Some of our close friends recently returned from Puerto Rico for the holiday. They went on a three week trip so I have missed seeing them! I wanted to get everyone together so we could talk about their trip – and I still had some Christmas presents to give out! I’m always very impatient for people to open presents that I give them. Giving is definitely better than receiving!
I was trying to come up with some dinner ideas that everyone would like as two of our friends are vegetarians. Andrew and I 99% of the time eat meat with our dinner because he hates everything that even looks like a vegetable. I suggested chili. It’s very filling and it would be easy for me to make half of it without meat. But then I thought some more and said aloud, “Though, anyone can make chili.” He replied, “No one makes chili like you do.” Deadpan, serious face.
I couldn’t help but laugh. I don’t feel like I make amazing chili, but I do think it’s pretty good, if I say so myself. My recipe has slowly evolved over time. I started with my mom’s recipe, but found it too bland (I like mine spicy!) so I took some pieces of other recipes and added in a few ingredients of my own.
What I like about this recipe is that it is really easy, and doesn’t take very long to prepare. To make it vegetarian, obviously leave out the meat.
- 4 cans of chili beans
- 1 can of rotel
- Two large tomatoes, chopped (or one can of diced tomatoes)
- 1 lb of beef
- 1 chili seasoning packet
- Dash of chili powder
- Dash of crushed red peppers
- ½ green bell pepper, diced
- ½ red bell pepper, diced
- ½ yellow bell pepper, diced
- 1 onion
Start by browning the beef with the onions and peppers. You can use the whole pepper if you prefer, but I think half of each pepper is a good ratio. (I always freeze the remaining to use later!) When cooked, drain the meat and add in the chili beans. Add in the can of Rotel, undrained. Add in the tomatoes — either the one can of diced tomatoes or the fresh tomatoes. I try to do fresh, but sometimes I forget to pick some up at the store so I use the can.
I then fill each can (the four chili cans the Rotel can) about halfway with water and dump into the pot. This gets all the extra juice out of the cans. However if you like your chili thicker, add less water. If you like it thinner, add more.
I add a dash of chili powder and a dash of crushed red peppers to make it a little more spicy. The can of Rotel already gives it a bit of a kick, so this gives it a bit more. If you don’t like spicy foods, then skip these seasonings. It tastes fine without. You may want to add more if it’s not spicier. Always taste.
Stir everything together real good and let it cook for about ten to fifteen minutes. Or until you can’t wait any longer to eat it because it smells so good. That usually is what we do, haha!
I always serve chili with corn chips, crackers, and cheese. Andrew is weird and likes to add salsa. Sometimes I like to add hotdogs to my chili, but maybe I’m the weird one. Chili is perfect for chilly winter days cozied up with friends!