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A New Chili Recipe!

We love chili around here.  I crave it whenever the weather outside gets overcast and cold.

The recipe I normally use, I got from my friend Diane years ago.

I like it because it's simple.  I brown a pound of whatever ground meat I have around (my favorite is turkey or chicken) with a chopped onion.  When the meat is done, I dump in a can of hot chili beans and a can of either Rotel tomatoes, or just plain canned tomatoes.  I can make it feed more people by adjusting the number of cans of beans and tomatoes.  Then I just let it fester on the stove for however long I can stand to smell it and not dive in!

If I had one criticism of the recipe, it would be the thickness.  Sometimes I add a cornstarch slurry after it simmers for a while in order to tighten it up a bit.  I have also used equal parts flour and butter.  Both thickening methods work fine.

I was wandering around on Pinterest a few days ago, and I came across a blog entry on one of my favorite blogs, "Food Pusher" about making chili mix at home.  I know a lot of people buy the packets of chili seasoning mix at the store.  But I also know most mixes like that are full of preservatives, and mostly just salt.  I was very curious to see if the recipe for chile seasoning on Food Pusher would taste decent.  I was hoping it would.  I was thinking I could frankenstein the two recipes together to improve my own chili recipe.

It was a rousing success!  I followed the Food Pusher recipe with the following exceptions.....  I did not have dried basil (because I find it pointless), so I left it out.  I used a can of fire roasted diced tomatoes instead of tomato sauce, and I used a can of chili beans instead of regular beans.  I also used slightly less water because of the juice in the can of tomatoes.  As you can see in my crappy photo, I garnished mine with some guacamole.  Because I could.  You could also add chopped fresh cilantro, diced onions, sour cream, crushed tortilla chips, or whatever you want.

While I doubt I will make up the chili mix in advance (it's just as easy to measure the spices directly into the chili), I think the flavor profile was spot-on!  I did add additional hot sauce to my bowl, so I might add either some chipotle powder or maybe even a diced chipotle pepper to the mix next time.

Do you have a favorite chili recipe you use all the time?  If so, share!  I'm always looking for ways to tinker with my repeated recipes to make them better!

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