By Faith Zaki
If you’re a foodie, ‘sweater weather’ means more to you than just another cozy Bill Cosby sweater and some combat boots. You know that the crisp autumn air, splendorous foliage and slowly waning daylight are only signs of the progressively worse weather to come. So rather than enjoy the weather outside, you are busy in the kitchen preparing. Preparing for the long, long, long winter ahead. My favorite food to combat the cold and stay healthy is my mum’s chili. A hardy meal, ‘Crack’ Chili is meant for meat lovers. I also love ‘Crack’ Chili because it is easy to make and perfect for picky eaters who don’t like goopy chunks of tomatoes and peppers.
My Mum’s Not-So-Secret Recipe:
1 pound ground beef (Note: I try and stay healthy by using a low fat 90/10 ground beef mix, but if you are looking for more beefy flavor you can opt for something more like 80/20.)
2 teaspoons chili powder (Tip: Spices are expensive, but splurging on one or two you will use frequently is worth the better flavor.)
½ package of frozen corn (Tip: Do not defrost before using.)
1 can Bush’s brand Mexican Fiesta Black Beans
1 (14-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium beef broth (Tip: Swanson brand makes exactly 14 oz. cans).
1 (8 – ounce) can of tomato paste
1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
Sour cream or shredded cheese (optional)
Sliced green onions (optional)
Combine beef and chili powder blend in a large Dutch oven. Cook about 6 minutes over medium-high heat until beef is browned, stirring to crumble. (Optional: Drain and return to pan.) (Tip: If you want some really spicy chili, add some finely chopped hot peppers and garlic – if you do this do not drain the beef).
Stir in frozen corn, beans, broth (Tip: Do not add broth all at once, you only need to add until the texture matches your taste. I usually used about 1 cup.), tomato paste, and tomato sauce; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes. Uncover and simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Ladle chili into bowls. Top each serving with sour cream and onions, if desired. Enjoy!
Photo: Faith Zaki