Thursday, February 7, 2013

Delicious Spiced Chili

Spiced Chili in the Crock-Pot or Stove Top

OK so this is another one of my favorites. Why? Because for some reason one of the things I love most is eating a big bowl of chili topped with cheese and sour cream. Best part about this one? You can make it two different ways, stove top or crock-pot, I prefer the crock-pot. However, sometimes there's a time constraint and the stove is just an easier and quicker way to do it. Either way the process is quite simple. Cook meat, put ingredients together, let it simmer. Enjoy! Needless to say, this will be a pretty short entry. I'm in the process of job hunting at the moment. I love the pre-school I work at, but I'm not using my degree and I really want to so I can start putting my feet towards the direction of a good career for me. Let me tell you, job hunting sucks. It really, really, REALLY does. But I gotta do it and I'm determined to find myself a good job that I'll love. So I've been super busy with that, and realized I haven't written in a little while, OH NO!! So here I am! No worries and doing what I love, sharing recipes and cooking!!

So back to this Chili. There's a lot of ingredients in it. It's called Spiced Chili for a reason. So there may be a small trip to the grocery store involved if you don't have all the required spices. So for this one here's what you need:

A large skillet and either a dutch oven, stock pot, or slow-cooker/crock-pot. Boom! That's all the equipment you need for this one. Now for the ingredients...

*This is halved by the way, I make this much so I have plenty of left overs and enough to share. If you're making this for a crowd it doubles easily.*

1 pound ground beef
1/2 chopped white onion
3 garlic gloves, minced or crushed
1 (16 oz) can Kidney Beans (I don't put these in...I don't like beans)
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce (I use Hunts)
1 (14.5 oz) can stewed tomatoes, cut up
1/2 cup water
1 bay leaf
3 Tablespoons chili powder, plus a little extra if you want
1/2 Tablespoon salt (Kosher)
1/2 Tablespoon brown sugar
2 teaspoons dried basil
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried marjoram

**So since I don't like beans...instead I add one can of Hormel chili (without beans of course) to supplement**

OK so here are your spices. Now I usually add in a touch of Cayenne, Paprika, little onion powder, and white pepper too depending on how I'm feeling. Oh! And hot sauce! But these are a great place to start and you can go with your instincts add something different, and let me know by commenting how it turns out! Or just comment with any ideas really!

Now let's get going!! In a large skillet you're going to cook the beef, onion, and garlic over a medium heat until the beef is no longer pink. If there's an excess of liquid in the skillet once the beef is cooked you can drain it. I use ground beef that's about 93% lean so there's not a lot of fat left over once it's done cooking. And whatever is left over, I like the flavor it adds so I keep it.

Transfer this beef/onion mix to either a stock pot, dutch oven, or my favorite a slow-cooker! Add in the beans if you're using them, Hormel Chili (if you're taking a leaf out of my book), tomato sauce, tomatoes, water, and all those delicious spices/seasonings!

Cover the slow-cooker or whichever cooking method you are using and just wait for the deliciousness to come.

If you're doing this in a slow-cooker you'll cover and cook it on LOW for about 4-5 hours. Taste it every hour or so if you're around the house and can do this. I say taste it so you can see if you want to add anymore spices or tomato sauce/water to dilute it if it gets too spicy. I cook mine in my 3-1/2 quart slow-cooker. If this is being doubled I suggest cooking it in a 5-quart one.

If you're doing this on the stove you will add the ingredients to the meat/onion mix, bring it to a boil, and finally reduce the heat to a low heat setting cover and simmer for about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Again taste it at about the 30 minute mark if you can.

IMPORTANT! Discard the Bay Leaf when you are finished cooking/simmering. No one wants to bite into a bay leaf while they're enjoying your delicious Spiced Chili!

I like to garnish mine with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of cheddar cheese.

There we go! So simple right?!

Hope you enjoy this one as much as I do!!
Wish me luck in my job hunt and of course...
Thanks for stopping by!

'Til Next Time!!

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