Chili Topped with Avocado, Cilantro and Shredded Cheese

I am a huge fan of comfort food and one of the best and easiest comfort foods to prepare is chili! It makes such a great meal, especially on a chilly day. On one such chilly day, I was craving some chili and decided to pull out my copy of a wonderful book by Lucinda Scala Quinn – Mad Hungry: Feeding Men and Boys.

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The recipe I followed (with some modifications) in this book can also be found on Martha Stewart’s website. Please continue below to see how my chili con carne turned out!

Ingredients:

  • 5 dried red chiles (I am prefer more mild food so I did not add this in my version.)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 small onions, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 tbsp coarse salt (I used coarse sea salt.)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes or pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 cup pickled jalapeños (optional – I did not add this.)
  • 1 28-oz can of tomatoes, broken up, with juice
  • 12 oz beer
  • 1 15-oz can of beans, drained (I used a can of mixed beans.)
  • 2 medium-sized carrots, chopped (I decided to add this though it is not in the original recipe.)

Directions:

  1. Heat a large skillet or wok on medium-high heat then add olive oil.
  2. Sauté onion and garlic until translucent (around 3 minutes).
  3. Add the carrots and sauté for another 3 minutes or so.
  4. Increase heat then add beef and 2 teaspoons of salt. Brown the beef (around 15 minutes). Spoon off some of the fat if it looks too fatty.
  5. Stir in cumin and stir for 30 seconds. Add red pepper flakes, oregano, bay leaf, jalapeños, and the remaining teaspoon of salt. Stir to combine well.
  6. Add the tomatoes and simmer for 30 minutes.
  7. Add the beans and simmer for another 20 minutes.
  8. Add water if needed for desired consistency and serve with condiments of choice. I served it with chopped avocado, shredded mozzarella cheese (what I happened to have in the fridge), and chopped fresh cilantro.
  9. Enjoy with tortilla chips and pack leftovers for tomorrow’s lunch!

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