Monday, January 12, 2009


I love making homemade chili. Chili is one of my favorite things to eat when it's done right, but there are very few restaurants whose chili I like, and even fewer brands of chili out of the can or jar. I hate beans, and most of them tend to be full of beans. Now, I am not one of these purists who proclaim that real chili can't have beans. I understand that some people love beans, and I certainly understand beans as a substitute for meat back when the price differential was huge. (I am also usually suspicious of people who claim that a food isn't "real" or "authentic.") But not only do I not like the taste of beans, I do not see the need to pay several dollars for a jar of chili that is mostly beans.

The first thing I did making this chili was saute some sweet onions and a Serrano pepper with about 4 cloves of garlic. When I am making chili just for myself I usually add at least 6 cloves of garlic, but I was sharing this with some people so I went a little easy. In addition to ground beef, I chopped up a strip of tri-tip steak. I mixed this all up with some tomato sauce, a little mustard, chili powder, oregano, cumin, and a couple dashes of hot sauce.

I made myself a bowl with some chili-flavored Fritos on top with some melted cheddar cheese and a dollop of sour cream (another in the long list of things that I hated as a kid but now find indispensable to certain dishes.) It was good, but as always happens with chili, it was better the next day - when I spooned some over a plate of Fritos - and even better the day after that when I baked some fries in the oven and added chili with cheddar and mozzarella.

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