Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Quick Chili con Carne

You know how when you’re dating someone you really like, and things are kind of new and delicate, and you really don’t want to mess things up? So you pretend to like things that you actually don’t like just so you’ll have more in common? Such as country music? Or science fiction movies?

Well thank goodness for the little white lies of young, fragile relationships, because without them, I might never have been introduced to such exotic fare as green bell peppers. Cottage cheese. Chili.

Yes, when I first started dating my hubby, he used to cook for me – the starving college student – at least once a week. And I would never have offended him by refusing to eat something he made. Even though it meant gagging down lasagna with cottage cheese, or steak and pepper fajitas. Chili was the worst. It had tomatoes. And onions. And beans. Scary stuff.

Of course, it took me about thirty seconds to realize I loved all this stuff. (Except the country music.)

My hubby weaned me on his chili, which is pretty tame – no big chunks of onion or tomatoes. Very classic, and very yummy. This chili has onions, crushed tomatoes, and lots of garlic. And it’s beefier than your average chili. It’s based on a Rachael Ray recipe, and you can throw it together in about 15 minutes, so it’s perfect for a weeknight.

The hubby likes his with crackers; I’m a cheese and tortilla chips kind of gal. And yet, we manage to set aside our differences and make it work.

Quick Chili con Carne
Serves 4

1 lb. hamburger
Salt, pepper, onion salt, and garlic salt
1 small onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 c. beef broth
1 14-oz can crushed tomatoes
1 can chili beans
1½ Tbsp. ground cumin
3 Tbsp. chili powder
A few shakes Tabasco
Additional salt and pepper, to taste

1. Add hamburger to a pot over medium-high heat. Season with salt, pepper, onion salt, and garlic salt. Add onion and garlic and cook until hamburger is brown, and onion is translucent.

2. Add broth, tomatoes, beans, cumin, chili powder, and Tabasco. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer about 10 minutes, seasoning to taste.

3. Serve with desired accompaniments.

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