October is National Chili Month. A hearty chili can be a filling and nutritious one-pot meal that usually can be made with ingredients you have on hand. While most chili starts with a basic base of meat and tomatoes, some can be very complex with vegetables, beans and other ingredients. Here are a few tips to help you enjoy a healthful pot of chili:
1 . When preparing chili, make sure you wash your hands frequently as you handle hot peppers. If you have sensitive skin, you may want to wear gloves. Be very careful not to touch your eyes, mouth or nose until you have thoroughly washed your hands.
2 . Choose lean cuts of meat and add lots of beans. Try adding different types of beans such as black, small red beans, kidney beans and pinto beans. If using canned beans, drain and rinse these before adding to the pot.
3 . Add whole grains such as barley or serve chili over brown rice.
4 . Add extra vegetables. Onions, bell pepper, zucchini, squash, shredded carrots and celery make wonderful additions to your pot of chili.
5 . Limit high-fat additions such as cheese, sour cream, and corn chips. A little of any of these is all you need to add a little extra flavor to your chili.
Mouth-watering Chili :
4 slices thick-cut apple smoked bacon, diced
3/4 pound chicken breast , cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 tablespoon chipotle chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon Emil's Southwest Seasoning, (recipe below )
2 medium onions, diced
1/2 red bell pepper , diced
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
1 (14-ounce) can petite diced tomatoes, with juices
4 cups chicken broth
3 cups water, plus more if needed
1 pound dried pinto beans, rinsed and picked over
3-1/2 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 teaspoon prepared yellow mustard
Emil's Southwest Seasoning:
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons paprika
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 . In a heavy Dutch oven over medium-high heat, cook the bacon until the fat is completely rendered and the bacon is crisp, 4 to 6 minutes. Remove the bacon using a slotted spoon and set on the side. Add the cubed chicken, chili powder, cumin, and Southwest Essence to the hot rendered fat in the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until the meat is well browned, 4 to 6 minutes.
2 . Add the onions, bell pepper, garlic and oregano and cook until soft, about 4 minutes. Add the tomatoes,broth, water and beans and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, partially cover the pot, and cook, stirring occasionally, until meat and beans are tender and sauce is thick and flavorful, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
3 . (TIP : add more liquid if the sauce gets too thick before the beans are tender.)
4 . When the beans are tender and sauce is thickened, add the brown sugar, ketchup, and mustard and cook until thick and flavors have come together, about 20 to 30 minutes longer.
Emil's Southwest Seasoning:
Combine all ingredients thoroughly.
Yield: 1/2 cup
Words of Wisdom :
For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.
People who think they know everything are a great annoyance to those of us who do.
Life is a dream for the wise, a game for the fool, a comedy for the rich, a tragedy for the poor.
Life is a song - sing it. Life is a game - play it. Life is a challenge - meet it. Life is a dream - realize it. Life is a sacrifice - offer it. Life is love - enjoy it.
A proud grandpoppa G.