|Margarita's Party Recipes|
I wanted to make a vegetarian entree that would be a crowd pleaser and one of the suggestions I got was a chili. Despite having lived in the US for so long, I'd never made one (I don't like beans so I also don't eat it) and I thought it'd be a great opportunity to do it. I found this recipe for a great vegetarian chili at allrecipes.com and decided to make it.
A couple of hours into the slow cooking, I got a call from my vegetarian guest saying that she couldn't make it to the party. I decided then to add meat to the chili, as I knew my other guests would prefer it. It worked out quite well, probably as it still cooked for several hours after I made it.
The recipe below is how I would have made it had I known to add the meat from the beginning. It cuts the step of cooking the meat separately. Other than that, everything is what I did. I used both kidney beans and baked beans because after I added the former I realized that the beans-to-vegetable ratio was too low, and the only beans I could find at home were baked beans. To make things easier for me, I chopped all the vegetables (save the onion) in the food processor. I added chili powder to taste (Mike's), you may want to start with 1 tablespoon and add more as you go. I cooked the stew on the crock-pot on low for 10 hours the first day and then reheated it and cooked it for 3 hours the second day, but if you don't have as much time, you can skip the crock pot and simmer it on the stove for 1-2 hours.
Mike was very happy with the chili and he said he'd want it again.
Chili con Carne
4 slices of bacon, chopped 1 onion, chopped 3 cloves garlic, minced 1 lb ground beef 3 carrots, chopped 1 green bell pepper, chopped 1 red bell pepper, chopped 1 jalapeņo chili, seeded and chopped 3 stalks celery, chopped 2 tbsps. chili powder or to taste 8 oz fresh mushrooms, chopped 1 28 oz can chopped tomatoes, with liquid 2 15 oz cans kidney beans, with liquid 1 15 oz can baked beans 1 oz can while kernel corn, with liquid 1 tbsp. cumin 2 tsp. oregano 2 tsp. dried basil
Fry bacon in a large saucepan over medium heat, stirring to make sure it doesn't burn. When the bacon starts to get crispy add the chopped onions and stir fry until golden. Add the garlic and fry for a couple of minutes. Add the ground beef and brown. Add the carrots and cook until tender.
Add the peppers, celery and two tablespoons of chili powder. Stir and cook until the vegetables are tender. Add the mushrooms, stir and cook for four more minutes. Add the tomatoes, beans and corn and stir. Add the cumin, oregano and basil and stir again.
Transfer the chili into a large slow cooker, and cook on low for 8-10 hours. Remove, transfer to a large cooking pot and refrigerate overnight.
Two to three hours before severing, reheat the chili on the stovetop, bring to a boil and let simmer uncovered on low, stirring occasionally. Taste the chili and add more chili powder if needed. If the chili is too liquid for your taste, bring to a rapid boil and boil off extra liquid, stirring as necessary.