Lately I've been getting into experimenting with chili a lot. Before a couple of months ago I've never actually made chili. Growing up in Syracuse introduced me to the joy of eating steaming bowls of chili outdoors, among crowds of half-inebriated people. Every year The Cuse has a chili cook-off, where scores of local restaurants prepare and serve up free chili for everyone. There's live music, art vendors, and of course BEER TENTS! Although Syracuse was a pretty dark and dreary place (weather-wise), the community puts on a wide variety of cool, and free, downtown events. There was always something going on.
This chili is super easy, fast and filling. There are a lot of different chili powders out there to choose from, with various levels of hotness. Good chili is all about one's specific tastes. If you aren't used to lots of hot spice in your foods, start with the mildest chili you can find and be sparing. I've found the more I experiment with chili peppers, the more tolerant both my tongue and stomach become. In addition, I'm being opened up to a whole new world of taste sensations.
It's funny, the more I cook, the more I want to cook. I love the challenge of it. I love the never-ending variety of amazing foods one can create. And of course, I also love to eat:) With all the cultures around the world, you could really cook something different for every meal, for the rest of your life. That's just cool!
I've made about 5 different chili dishes just this month. Last week I made a kickin vegetarian chili and fed it to my coworkers at our holiday party. Less than a week before that I made a thick and hot pork chili that I rolled up in corn tortillas. This one here was super tasty, and the absolute easiest. Enjoy!
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 lb. ground beef
2 tsp. ground cumin
2-3 tsp. mild or hot chili powder
1 tsp. minced garlic
2 tbsp. gluten free flour (I used Arrowhead Mills)
3 cups (about 24 oz) canned chopped tomatoes
1 (15-ish oz) can red kidney beans
pinch of dried oregano (roll together in palm to crush up good)
pinch of brown sugar
salt and freshly ground pepper (according to taste)
Heat the oil in a large pan and brown the beef, breaking it up as it cooks.
Sprinkle on the cumin, chili powder, oregano, salt, pepper, sugar, garlic, and GF flour.
Stirring frequently, cook over medium heat for about 3 minutes.
Add the tomatoes and their liquid and let simmer 25-30 minutes.
Drain the kidney beans and add just before serving. Heat for another 5 minutes.