Chili is one of those foods I can change up with my mood, the ingredients in the cupboard, the time I have, etc. My absolute favorite is my 24 Hour Chili, because the extended cooking time does so much for the flavor. That is one of those recipes I like to keep handy in individual servings in the freezer. Great when I don't wanna cook. Sadly for me, I don't always have that in the freezer. Like today, when the cold rainy weather made me crave a good bowl of red.
Checking my cupboard, I discover that I MIGHT have all the ingredients for a quick pot. Forget the long slow simmer today. I am hungry. I put the lunch items I packed for hubby back in the fridge. I will eat those another day. That is what happens when chili calls. Fortunately, since he is happily dining on my orginal planned meal, I can sneak in some ingredients he won't eat. Ha! I go digging for the can of Rotel tomatoes with chilies. I always buy that, despite knowing my husband threatens to call the fire department when I add it to a recipe. Even when I dilute it with lots of other ingredients, he breaks out in a sweat. He won't be eating today, so I reach for the can opener.
This chili is thick. Really thick, because I have half a can of pumpkin leftover from a Rumple I made for dinner last night. (Remember Rumple from the November Diner News? It is nice and spicy too.) I must be on a roll with the spiciness, poor hubby. Maybe it is hormones? I love adding pumpkin to my chili because it adds a touch of sweetness and makes it look more like those cans of Wolf brand I remember from my single days. Sad to admit but yes, I would eat chili straight from the can back in college and my early working days. Who would have thought that girl would ever write a cookbook?
This is easy to throw together, and easy to change ingredients around to suit your tastes. Almost everything here is a cupboard staple. It is hard to go wrong with chili. .Never made a bad one. Never won a chili cook-off either, though. Oh well, suits me.
1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
1/2 chopped onion
10 oz. can Rotel type tomatoes with green chilies
1 cup pumpkin puree
6 oz. can of tomato paste
2 cups water or beef broth
1 1/2 tbsp chili powder ( mine was guajillo, but you can choose milder)
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp powdered Mexican oregano
1/2 tsp salt or to taste
Chop onion. Brown onion and beef in a dutch oven. Drain fat if not using a lean grind of beef. Stir in tomatoes, pumpkin and tomato paste. Slowly add the can of water while stirring. Add spices and cocoa. Simmer at least 30 minutes. Check salt and serve.
The leftovers are going into the freezer so the next day I am on my own for lunch, this will be a no brainer meal that will make me happy. For more ideas on what to do with lots of chili, check this post. Come to think of it, maybe a chili stuffed omelet would be good tomorrow morning.
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