Sunday, September 27, 2009

Chili and other ramblings

Veggie Chili and other ramblings

So listen, Is there anything better than a bowl of Chili now that the weather is starting to tease us with cold temps? You make a huge pot, freeze a few containers for later or to share with others, and there you have it! Supper that is healthy and good tasting-what could be better?

Today, I am home and gone-busy driving, etc. day. Drove our overnight guest, SGS to Sunday School for 9am class, stopped at SM with a mum, and some other things from our Farmer’s Market trip yesterday with SGS, unfortunately, she had gone to an earlier Mass, so no visit. I did see a new sign today in a Pawn Shop window “Gift Certificates bought”. Unique new business.
Stopped at Mass on the way home, nice to have a wonderful Pastor for our Priest, you really feel “filled” when you leave.
Then, drove SS to meet his Dad and Uncle for a Buffalo Bill’s 4pm football game, this was only 12:30, but can not get to Ralph Wilson Stadium late! (The stadium is really called “THE RALPH” by most WNY fans and others, and sometimes when the Bills are really doing poorly, it has the other meaning: ralph as in to hurl). We had rain a few times already today, so convinced/made SS wear his waterproof pants to keep his coolou (read as fanny) dry and take a rain jacket. Not well received, but parenthood is not for wimps.
Then I made veggie chili (recipe at bottom of this post), picture above is ingredients in the pan before the simmering started.

I will pick up SS after the game at our half-way point meeting place, Alton’s Restaurant on Transit near Seneca Street. They have a huge parking lot, and the best salads, my fav is Tuscan Chicken, it is really well balanced with walnuts, dried cranberries, baby greens, and well marinated/grilled chicken breast. I always can get another full meal with the leftovers that I take home. While waiting in the parking lot, I usually take something to read, but once it get’s dark earlier, I just search through the radio stations for anything non-sports to peak my interest while I am waiting. The parking lot has other cars there who use it as a “Park and Ride” lot with friends. If the Bills have won, oh baby, a happy crowd, beeping horns as they pull away, laughing, lovin’ life. If the Bills lose, deep despair is so visible, very quiet as they move chairs, grills, coolers from the transport car to their vehicles. It is really so interesting how much the fans are affected, and it carries over to water-cooler conversations the next day. A football game loss seems to be a physical and emotional problem instead of a game.
Here is that recipe, if you try it, please let me know.

Veggie Chili:

-In large heavy pan, heat on high:
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp Canola Oil
1 large white or yellow onion, chopped fine
3 peppers chopped into 1 inch pieces
(red, green, yellow looks nice, but any you have is fine)
-Cook for ten minutes, stirring every few minutes, do not let burn.
2 packages of dry Chili seasoning
1 tsp. Dried Cumin
-Do not add liquid yet, cook on low heat for 5 minutes to infuse the onions and peppers with the seasonings. Watch and stir so it doesn’t burn.
-Add (all undrained, about 14.5 ounce cans):
1 can corn kernels
1 can black beans
1 can butter beans
1 can dark red beans
3 cans sliced stewed tomatoes with onions, chilies (break tomatoes apart before adding)
1 tbsp minced garlic
-Stir well, cover and cook for two hours on low, stirring about every 45 mins., then uncover and cook for additional hour, being sure to scrape the brown bits off the sides into the chili when stirring-that is where the seasonings are hiding.

You can vary this many ways, brown some ground turkey, chicken, or my family favorite is chicken Italian sausage meat, while you cook onions and peppers.
Use whatever beans your family likes, add a jar of salsa for extra flavor and use whatever heat strength your family will tolerate!
If you prefer thicker chili, add 1 can of creamed corn during last half hour of cooking or a small can of tomato paste and be sure to remove cover.
You can make this in crock pot, just transfer from saute pan to crock pot before adding all the cans,and add a can of tomato paste and cook on low for 5 or 6 hours.
I sometimes brown meat and onions, etc and freeze in bags the size of one batch. Then, I can just defrost that bag and use as a quick starter, heat before beginning, using microwave if making in crock pot.

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