Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Chilly Weather Calls for Texas Chili!

No self-respecting Texas cook doesn't have a built-in (by memory) recipe for chili. We get it from our mothers...who got it from their mothers...who got it...well, I think you've got the picture. MOF, when I typed up my recipes for Jonathan, I forgot to type up my chili recipe. I told him that I would get it to him. He laughed. "Mama! I watched you and Daddy make it enough...I don't need it written down."

See! What'd I tell ya?

This is the raw stuff just starting. For you non-Texan cooks you are looking at one pound of ground beef, one chopped onion, two or three cloves of minced garlic.Let's take a break here. Do NOT purchase the ultra-lean stuff. You lose so much flavor! Go ahead and buy ground chuck. After it has browned, scoot it all to the handle end of your skillet and tip the skillet a bit. The grease will drain to the other side of the skillet. Spoon it off or wad up a paper towel, sop up the grease, carefully pick it up with a pair of tongs and drop the greasy towel into the trash. Use another paper towel if necessary.

While it is browning, salt and pepper to taste. After it has browned, add a tablespoon or two of chili powder to taste (I use Penzey' can purchase it online at Also stir in two or three tablespoons of flour. Almost forgot...I also add one to three teaspoons of cumin.

Pour in one can of diced tomatoes and a couple of cans of water. Stir. Bring to a boil. Let simmer for an hour to let all the flavors marry. Do the QC (Quality Control) thing a time or two. Check your seasonings...add more if necessary. Also, as it simmers, add more water if needed. Made with one pound of ground beef, this chili is beefy. I have made it with half a pound, but Sam prefers it beefy.

Now. Let's talk about tomatoes. Some Texas chili aficionados do not put tomatoes in their Texas-made chili...cause they say the chuck wagon cooks didn't have tomatoes. Well. I'm not a chuck wagon cook. And I like tomatoes. First husband, Jonathan's daddy, after several years of eating my chili decided he didn't want tomatoes in the chili. I tried that once. Bleh. So...I started whirring my tomatoes (back then they were from my garden and in the freezer) in the blender. He never caught on. Jonathan likes tomato products as long as the tomatoes aren't in big chunks. But I don't cook for him any more. ;o)

A sprinkle of cheddar/Monterrey cheese combination. A few saltine crackers (or if I'd thought about it in time, a pan of cornbread) and a glass of iced tea. Yeppers! In Texas we drink iced tea year round.

I made a quilt block today to send to a HGTV quilting forum member. One of our members has been diagnosed with cancer. Once the quilt is finished and delivered, she will be wrapped with healing love.

I don't remember where this cookbook came from. I think I purchased several to give for Christmas gifts and one for me several years ago.

I have several recipes checked, but this may be the only one I've used over and over so much and finally adapted to suit me.

Some of the other interesting recipes are:
Big Boy Cream of Broccoli Soup
The Cheesecake Factory Key Lime Cheesecake
Chili's Grill and Bar Peanut Buttercup Cheesecake
Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Hash Brown Casserole and Chicken & Dumplins
Lone Star Steakhouse & Saloon Texas Rice
Marie Callender's Banana Cream Pie
The Olive Garden Italian Salad Dressing and Hot Artichoke-Spinach Dip
Outback Steakhouse Bloomin' Onion and Gold Coast Coconut Shrimp
Pizza Hut Pizza Crust
Ruby Tuesday Potato Cheese Soup
Ruth's Chris Steak House Creamed Spinach and Potatoes Au Gratin
T.G.I. Friday's Nine-Layer Dip

Can't believe I haven't tried them yet. Perhaps this browsing through my cookbooks will get the creative juices going again. That coconut shrimp sounds soooo good!


JessicaSews said...

Mmmmmm! Chili looks yummy!

I saw a book similar to yours in the library - I'll borrow it next time I'm in there!
I just got a bunch of potatoes ready to make Cheesy Baked Potato soup, it's the kids favorite - I see you've got a couple good soup recipes in that cookbook! And, coconut shrimp...mmmmmmm!

Flowers said...

Nice blog. It looks yummy. I love the header image of your blog showing flowers. Keep it up the good work. Cheers :)

Kar said...

I know what I'm making for dinner tonight! Thanks for the idea! I've got the same recipe book and love it! Made quite a few things from there and they are all good.


Sherry said...

Tonight was fresh baked bread, crispy fried bacon, and a blind-folded or basted egg (same degree of doneness as over easy). Oh so good!

Flowers, thank you for your new comment.

elsie123 said...

Every food dish you show always looks so yummy! Keep 'em coming. :)