February 28, 2013

National Chili Day

I've talked about my 3-Bean Chili before ... but I had to share it again with a few updates! If you're looking for a great way to celebrate National Chili Day, then this recipe will sure to be a crowd pleaser. It also goes beautifully with my recipe for Cheddar & Chive Cornbread. Enjoy!

3-Bean Chili

1 large onion, diced
5-8 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1 sm. can diced green chiles
1 quart beef, chicken or vegetable stock
1 lg. can crushed tomatoes
1 can petite diced tomatoes
2 Tablespoons tomato paste
1 can pinto beans, drained
1 can red kidney beans, drained
1 can small red beans, drained

This is all about personal preference, and it is so important to season in doses and taste as you go. I eyeball this every time, but here are the approximates:

1-3 Tablespoons chili powder (all according to your preference of spiciness)
1-2 Tablespoons cumin (large handful or two)
2 teaspoons oregano (handful, crushed)
1 Tablespoon kosher salt*
1 teaspoon pepper

In a large stockpot or dutch oven (I use one of my large Le Creuset ovens), saute the diced onion in 3 Tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat until onions are translucent and just beginning to brown. Add minced garlic and cook for 30 seconds, but do not overcook the garlic! Add stock, making sure to scrape any brown bits from the pan. Add the green chiles, crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, and beans and bring to a low boil. Add tomato paste, and all seasonings to taste, adjusting as necessary.** Cover and allow chili to simmer on low heat for 30-45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

When ready to serve, offer shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, chopped cilantro or green onions & crushed corn chips (either tortilla chips or Fritos) as garnish.

* Depending on the saltiness of the stock & tomatoes. I use at least 1 Tablespoon salt, however, I will adjust as necessary.
** For those wishing to add meat (either ground beef or turkey), brown 1-1/2 lbs. meat in a separate skillet, drain excess fat, and then add to the chili before covering.

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