If chili makes your throat burn and your eyes water and your brow sweat, you need Jim Hillibish’s Not So Alarming Chili recipe — tonight.
Happy chili season to all. Have a big bowl of red — tonight.
No, wait, we’re talking chili. We’re talking at least a day’s labor to shop the 30-ingredient recipe, assemble it and simmer it at least eight hours, maybe more. This is hardly a doable prep time for tonight.
Still, the longings for chili persist. It’s fall and the wind is blowing. The air is clear, and the birds are flocking for the trip South. If that doesn’t perk your chili buds, nothing will.
We here at the paper don’t need to look outside to realize chili time is upon us. We suddenly start getting e-mail recipe requests, usually starting: “Jim, I cut out your chili recipe in 1989, but our beagle ate it. Could you send it to me?”
A good chili recipe is unforgettable. I’ve found some folks like to read the recipes and don’t even make them. They must have finely tuned imaginations. The most widely misplaced recipes are for that bane of all true-blood chili lovers, the mild chili.
There’s nothing wrong with mild chili. We trade depth of flavor and pepper heat for a rapid, satisfying change of pace that only chili can provide.
To start off this year’s chili campaign, here’s a Not So Alarming Chili that takes about 10 minutes to prepare (with an electric can opener) and about 45 minutes to cook.
Amazing. Less than an hour for chili. And yes, it’s very mild, even kid safe. Serve with a bottle of hot sauce for the rest. And of course, the Red Hot Chili Peppers on the stereo.
NOT SO DARNED ALARMING CHILI2 medium onions, chopped 1 green pepper, diced 2 tablespoons olive oil 1/2 cup canned corn kernels, drained 2 pounds boneless sirloin, chopped, or ground beef 2 cans stewed tomatoes, chopped, undrained 1 small can green chili peppers, chopped and undrained 15 ounces tomato purée 1/2 cup ketchup 2 tablespoons chili powder 1/4 teaspoon black pepper Tomato juice 2 cans red kidney beans, drained
Sauté the onions and green pepper in the oil in a chili pot. Add the meat and lightly brown. Drain off the fat.
In the same pot, add remaining ingredients except the beans. Simmer uncovered for 30 minutes. Add tomato juice to adjust thickness to your desire. Then add beans and simmer for 15 minutes. Make bake cornbread or baking-powder biscuits as it cooks.
Serves six. Note: Chili always is better served the next day, so keep some for leftovers.
Contact Jim Hillibish at email@example.com.