Most families that I know here, have some kind of Chili con Carne recipe, known simply as chili here. In fact, it is something that they can put together intuitively without referring to any set recipe. Through practise and experience, it just gets better. It is also one of those dishes that can be made on short notice as most people would have the ingredients in the pantry and freezer.
Chili is a real crowd pleaser. Many a potluck and gathering feature this ever popular dish. There are even office and community chili cook-outs with a prize for the best chili. It can be eaten with with tacos, corn chips, bread, and crackers. Often times, it is used as a sauce over hotdogs and burgers.
I like to serve it with tomato rice, salsa, and a black bean and corn salad. Garnishes include shredded cheese, lettuce, slices of tomatoes, and sour cream. A side of corn chips completes the meal.
Through the years I have adjusted the recipe to make it my own. Ro-Ri San came home one day from an office chili cookout and suggested adding a little cooking chocolate to give the chili a richer, deeper flavor. Since then, I was told that others considered chocolate a “secret” ingredient…..shhhhh! It all makes sense as chocolate and peppers were ancient Mexican ingredients. Today, cocoa chili blends can be found in spice jars.
- 1 lb (450g) extra lean ground beef
- 2 tbsp canola oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely sliced
- 1 tsp McCormick chili seasoning
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp cumin
- ½ tsp dried basil
- ¼ tsp pepper
- 1 can (15.5 oz/440g) dark red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 can (14.5 oz/410g)) diced tomato
- 1 can (8oz/227g) tomato sauce
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp salt (or to taste)
- 1 oz semi-sweet baking chocolate
- 2 cups (400g) long grain rice, rinsed and drained
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 cup diced tomatoes with juice
- 2 cups (480ml) water
- 1 cup (140g) frozen green peas
- 1 tsp salt
In a large medium pot, heat oil. Sauté onion, garlic, and jalapeno peppers until tender. Add beef and cook until lightly brown. Add chili seasoning, paprika, cumin, basil, and pepper.
Stir in kidney beans, diced tomatoes, and tomato sauce. Bring to a boil, add sugar, salt, and chocolate. Reduce heat and let simmer for 30 minutes. If it gets too thick, add ½ cup water.
In a pot, add olive oil. Sauté onions and garlic until soft. Add cumin and rice, stir to mix well with onions and garlic, about 2 minutes.
Pour in diced tomatoes and water. Bring to a boil, add green peas and salt. Reduce heat and let it simmer for 10 to 15 minutes or until all water is absorbed.
Turn heat down to the lowest setting and leave pot on stove for another 5 minutes. Turn off heat, remove pot. Let sit for 10 minutes. Serve warm.
NOTE: This post was updated on September 20th, 2013 with new pictures.
Enjoy…..and have a wonderful day!