First things first, you'll need an onion. (Well, first you'll need a decent sized soup-pot heating up a tablespoon of olive oil, but after that? An onion.) You'll want to give this a pretty small dice. I personally hate cutting onions, as my reaction to the syn-propanethial-S-oxide inside of them is pretty severe, causing not just tears but sometimes even headaches, so I want to get them cut as quickly as possible. To that end, I use this technique I learned from various cooking shows. First, cut your onion in half, leaving on the root end.
|The root will help keep everything together.|
Then, vertical slices the same direction.
Now just the onion like you were slicing it for burgers, and watch a perfect dice appear.
|Well, perfect if your knife skills are better than mine.|
Toss the onion into the heated oil, and cook three minutes or until just barely tender. Then add 1 to 1 1/4 lbs. of ground beef and a pinch of salt. Break up the beef, and cook until it is browned.
You'll notice I didn't give measurements. I don't really care for being too precise with chili. Generally, I use a tablespoon of cumin and a couple of teaspoons of everything else, but those are eye-ball measurements. Cumin has such a great flavor that I always want it to be the center of my chili, but my desires regarding spice or the herbal note of oregano vary. I typically add a couple of fresh jalapenos to my chili during the next step, but this time I didn't have any, so I also added 2 teaspoons of crushed red pepper.
Once the spices have been added, I follow it up with a green bell pepper (diced slightly larger than the onion,) 1-2 diced fresh jalapenos (if not using crushed red pepper,) 2 cans of no-salt added kidney beans, drained and rinsed, and two cans of no-salt added diced tomatoes. (Alternatively, you can use 4 tomatoes, diced, but canned is the way to go regarding ease versus taste difference unless they are garden fresh tomatoes.) Bring the mixture up to a simmer, then add a can of sliced black olives, a can of tomato sauce, and another round of seasoning. Return to a simmer, then serve with sour cream and sharp cheddar. This easy and hearty meal serves six.
|We usually eat it for two nights at a time.|