The official start of fall is only three days away, and you don't need a calendar to tell you that, either. The signs are everywhere now. Leaves are starting to change color, the air is crisp, chrysanthemums of every hue are blooming, and pumpkins are popping up all over the place!
Every change of season brings with it new inspiration for my home cooking. One of my favorite meals to prepare when the weather gets chilly, is chili! It's one of my favorite comfort foods. I have been making variations of this chili for my family for several years now, experimenting with different ingredients and seasonings; always trying to improve it. I made this chili last night. Here is my recipe...
Easy Weeknight Chili (serves 4)
1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, diced (approx. 1/2 cup)
1/2 green bell pepper, diced (approx. 1/2 cup)
1/2 red bell pepper, diced (approx. 1/2 cup)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup diced tomato (fresh or canned)
2 cups strained tomatoes
3/4 cup water
3 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 can red kidney beans, drained (approx. 2 cups)
*you can use your favorite beans (black, pinto, kidney, or an assortment)
Optional: cilantro, sour cream, and grated cheddar cheese for garnish
In a large skillet, over medium high heat, cook the ground beef until it is browned.
Drain the fat and set it aside.
In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium high heat and saute onion, bell peppers and garlic until onion is translucent, approximately 5-7 minutes. Stir in diced tomatoes.
Stir in the browned ground beef, strained tomatoes, water, chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper.
Cook over medium high heat until the sauce begins to boil. Bring the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes; with the lid on; stirring every so often.
Stir the beans into the sauce. Simmer for 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat.
Garnish each bowl with chopped cilantro, a dollop of sour cream and grated cheddar cheese.
Mmm! It was delicious and really hit the spot!
I will leave you with a photo I took this morning, out in my backyard, before dawn. It is of the dazzling full harvest moon. Isn't it magical?
As always, I love to hear from you and appreciate all of your comments!
Happy Thursday and almost-fall!