|You don't have to look to closely at this, because you'll see the same photo again at the end...|
The recipe that we were working off of for the first batch of chili - the one that went to work with Christopher - looked something like this:
|Definitely more than the 4 ingredients of my mom's chili, but - believe it or not - still fewer than the other recipe we'd found.|
|The thing in the lower right is a poblano pepper that I roasted over one of the burners of our gas stove, and then peeled.|
|This was actually the set-up for batch two. The ingredient list from batch one was being used for reference and modification.|
We started with a bunch of chopping. Onion, poblano, jalapeño, and ancho. (Did you know that ancho chiles are simply dried poblanos?)
|The first time through this recipe, we used two large onions, but the result was a little sweeter than we'd have liked, so we went with just one onion this time.|
|See the new recipe being written as we went along?|
|I think this photo looks upside down.|
|Honestly, at this point, you could have about given up and walked away. The house already smelled amazing.|
Meanwhile we fried up the ground beef and bacon in a separate pan (in part to keep from getting all the extra fat in the chili).
|Who else just wants to dive into that with a fork?|
A quart of beef stock goes in with the veg, and it all simmers so that the flavor really blends.
|For once - an action shot that I didn't have to juggle the camera for !|
|This is kind of a personal choice moment. I really like more stuff in my chili. So I would have left it all in - and I may not have been overly careful in straining...|
|I suspect that this is the photo where we completely lose the interest of any vegetarian or vegan who might have made it this far.|
Next stop: two 28oz cans of tomatoes. These could be whole (though you'd want to break them up a bit while stirring) or diced. We chose diced.
|That's not my hand!|
But then the beef stock went back in along with some garlic...
...followed by a bunch of spices... (This is the point in the recipe where my mom would say it's time to "tart it up" - spices and spice levels are up to the person putting them in.)
|Based on our notes, I believe this photo has 6 tbsp of Chili powder, 1/2 tsp each of Coriander, Cumin, and Cloves, and 1 tbsp of Cinnamon.|
|Let's just say "a whole bunch" of both black and white pepper.|
|That's 1 Bay leaf, on top of 2 tbsp of Paprika, 1 tbsp of Cayenne, 1 tsp of Thyme, and 2 tbsp of Brown Sugar.|
Honestly, at this point, once it warms through you'd be done.
But if you'd prefer it to be thicker and less soup-y, you can leave it on the stove to simmer and eventually the liquid level will slowly go down.
And, slightly more eventually, you can ladle yourself a bowl of chili and put a dollop of sour cream on top.
|I feel kind of bad that I didn't get any better final pictures of this. It was a much prettier bowl of chili than the photo belies.|
As I mention in the second video, I know that this isn't exactly a "recipe" post - it's more of an idea post. But if you start with the basics - meat, tomatoes, and spices - you're on your way to making your house smell amazing - as well as making yourself a really satisfying dinner.
So, is chili a cozy food for you? If not, what is? Minnesota winters get pretty long, so I'd love to know what's on your list!