Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Stocking up for the Winter

Just wanted to share a few pics and a recipe from last year.  There’s something about big-batch make-ahead recipes that remind me of winter.  Specifically, it reminds me of woodland creatures hoarding food for the cold months.  But, just because I don’t sport paws and a furry tail, doesn’t mean I can’t take a page out of their book and stock up for cozy nights by the fire.
...clearly, I'm not the only one who feels this way.  Edited slightly from Facebook, but still 100% true... just wanted to protect the identity of my fellow squirrel.  See how lucky I am, to fit in so well with Hubs' family??
I love chili, which is a little strange.  I mean, sure, I love meat, onions, tomatoes, beans and spices… but I also love consistency.  My chili is ALWAYS different from batch to batch, mostly owing to my complete disregard for measuring.  A palmful of cumin here, a squeeze of sriracha there, a few cans of this, that or the other until it all comes together.  It always tastes good, but it’s also unique.  I made a pretty delicious version  back in November, with some for lunches that week and some frozen and saved for future dinners.

Some animals have a cave... I have a freezer.  I should probably make a smoothie out of that banana... it looks lonely.
 Now, I can't give you the recipe for this to a tee, obviously.  But, I'll try to give you a fair estimate.

Honeybee's Lazy Toss-it-in-the-Pot Chili
Hardly unique, but probably not published.  I don't think anyone can take credit.
Makes about 6-8 servings, I'd say.
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large white or yellow onion, chopped
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • About 1 lb (454g) extra lean ground beef
  • 2 bay leaves
  • About 1 Tbsp cumin
  • About 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • About 1 tsp cayenne
  • About 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • About 1 tsp salt
  • About 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 can (19 oz) black beans
  • 1 can (19 oz) kidney beans
  • 1 can (19 oz) chick peas
  • 1 can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can (28 oz) diced or whole tomatoes
  • Optional: sometimes, if I have some leftover canned corn, I'll toss that in too.
  • Also optional: I like to add about a tablespoon of Sriracha to the chili.  Then again, I like things spicy.  Add at your own risk... and yes, I'm aware that it's not even remotely Mexican.
  1.  Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a very large saucepan/dutch oven.  Saute onions and garlic until softened.  Add ground beef and cook until nicely browned, using a fork or the back of a wooden spoon to break the meat up into small pieces (you don't want big chunks).
  2. Add the spices to the meat, stirring well.  Keep frying the meat for just a minute or so more, to toast up the spices a bit.
  3. Add all the beans and tomatoes, as well as the Sriracha if you're using it.  Stir well.
  4. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover for 15-20 minutes or so.
  5. Serve!  It's good either with toast and margarine, or corn chips.  Neither if you're trying to be a bit healthier. 
I also stocked up by making a big pan of veggie lasagna and freezing individual pieces, so that's ready to go as well.  It really helps on nights when I don't feel like cooking anything, or when I don't have time to do anything but microwave before American Sign Language class.   And as the thermometer in Winnipeg drops below -30ºC, I think I'll be welcoming nice hearty chili more and more often!

Snuggling with a mug of tea and some disgruntled cats,

    1 comment:

    1. MMM Chili!! I made a HUGE batch of my own brand of toss-it-in-the-pot chili for 40 people last week!

      Personally, I think the corn should be a must :D

      -Seester #2