Friday, October 26, 2012

Chili in the Crockpot

What do you do when the weather turns from high of 80 to high of 50 within 24 hours?

1. Wear a scarf. Obvi.

2. Make some chili. Probably in the crockpot if you are working all day and don't have time for a long simmer.

It's inevitable that I'll make chili multiple times during the fall and winter. When it comes to a bean-laden thick stew, I just can't say no. I like a traditional red chili or a white chicken chili or a vegetarian chili. This fall I'm thinking I'm going to try a pumpkin chili. I told you once that I have this one slow cooker cookbook that I enjoy because it has about 25 variations for each dish. I typically don't follow just one recipe but instead adapt things from multiple and go from there. Here's a look at my chili recipe page from the cookbook. Yes, I do defile my cookbooks by writing down my adaptions, folding down corners and even noting whether or not I liked the recipe. You may even be able to see some food stains if you look closely. :)

I'm pretty certain every time I make chili, it turns out a little different. That's because I use the ingredients I have on hand in my fridge and pantry. So I'm sharing with you what I did this time around. But as always, be creative and use what you have (is this becoming my cooking mantra?). Also, you can definitely double the chili recipe and it should fit in a normal sized crockpot. I made a little less this time around because it was just for me (lasted for 2 lunches and 2 dinners) but when I would make it for Scott and me, I always upped the ingredients.

Chili in the Crockpot (heavily adapted from Fix-It and Forget-It)
1/2 lb ground turkey, browned and grease drained
1 16 oz can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 16 oz can diced tomatoes
1 8 oz can tomato sauce
1 medium onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 bell pepper, diced (I used half of a red pepper and half of a yellow pepper)
1 jalapeno pepper, diced (with or without seeds depending on your heat tolerance)
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp chili powder 
salt and pepper, to taste
shredded cheddar cheese, for garnish
sliced jalapeno, for garnish

To help the flavors meld, brown the meat and cut up the veggies the night before you are going to cook the chili. Combine everything, except the salt and pepper, in the crock of your slow cooker. Cover and refrigerate over night. (It is not essential to follow this step... just my recommendation).

In the morning, remove the crock from the fridge and place in the slow cooker. Turn heat to low and cook for 8-12 hours. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.

Serve hot garnished with cheddar cheese and sliced jalapeno. 

Serves 3-4.

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