One of my favorite things about Fall is breaking out my crockpot. I love making recipes associated with cooler weather and one of my favorite days each Fall is the day I make my first pot of chili. This is one of the first things I ever made for my husband and he still requests it on a very regular basis. He gets especially excited when I get up on a Saturday morning and make a pot of chili to eat while we watch football.
There have been many incarnations of this chili over the years. Marcus and I like ours really spicy, but not everyone eats like that, so we often tone it down for company. Since my house is often full of college students, I tend to throw on a pot of chili about once a week to feed all of them. Now that Dean enjoys chili, we leave out some of the hot stuff and just add it to our individual bowls. Marcus decided once (several years ago) to make a batch himself. It was not ok. He used a packet of powdered taco seasoning instead of chili powder and cumin and the result was Salty McSalt-lick Chili that almost gave me a stroke. Then there was the year I decided to try and make chili that tasted exactly like they stuff they make at Wendy's. Not only did we get really tired of eating chili, I realized that Wendy's waters down their chili and got so grossed-out that I had to take a break from it. I have since reclaimed correct chili-making responsibilities. Here's my tried and true recipe. It's pretty simple and oh, so delicious.
GAME DAY CHILI
1 pound lean ground beef
1 can dark red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 small onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced (ok, I admit, I use 3 cloves, but we're crazy around here!
1 can Rotel Tomatoes (don't drain)
1 large can tomato sauce (add another small can if you want it really saucy)
2 tablespoons chili powder (more if you like)
1 tablespoon cumin (more or less to taste)
Dash hot sauce
Brown ground beef in pan with onion, bell pepper and garlic. Drain and place into crock pot. Place all other ingredients in crock pot and stir well. Cook at least 2 hours or until flavors have mingled. (I cook mine all day. The smell will kill you.) Serve piping hot, topped with cheese. Leftovers are delicious atop tortilla chips or rolled into burritos!