How about a different topic? In cool weather (all right, cold midwestern winter weather) I like to eat hearty. Here is a recipe I created—a true rarity:
[For my conservative Texas friends, you may call this midwestern, content-nonconforming chili a “Chili-Flavored Stew]
For topical variety, how about a recipe? First things first: I do not claim any type of expertise in the kitchen. I can follow a simple recipe (1. open can 2. heat in a pan on stove) especially those involving the microwave oven. However, I have enough of an adventurous bent that I’ve experimented with a few recipes. This chili reflects my personal gastronomic tastes. The variety in colors of beans and peppers also appeals to my sense of visual esthetics. Weird, huh? But I like it, so there.
1 lb. Lean ground beef (90-93% lean)
1 lb. Ground turkey (similarly lean)
2 Large onions (or more per taste)
4 Bell peppers. I use 2 green, 1 red, and 1 yellow for appearance
~ 1 lb. Zucchini. I sometimes use a potato peeler to stripe the sides to add interest to the color of the slices.
x Jalapeños peppers (vary x according to taste and heat tolerance)
1 can Kidney beans (light)
1 can Kidney beans (dark)
1 can Black beans
1 can Garbanzo beans (chick peas)
1 can Mushrooms
3 jars Tomato sauce for spaghetti. I usually use the garden vegetable type which usually has a lot less fat and calories. (May vary as needed for the texture you desire)
3 - 6 cloves Garlic. Can use prepared garlic from jar. To taste.
6-8 oz. Beer. Use a dark, flavorful beer. (Remainder of bottle is for the cook.)
1 pkg. Wick Fowler’s 2 Alarm Chili Kit (Contains: red pepper, corn masa flour, cumin/oregano, chili pepper, onion/garlic powder, and paprika)
Put sauce and beer in a LARGE pot, and start to simmer. (The amount of beer in the cook may be adjusted as needed.) Add the garlic and spice kit. Adjust liquid as need with more water and/or sauce as needed. Mix well and let simmer so spices permeate the sauce while preparing the rest of the ingredients.
Brown the meat, drain, and stir into the pot to simmer. (Actually, gray the beef and tan the turkey. I’ve never really understood this terminology.)
Clean the vegetables then chop/slice/chunk into bite size pieces. Sauté and stir into pot to simmer. (Try to keep any blood spilled during the cutting process out of the mix. I’ve found it detracts from enjoying the final result.)
Let the mix simmer for an hour or two or three. About 20 minutes before you want to serve, drain and rinse the beans. Stir them into the pot and let them heat through.
Warning: This recipe makes a LOT of chili. Be sure to have containers and space in the refrigerator for the leftovers. Except for the beer (which may be omitted), this recipe is gluten free.