Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Chili I've Been Dreaming Of

It’s official; I’m a delinquent blogger.

Moving, kitchen packed up, blah, blah, blah. Had to unpack, couldn’t find the camera, yadda, yadda, yadda.

What it boils down to is that I’ve been neglecting my blog. But that’s done with, I assure you. We’ve only been the house for a few weeks, so we’re not exactly unpacked yet. (We might never be unpacked.) But the kitchen is fairly put together. I’m still missing various pots and pans and a half-dozen or so small appliances, but I can get by. I’ve actually cooked more in the past few weeks than the past several months, combined. (And we’ve probably had more dinner guests than in the past few years, combined.)

I really like my new kitchen. It’s very spacious and has a ton of counter space and double ovens.* And it’s YELLOW.**

Anyway, the chili. I’ve been on a quest for my perfect chili for quite some time now, because I like a thicker, meatier, more cumin-y chili that has lots of flavor but not a ton of heat. But everything I tried was too something. Too salty. Too thick. Too thin. Too chili powderish.

And then, I tried this. This is a recipe from Slow Cooker: The Best Cookbook Ever by Diane Phillips, and it’s perfect. And you can’t mess it up. I’ve followed the recipe to the letter. I’ve halved it. I’ve cooked it on the stovetop. I’ve forgotten to toast the spices. I’ve added beans. I’ve forgotten half the tomato sauce. And it always tastes amazing.

You can serve this chili with your choice of toppings. The little man likes his topped with plenty o’ black beans. I like mine with cheese. My brother likes cheese and jalapenos. We all like to use tortilla chips in place of a spoon.

You must try this chili.

*One oven is about the same as age me.
**Yes, the yellow paint was my decision. It’s a happy kitchen.

The Chili I've Been Dreaming Of (a.k.a. Ryan's Chili)
Serves 6-8

2 Tbsp. oil
2 lbs. 85% lean ground beef
2 tsp. ancho chile powder
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
Pinch of cayenne pepper
2 tsp. cornmeal
2 c. beef broth
4 c. tomato sauce
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Tortilla chips, shredded cheddar cheese, beans, jalapenos, etc. for topping

1. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add ground beef and crumble, and cook until brown. Transfer meat to slow cooker.

2. Add chile powder, oregano, cumin, 2 tsp. salt, and cayenne to the skillet and cook until spices are fragrant, about 45 seconds. Add cornmeal and stir until mixture thickens. Add broth and whisk until smooth. Transfer to slow cooker and stir in tomato sauce.

3. Cover and cook on low 6-7 hours, or until chili is thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with toppings.


Mrs Rad Wag said...

Yeah! Alyssa's sharing recipes again! :-)

Lisa @ Fern Creek Cottage said...

I made your chili recipe this weekend and it was so easy and delicious! A big hit with the whole family!