I’m back! September 2011 has truly been one of the busiest months of my life. Between summer school finals, transitioning into a new school year, and taking a leadership role for my sorority’s recruitment (what’s up nine hours a day spent with ninety girls for three weeks), blogging has sadly taken a backseat in my life, and I’m feeling kind of guilty about it. There were obviously moments of downtime in the past month, but the truth is I have hardly touched a pot or pan since the last time I blogged. Coming home from recruitment I was so exhausted that the thought of cooking made me cry a little inside (this means I was REALLY tired – because seriously, I usually love to cook no matter what the situation). I will be honest – I subsisted off of Trader Joe’s salads and VENTI ICED COFFEES (written in caps to demonstrate my new found love for caffeine) in the past few weeks. Not complaining because for reals they are bomb, but as a self proclaimed foodie I have higher expectations for myself.
The transition from September to October has brought on a lot of things. My last recruitment is over, and it was a weird/bittersweet feeling knowing that I’ll never go through that again. Last week was my last first time getting ready to go out with my friends, and it also marked my first (and probably last) time doing karaoke to “Tiny Dancer” at the Davis bars. I know these are the first of many “lasts” for me, so excuse me if I get a little sentimental on here once in a while.
Another change October has brought is the weather and I am kind of excited about it. September is the hottest, most miserable month in Davis (I don’t deal with extreme weather well), and now that it is October it is currently drizzly and gray outside, and I don’t hate it. While I did adjust to lighter summer cooking, I am beyond looking forward to indulging in some more hearty meals (like SOUP! I love soup) to match the weather.
I have been wanting to make chili for the longest time, but the temperatures constantly at around 95 degrees prevented me from making that dream a reality. UNTIL NOW. I made this chili last night (spiked with tequila AND beer, because why not?) and I am in love. In fact, I just ate the last of it for lunch, and am legitimately sad it is gone.
Note: if you eat this without the Frito’s I will be very, VERY, disappointed in you.
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 pound ground beef
- 16 0z. italian sausage (usually I would get hot, but I made this for my roommates and one of them doesn’t like spicy things!)
- spice mix (recipe follows)
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 anaheim chile, roasted, skinned and diced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes in juice
- 1 12 oz. beer (I used Corona, because that’s what I had)
- 1 cup tequila
- 1 1/2 cups pinto beans, rinsed
- 3/4 cup black beans, rinsed
- shredded cheese, for topping
- FRITOS! for topping (don’t skip – these add the best crunch)
- sour cream, for topping
- Spice Mix – if we are being honest I really just eyeballed this and adjusted the taste as I went along, so these are just guidelines.
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 tablespoon cayenne
- 3/4 tablespoon dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons cumin
This spice mix is loosely based on Emiril’s Bayou Blast, if you are interested in that recipe.
When the meat is browned, add in the bell pepper, anaheim chile, garlic and onions, cooking for about 6 minutes over medium heat until softened.
Time to add the booze. In all seriousness, the beer/tequila adds a really nice depth of flavor to the chili, and I wouldn’t recommend skipping that, although I’m nearly positive you could get away with using only one of the two.
Immediately after the beer and tequila, add in the can of tomatoes, along with the beans. Stir around to get combined. It is SO important to taste the chili at this point to see if it needs any flavor adjustments before you begin to simmer it. I know when I made this I added more of the spices at this point to elevate the flavor more.
Bring the chili to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, for about 1 hour. Plate the chili in a bowl and top with sour cream, Fritos, and cheese! ENJOY!