BASIC CHILI

BASIC CHILI

Spicy Mexican chili beans and deep red kidney beans simmered with plum tomatoes, sweet onion, green pepper and green chilies. Heartily seasoned with spice and herbs!

Makes 8 cups

2 T. margarine

2 T. olive oil

3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped

1 lg. sweet onion, diced

1 lg. green pepper, diced

4 oz. can diced green chilies

2, 28 oz. cans Italian plum tomatoes, drained, seeded and diced

15 oz. can chili beans (Bush’s brand is gluten-free)

15 oz. can dark red kidney beans

15 oz. can tomato sauce (Hunt’s brand is gluten-free)

1 T. mild chili powder

2 T. Worcestershire sauce

1 t. crushed dried rosemary

1 bay leaf

salt to taste

In large saucepan, over low heat, melt margarine with oil. Add garlic, and cook till softened.

Raise heat to medium; add onion and green pepper, and saute till partially wilted. Do not burn garlic.

Add remaining ingredients. Stir well and simmer, just below the boiling point, uncovered, for 45 minutes. Remove bay leaf, adjust for salt and serve.

Notes: If you serve this chili just after cooking it, the consistency will be a bit thinner, than if allowed to set for a while before serving. It tastes great either way, but if you prefer it thicker, then make it ahead and refrigerate for a couple hours before reheating to serve. As the chili sets, the hotness of the green chilies becomes more prominent.

Chili is one of those once a week meals that you just can’t do without – pleasantly addicting! Serve as a main dish accompanied by a salad of greens dressed with a homemade oil and vinegar dressing, or serve alone.

Yes, I seed the tomatoes for this chili, using only the tomato meats. It really does present a finer texture achievement.

Bay leaf, the aromatic leaf of the laurel plant, also an evergreen, varies somewhat in flavor and aroma depending upon the particular variety from which it is harvested. Shop around for a brand that you like; generally if it smells good it will taste good. But be wary of super pungent bay leaves. Their strong flavor and accentuated bitterness will ruin many recipes. To use, add whole then remove after cooking.

Rosemary, an evergreen shrub with short needles, makes an ideal home-grown herb, since it requires little care and can be grown outside year round. Crushing the needles before adding to a recipe eliminates the need to remove them after cooking. Unlike other herbs, evergreens do not accept moisture readily and often fail to soften sufficiently in the amount of cooking time the recipe calls for.

Chili powder is a blend of pulverized red pepper pods ranging in pungency from mild (sweet) to sharp (hot).

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