Just-Woke-Up-Must-Make-Dinner-with-What's-in-The-House Chili

I love a nap. it seems so decadent to SLEEP in the middle of the day. I rarely take them, though, because when I wake up I feel weird and groggy and am generally useless for several hours. (I used to take a nap after work so I could go out and drink at the State Bar. That was a loooong time ago.)


This morning I made a list, like I always do, of things that I wanted to accomplish today. Cut to 2 pm when I can barely keep my eyes open (did I mention I got up at 3:45 this morning for work?) so I decide, even though my list is not anywhere NEAR being checked off, to take a nap.

I wake up at 3:30 and realize that I'm not going to do anything else on the list, including going to the store to get food for dinner. A quick rifle through the pantry reveals spices, a can of diced tomatoes, and a can of hominy. The fridge contains a package of ground beef. Chili it is!

OK. I have to get something off my chest. Lately there's been all this blather about with-beans, no beans, is it real chili if you use (insert ingredient here) but leave out (insert ingredient here), blah blah blah.... and to this I would like to say:


here's the thing: I think my chili is the best, just like my mom thinks hers is the best, just like a million bazillion other people think theirs is the best. Just make it how you frigging like it, people, and stop worrying so much about this stupid debate. You can bet the men on the cattle drives or whatever didn't whine about beans or no beans or what kind of mean or adding coffee or any of that crap. They ate it, and were happy to have a hot meal after a long day.

To paraphrase a wiser person than myself: if it tastes good, just eat it.

Rant over .Thank you.

Now to the good part. I'm not going to say this is how i ALWAYS make chili. It ain't. this is how i made it TODAY. And if I made it tomorrow, it would be different again. (And I don't want any guff about using onion powder. It was what was in the house. Don't use it if you don't like it.) I'm not saying this should the ONLY chili you make, but it's a good one to add to your repertoire.

Just-Woke-Up-Must-Make-Dinner-with-What's-in-The-House Chili

Oil (or bacon fat)
1 pound ground beef
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon chipotle powder.
1/2 teaspoon dried cilantro
2 cloves garlic
1 can diced tomatoes
1 jalapeno
1/4 cup unsweetened chocolate
1 tablespoon cornmeal
1 can hominy (you can substitute beans if you want, or use both)

Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the beef, season with salt, and brown. Add the spices, cilantro, and garlic and onion and cook until the spices are fragrant. Add the jalapeno and tomatoes and stir to mix. Add the chocolate and season with salt again.

Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally until the liquid is thickened and the flavors have blended, about an hour. Stir in the cornmeal and then the hominy and cook 5 minutes more.

1 comment:

Phaedra Elizabeth said...

that sounds so good! I have been thinking lately to try making things like chili's and soups. I might try this. Hey! I made mac and cheese recently that turned out super awesome. I'm learning! miss you! xoxophae