It was that kind of night. A pretty bad week, actually a really bad week, on all fronts. Andie’s mom passed away, no movement on the job front, I found out they’re slaughtering my call-in show concept at the station … just a bad week all the way around. So it was a night for comfort food.
I love chili. My mom made chili very well. My chili is very much like hers. It’s very basic, just a few primary ingredients, and then its all about the flavors.
I started out with about a pound each of ground beef and ground pork, browned and drained. The drained is very important, or the chili will be too greasy. I coarsely chopped a medium onion and about 4 cloves of garlic, added some kosher salt, and let it go for a few minutes.
There are two things chili can’t be without, IMO. One is chili powder, the other is cumin. I put generous doses of both in with the browned meat. I also added mustard powder and and smoked paprika.
To that, I added two cans of red kidney beans, a can of diced tomatoes, a can of tomato sauce, and a 12 oz beer. I chose a Kalik … it’s what I have the most of in my garage fridge.
Then, I started seasoning to taste. More chili powder and cumin. Kinda lots of both, but don’t go overboard. You can always add more. You can’t take any out. In smaller amounts I added chipotle chili powder and some habenero pepper sauce.
That’s about it. Lid it up and let it simmer for as long as you like. Pretty much the longer the better.
Andie had her’s straight up. I added shredded cheese to mine. And a slice of a sea salt and rosemary bread toasted in the oven.
It’s classic comfort food … at least for me. On a chilly night, even in Northeast Florida, a warm bowl of chili seems to be just perfect.
2008 is drawing to a less than satisfactory close. I know better than to say 2009 HAS to be better than 2008 … simply because every time we even think such things something else seems to go wrong. We got the bill for re-piping the Aquatic Gardens house today. I don’t know where the money’s going to come from. Well, I do know, but the safety net is getting stretched more and more thinly. What I was planning to use should I not have a job before the severance runs out is being spent on that house … and god knows if we’ll be able to sell the place and re-coup all of the repairs and improvements we’ve made. At least in a reasonable amount of time.
So, plenty of trials. A hot bowl of chili won’t solve anything … but it certainly makes for a nice refuge in a very hectic life.