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Monday, October 31, 2011

Crock Pot Chili

 During these cold winter days, nothing hits the spot like a bowl of chili!  With all the toppings, of course.

I snapped this photo of Gus on Saturday night.  Those little white spots are the remnants of the snow that covered him when he came inside (of course he shook it off as soon as he came in the door. I wish I could crack the canine code that prompts him to wait until he's in the door to shake all moisture off).

At least he has short fur.  It could be worse: 

Here's an archive photo of Gracie, with ice balls tangled in her fur after a romp in the snow.

We're lucky, we only got a few inches of snow this time.  Friends of mine in Connecticut got a foot of the white stuff, and are heading into their third day without electricity as I type this.

We only lost our electricity for 16 hours and 22 minutes (not that I was keeping track or anything), which is an unbearably long time when the temperature inside your house is dropping from lack of heat.  We were lucky that we at least had hot water (thanks to a water heater fueled by natural gas) and a stove to cook on (also fueled by gas).

I am also lucky that I decided to cook this chili before the storm hit.  Simmering a pot of chili in the slow cooker while the snow swirls outside makes me feel all warm and fuzzy, but lack of electricity would have quickly put an end to that scenario.

Today's Playlist
  • "Pretend You Don't See Her"........Jerry Vale
  • "Let's Twist Again".......Chubby Checker
  • "Lean On Me".........Al Jarreau
  • "Ain't That A Kick In The Head"........Dean Martin
  • "Earth Angel".......The Penguins
  • "I Wonder Why".......Dion & The Belmonts
  • "That's Amore"........Dean Martin
  • "This Magic Moment".........The Drifters
  • "Almost Like Being In Love"........Frank Sinatra
  • "Mambo Italiano".........Rosemary Clooney

Crock Pot Recipe:  Steak Chili
Printable Recipe
  • 2 lb. beef top sirloin steak
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon onion salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 (4 or 5 ounce) can diced or chopped green chiles, undrained
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

    Toppings: shredded jack cheese, diced avocado, sour cream, tortilla chips

Gather your ingredients.

Trim visible fat from beef.  Cut into 3/4-inch cubes.

I prefer steak, rather than ground beef, when making chili.  I'm not a fan of all the grease that ground beef produces.

Put the beef cubes into your crock pot.

Chop your onion.  Add it to the beef that's already in your crock pot.

Add onion salt........

and garlic powder.

Mix together.

Add black beans.

Make sure you put the beans in a strainer and rinse them with water before you add them to the crock pot.  They will be all goopy and starchy from sitting in the can.  You want to rinse all the goop off before you cook them.

Add the tomatoes.  Do not rinse or drain the tomatoes.  Just add them straight from the can.  You want all of the juice that comes along with them.

Add the tomato sauce.

Add the chile peppers, and the juice from the can.  I use mild chiles, but use medium or hot if you like the heat.  Just try not to touch the contents of the can with your fingers.  Use a spoon.

Once upon a time, I chopped my own chiles.  The key word being ONCE. 

I didn't realize how often I rub my eyes until that day.  Ouch!  All day long, no matter how much I washed and scrubbed my hands, the heat from the peppers remained. 

I've used canned chiles ever since.

Add the chili powder.

And last, but not least, add the cumin.

Stir it all together.

Looks pretty good, eh?

Put the lid on, and cook on LOW for 8 hours.

And there you have it, eight hours later.

Spoon it into your favorite chili bowls, and add your favorite toppings.  Like shredded cheddar-jack cheese and sour cream.


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