Old-Fashioned 3-Bean Chili
The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, October 16th 2016 edition. By: Blaise Doubman
Chili season is just around the corner…
I do not know about you but I think of the four seasons in terms of food. Spring is the time for light and fruity desserts, small appetizer courses and sparkling fruit drinks. Summer is the time of year for cookouts, potato salads, pasta salads, ice cream desserts and lemonade. Fall, to me, always means sweet and cinnamon filled snickerdoodle cookies baking in the oven, hot apple cider and warm and comforting types of soups and stews, like chili! Same goes for the cold and dark winter months. In that type of environment who would want anything other than a warm, hearty and filling meal? I know that I may be in the minority here, but I love Fall and Winter. Those seasons bring so many fun and exciting times! The beautiful leaves changing colors, a much welcome cooler breeze and an overwhelming sense of excitement leading up to a flurry of Holidays, get togethers, meals and pitch-ins that last well into the New Year.
The first few cool days of Fall always takes me right back to the first time my Mom, Darla, taught me how to make chili in our family kitchen. She explained that chili was something that everybody made differently and it was really up to the taste buds of the person making it. She described how some people add pasta to their chili, some people add lots of spice, some add ground cinnamon and some even add a little unsweetened cocoa powder to add a hint of savory to the back note of the overall flavor. I remember being amazed that almost anything could work in chili! Years later I experimented with stirring in a little peanut butter at the end of the cooking time and guess what? Fabulous! I highly recommend you give it a try, but first, try mastering this classic recipe. Once you have this down, add your favorite flavors and see what happens! Perhaps a new and exciting dish to get you through the chili season…
Old-Fashioned 3-Bean Chili
This recipe has been handed down in my family for generations. My Great Grandma Viola Davis handed it down to my Grandma Deloris Bolinger, who handed it down to my Mom, Darla Doubman, who over the years has handed it down to me! These are the best recipes in my opinion because they have history behind them. Cooking is not an exact science, like baking is, so everything can be leveled out according to personal taste and preference. The measurements listed below are the exact measurements that have been passed down to me. Feel free to change, or add, whatever your taste buds desire. Cooking is all about experimenting and having fun!
1 pound ground beef
2 cans black beans
2 cans kidney beans
2 cans red kidney beans
2 cans stewed tomatoes
1 can tomato paste
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 Spanish onion, diced
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 large can tomato juice
1 cup elbow macaroni
Chili seasoning mix
Start by browning the ground beef in a large skillet. Once browned, drain the fat and return the ground beef to the skillet. Over medium heat, add in the tomato paste, diced green bell pepper, diced Spanish onion and minced garlic. Cook for about 5 minutes before adding in the chili seasoning mix, hot sauce, salt and black pepper. Add in the seasonings to your specific tastes. I use about 3 tablespoons of the seasoning mix, 2 teaspoons hot sauce and 2 teaspoons each of the salt and black pepper. Feel free to add and taste for your personal preferences.
In a large stock pot, add the large can of tomato juice and the cans of undrained black beans, kidney beans, red kidney beans and stewed tomatoes. Stir this together over medium heat.
Add the hamburger mixture into the large stock pot. Stir everything together and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring often. Once it comes to a boil, stir in the elbow macaroni and continue a boil, stirring constantly, for about 2 minutes.
Lower the heat to medium/low and cook until macaroni is cooked and the chili has slightly thickened. Stir often to avoid burning the bottom.
When ready to serve, serve over a layer of corn chips and top with shredded cheese, chili powder and sour cream.
Ask and Answer: Theresa Pierce of Mooreland wrote to me with a question about my “Chocolate Banana Pudding” that was featured most recently in my column. She wondered if the recipe could be made sugar-free. Absolutely! There are several recipes online for a sugar-free chocolate pudding. My favorite version uses ripe avocados in the base. Substitute that recipe for mine and add sugar-free vanilla wafers as well as sugar-free whipped topping!