08 February, 2009

Skillet Chili

There's a million ways to make chili, and arguments about what kind of chili is best and whether or not beans belong in it break out all the time. This chili recipe isn't going to settle any arguments. It's the kind of chili my mom used to make when I was a kid, and it's a simple, no-fuss way of getting a decent batch of chili on the table for supper in about half an hour.

Skillet Chili
Serves 4 - 6

1½ pounds lean ground beef
1 sweet red pepper, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 or 3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
2 tbsp cumin
1 heaping tbsp paprika
1 envelope of your favorite chili seasoning
1 can (14½ ounces) diced tomatoes, or 2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes
about ½ cup of water
1 can (15½ ounces) red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

Brown the beef in a large skillet. When it's about halfway browned, add the onion, pepper, and garlic. Continue cooking until beef is browned, and pour off excess fat.

Add the cumin, paprika, and chili seasoning packet and stir them in, coating everything well with the spices. Add the tomatoes and the water and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat to a simmer. While the chili is simmering, drain the can of beans. I always dump the beans into a strainer and rinse them off while I'm at it, because I hate that thick, slimy crap that canned beans seem to be packed in. My recipe specifies red kidney beans, but you can subsitute pinto beans, or cannellini (white kidney beans) if you prefer.

Stir the beans into the simmering chili, cover, and simmer over low heat for about 15 minutes. Check the seasoning and add salt if necessary (the amount of salt you'll need will depend on the brand of the chili seasoning mix you bought) and serve with shredded cheese to go on top...

...or Goldfish crackers.

One of the things that I like about this chili is that it's not that fiery hot. You can appeal to a wide range of spice tolerance by serving it with a bottle of hot sauce or jar of cayenne or chipotle powder for folks to stir in as they wish.


Michele said...

Looks like the chili that my Mother used to make in the electric skillet when I was a child. I used to love that chili. It was simple, delicious and tummy warming. Now I need to call her and see what she used to put in her chili.

Anonymous said...

Let Michael be the first to say
"no beans, please!"