Chili: Is it a Fall Tradition in Sedalia?
Kids, you and I both know it's getting a little cooler out there. You know how it goes: one day it's 95 degrees in the shade, and then whammo, it's 55 degrees and you need a jacket.
I do the Community Calendar thing around here. It's basically a segment where I list off some local events that are going down, and how people can learn more about them. I do it on the air and on our website so people can get all the details. I recently got some new flyers for Chili and Soup dinners coming up next week (check out the calendar to see which one you want to go to, or all of em!).
I suppose it's just the time of year, but for some reason around here, Sedalians love their chili when it gets around October. There are chili dinners left right and center just about every weekend from now through the end of the month.
Everybody has their own method of making the perfect chili. My dad likes his a little on the cool side with crackers and cheese. My sister likes it with big ol' meaty chunks of hamburger in it. Me, I like it hot, I like it spicy, and I like it varied (....that's what she said?). So, I thought I'd share my favorite chili recipe, and you can try it for yourself sometime. Or, you can leave me a comment and tell me yours! I also like that this recipe is one of those "set it and forget it" ones, so it takes about five minutes to put everything together.
Here are your ingredients:
- 2 pounds ground turkey
- 1 large white onion, chopped (I do mine really really small)
- 4 garlic cloves, minced (if you wanna use garlic powder, just use half a teaspoon or so)
- 2 cans chili beans, undrained (sometimes I'll use one can of chili beans, and one of kidney beans, just to mix it up a little)
- 2 cans tomato sauce
- 1-1/2 cups beef broth
- 2 to 3 tablespoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
- Dash cayenne pepper
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
I also like to have some chives or chopped green onion to put on the top, with some extra cheese.
- Cook the turkey, onion and garlic over medium heat until the meat is no longer pink and then drain. You can break it up however you like, but I like to have the pieces a little on the small side. If you need to, you might put the turkey in a colander with a paper towel to get rid of any extra grease. Sometimes, if I'm feeling like more of a crunch, I'll wait to put the onions in the Crock Pot in the last fifteen to twenty minutes of cooking. If you don't want to use an onion, you can substitute onion powder and mix it in with the turkey.
- Use a Crock Pot or a big pot to add the rest of the ingredients. I like to butter the bottom first. Put it all in there and mix it up as best you can. Let it cook for about an hour on high heat. After that you might bring it down to medium or low, depending on your personal preference. Make sure you stir it up every five or ten minutes.
Then, all ya gotta do is put a little salt and pepper to your taste. Like I say, I like to put some green onions and extra cheese on the top. If you want, you can change the meat around and put in something else like hamburger or sausage, but I like to use turkey just because it's a slightly leaner meat. While chili isn't exactly a calorie conscious food, it's good to cut a little corner every now and then.
Some people might not like the super spice of it, so one thing you can do to tone it down is to take the seeds out of the jalapeno and don't use 'em. The seeds are the thing that really makes it hot. But, if you're gonna mess around with that you might wanna put on some gloves to be safe and not feel the heat in your hands.
And there you have it! Another cooking escapade with the girl that hardly ever cooks. I like to think that I save my skills for special occasions, but really I'm mostly just lazy. This is a great way to make some chili and warm yourself up for a cool fall weekend. For a family of four, this should last you about four days or so.