Thursday, April 2, 2009
If Picasso Made Chili
My hairdresser, who also happens to be my best friend, is fond of saying "an artist can't paint the same picture twice." And that is her typical response when I request that she "cut it JUST LIKE you did the last time." We both know that this is her little way of telling me that she can't flippin' remember how she cut it the last time. Too many other heads of hair have been through her fingers since she last cut my own, and it really is unfair for me to expect her to remember exactly how she cut it. I get that. Cooking can be the same way, especially if a dish has been prepared without an actual written or memorized recipe. My daughter-in-law has asked me several times for my chili recipe. I always respond, "which one?" Each time I make it, it's different. Oh sure, some of the basic ingredients are consistent, but inevitably one thing or another changes from batch to batch. Changes keep the menu interesting, to be sure, but it does tend to come back and bite you in the rear when someone says, "Make that JUST LIKE you did the last time."
So this is my artistic rendering of chili, the way I (the Kitchen Picasso) was moved to create it today.
1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
2 tsps olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 stalk celery (with leaves) diced
1 bell pepper, diced
salt and pepper
pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 (14 1/2 oz) cans of crushed tomatoes (I used Muir Glen fire roasted tomatoes)
1 can condensed tomato soup
1 cup beef broth
2-3 cups beans of your choice (I used some previously cooked red beans that I had in the freezer)
3 Tbsp chili powder
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp smoked paprika
In soup pot brown ground beef seasoned with salt and pepper. Drain and set aside.
Heat olive oil in pot. Add onion, celery and bell pepper. Season with salt and pepper and saute for 3-5 minutes. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and saute for another minute or two.
Add reserved ground beef back into pot along with tomatoes, tomato soup and beef broth. Stir in beans and seasonings. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally. (This also works great in the crock pot on low for 4-6 hours)