Hello everyone! It has been quite some time since my last post. I never knew almost 2 months could fly by so quickly. My new job has kept me busier than I ever thought and it has been great! I’m sure it will be awhile before I have a hold on balancing my new job, new city, and home life. It’s a work in progress!
I have still been cooking quite a bit, even though I don’t have as much time. Alexa and I hosted Thanksgiving for the first time this year. Man oh man, was that a lot of work. Starting prep the night before to making sure all the dishes are done cooking around the same. It was whirlwind of a day but it was all worth! Everyone enjoyed themselves and had leftovers for days. Mission accomplished.
Okay, now onto why you’re reading this, the food. We had our first ‘snow storm’ down in N.C. Absolutely nothing like NY snow but everything shuts down here. Delayed start at work 3 days in a row. So naturally, will it being a bit ‘chillier’ than we have experienced so far down here. I decided to make a nice big pot of chili. I’m a dunker, I love to have a nice piece of crusty bread with my chili or soup. Now I know what you’re thinking, who the heck has time to make a loaf of bread for dinner. Well, you’re in luck! The recipe for the bread is super quick, minimal ingredients, and your family will think you slaved over it all day. The trick, the key to mastering the crusty bread, is a casserole dish full of ice, in the oven, on the bottom rack under your bread. It takes about 30 minutes, start to finish for the bread; you will not be disappointed.
For the chili, ground beef and beans is the way to go. Of course, you can substitute ground turkey if you don’t really eat red meat. I don’t think you’ll taste much of a difference.
The spice blend for the chili is very warming. It will give you a rich flavor to the chili. It’s not overly spicy and there is a small hint of cocoa in there as well. It just gives you another added layer of flavor. Once all the ingredients are added in, it’ll cook for roughly 30-35 minutes to thicken up. It’s a personal preference as to how think you like your chili. I like mine on the thicker side to be able to dunk my bread in there and have it stick. Chili with crusty bread and a sprinkle of shredded cheese on top, can’t really go wrong with that. The great thing about this recipe is that you can make a large batch of it, freeze it or easily reheat it for lunch during the week. Make it on a cold wintry night and instantly warm up.
Chili w/ Crusty bread
6-8 Servings – 20 min. prep – about 45 min. cook time
For the Chili
1lb ground beef
1/2 white onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1, 15 oz can of tomato sauce
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp Frank’s red hot
1/2 C chicken stock
1/2 tbsp salt
1 tbsp pepper
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp chili powder
2 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1, 15 oz can black beans
1, 15 oz can red kidney beans
For the Crusty Bread
1 package of rapid yeast
1 cup warm water
1/2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2-3ish cups flour
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F
In a medium bowl, combine warm water, yeast and sugar. Mix gently and let sit for at least 10 minutes. Watch for bubbles to form and the smell of the yeast increase. Set aside
On medium-high heat, in a large pot, combine the ground beef, onions, and garlic. Using a spatula, break up meat into small pieces. Cook until the meat is completely browned. About 8-10 minutes
Into the pot, add all of the spices. Mix thoroughly. Let them steep for about 2-3 minutes to open up their flavors
Add the tomato sauce, red hot, tomato paste, and chicken stock. Mix thoroughly.
Add both cans of beans. Stir to combine
Lower the temperature to medium-low heat. Put a cover on it and let it simmer for about 30-35 minutes. This allows it time to thicken up
Back to the bread. Once the yeast becomes activated. Add the salt and 1 C flour. Start mixing to combine.
Add 1/2 C of flour at a time, until the dough comes together and no longer sticks to the side of the bowl
Line a cookie sheet with foil. Spray with non-stick spray. Place the dough onto the foil. Form into a long loaf shape, baguette like
KEY step. Fill an oven safe casserole dish with ice. Place it on the bottom rack of the oven. Then place the cookie sheet with the bread on the top rack. DO NOT open the oven for 15-20 minutes
Once your timer goes off, cut it up into slices. Your chili should also be done at this time, depending on how thick you like it to be
Ladle up the chili in a bowl with a slice of crusty bread for dipping. Enjoy!