Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Spicy Chili

Or "fice-y" as Eileigh pronounces it. I love it when she says it- that and "opie-meal" (oatmeal). :) I was quite pleased with my efforts in making this huge batch of chili. I combined a few different recipes as well as money saving options. Primarily that would be using dried beans (that I soaked and cooked) and also making this a meatless chili. To be honest I have always been a fairly intense meatatarian but lately I've been focusing on eating less-meat if not being meatless altogether. I loved how this turned out since the bulgur has great flavor and texture; I don't miss the meat at all! For all the die-hard meat enthusiasts, just swap the bulgur for a pound or two of ground beef and brown the meat with the onion and garlic. Due to the 1/4 c. of chili powder the heat might be a little warm on the tastebuds but a good dollop of sour cream and some shredded cheddar cheese will tame it down nicely. Eileigh ate a big bowl and didn't seem to mind a bit!

Spicy Chili

1 c. dried kidney beans
1 c. dried black beans
1 c. dried pinto beans

Soak beans overnight in water 2-3 inches above beans and covered in individual containers. The next day place beans and water in Dutch oven or large soup pot and bring to a boil. Cover and boil 1-2 hrs. until beans are tender. (You may need to add more water as it cooks; check occasionally). Drain in colander.

Meanwhile in medium bowl, pour
2 c. boiling water over
3/4 c. bulgur
Cover and let sit 30 minutes.

Next, saute in same Dutch oven/soup pot:
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
4-5 garlic cloves, minced
(1-2 lbs. ground beef if you aren't using the bulgur)

When onions/garlic tender (and meat browned), add:
2 cans (15 oz) tomato sauce
2 cans (14-1/2 oz) diced tomatoes (or petite diced)
1-3/4 c. water
2 bay leaves
1/4 c. chili powder (less if you don't want it as spicy... or just use it as an excuse to double up on the sour cream)
1 Tblsp. EACH salt, brown sugar, dried basil, Italian seasoning, dried thyme and black pepper
1 tsp. EACH dried oregano and dried marjoram
cooked beans
cooked bulgur
Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 45 minutes. Serve with sour cream and shredded cheddar cheese. Makes: about 12 cups

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