans. I usually try to add about half as many beans as tomato. Dice the onion, peppers, and any other veggies you like. Remember, there are no rules. If you think it'd be good in chili, add it! Certainly habaneros are great, celery adds a nice texture, mushrooms add taste, so go nuts! Add half of your diced veggies to the crock pot, put the other half in a saucepan. If your veggies come in a can, add the stuff it's floating in to the saucepan. It's flavor!
Precook the meat and add it to the saucepan. Add just enough water so that your stuff is submerged, but not too much. Bring to a boil, add bullion to match your meat selection. Bring it down to medium and let the water steam off, and the flavor to absorb in the meat. Once you have a nice slush, dump the contents of the pan into the chili. At this point, we don't care about consistency. Even if it's a lot of liquid, if it adds flavor, put it in!!!
Stir up your creation well and cover for about 20 minutes. This helps things to get nice and hot and start cooking. Remove cover, stir, and add some chili powder. Leave it to cook uncovered until you go to bed, stirring every 1/2 hour or so. Be sure to taste it every so often, t make sure it's not too spicy or too overpowering. If you need to thin it out, add tomato sauce, not water. Other spices I use include seasoned salt, cumin, garlic powder, and mustard powder. Don't go out and buy any spices if you don't want to, chili powder is the only thing you absolutely need to add. If you have other spices like oregano that would be OK to put in, add those too.
Once you have the spices blended, just leave it alone. The flavor on the first day is useless anyway. Whan you go to bed, unplug the crockpot, place the cover on, and put it in the fridge.
Taste the chili out of the fridge. The flavors blended overnight and it got THICK! WOW!! if you're impatient, cook it for an hour and your chili is done. If you're like me, take some out to eat now and just keep cooking the rest! Make any changes in veggies or spices now. This is what your chili will taste like, if you don't like it, you'd better fix it. Let it cook on low uncovered, stirring every 1/2 hour, tasting for goodness. Make sure it tastes good before putting it in the fridge again, which you will do before you go to bed.
Your chili is done. MAN, DOES IT TASTE AWESOME!!! heat it up in the crock pot and serve. If you like to eat chili with a fork, go ahead and cook it longer, but even I am satisfied with my chili's thickness at the end of day 2.
Patrick Cook, the stud who told me who to make the world's best chili.
CmdrTaco, for loaning me his sepll chker