Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Crock-pot Chili

I just looked at my thermometer and it is 12 degrees outside today.   Yep, 12!   That is chilly; which makes it the perfect day for some spicy chili.   

My Mom used to make this chili recipe when I was a kid.   I’ve kind of added some things but the flavor is still there and it is a total comfort food.  The addition of brown sugar gives it a whole sweet and spicy thing that I love.  

This recipe serves 4-6.  (I tend to double the recipe so I can freeze half.)

  • Large can of Campbell’s Tomato Soup
  • One can of chili beans (You can use any beans you want; I don’t like kidney beans and personally like the softer texture of chili beans.)
  • One can of small, diced tomatoes
  • 1.5 lbs. of hamburger (you can use more or less depending on how much meat you like; I like a thicker chili and tend to use more meat.  You could also use ground turkey or any other kind of meat your little heart desires.)
  • One medium onion (chopped)
  • 6 Tbsp. Brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. Chili Powder

Optional Ingredients (feel free to add anything else that sounds good – there are no rules with chili)
  • Minced garlic (can sauté with the meat)
  • Cinnamon (just tried a chili with cinnamon in it and it gave it an interesting twist)
  • Hot chilies
  • Mushrooms
  • Green Peppers
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Salsa
  • Cumin

1)      Set the temperature on the crock-pot.
2)      Pour the soup, the beans, and the tomatoes into the crock-pot.
3)      Brown the hamburger.
4)      Cut up the onion and put half in the crock-pot and sauté the other half with the hamburger.
5)      Drain grease from hamburger and add meat to crock-pot.
6)      Add the chili powder and brown sugar (and any option ingredients)
7)      Stir and cover.

If you make it in the morning, then leave the crock-pot on low all day.  If you make it on a weekend afternoon put it on high for 2.5 hours and then low for 2 hours (it should cook for at least 4.5 hours – the longer the better).

Topping options
  • Raw onions (green onions, red onions, white onions)
  • Sour Cream
  • Shredded Cheese (I like Colby Jack or Mexican Cheese)
  • Jalapenos
  • Black Olives
Serving:  I like to serve my chili with the big Fritos or Doritos for dipping; or a side of cornbread.   

Leftovers:  I doubled my recipe this time so I could freeze individual portions.  It is going to be a long winter and it will be nice to have chili on hand to warm up on a whim.  

You could do lots of things with leftover chili; chili nachos, chili fries, chili dog, chili spaghetti, chili lasagna, etc…..  

I’ve made chili mac-and-cheese with the leftovers.   It is super easy and really good!
Just cook some elbow noodles, mix them with the chili and some shredded cheese and bake it in the oven at 350 for about 20 minutes.     


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