Wednesday, November 28, 2007

A "chili" fall evening...

Here is Carol at Michael's birthday dinner earlier this month!
Notice the camera in her right hand. The woman never leaves home without it!

My mom-in-law Carol has several "signature" recipes. Most of them she knows by heart and getting her to write them down is like pulling teeth! When Michael and I were dating, I ate "many a meal" at his house. Carol often cooked from scratch, and she made simple, hearty recipes.

One recipe that Carol still makes on a regular basis is her chili. She calls this her "hot dog" chili, but it's the only kind of chili she believes in. She doesn't believe in other "chilis", as in a stew with beans, tomatoes, meat, and spices.

We took Carol to one of our favorite restaurants last year. On the soup bar they were serving chili. Carol decided to try the chili to see if it was as good as hers (because you know, it doesn't get better than hers!) And of course, it didn't meet her standards. She said, "Well MY chili doesn't have all this other stuff in it!" Beans, tomatoes, etc... Carol said it didn't need that stuff. I grew up on chili made with those ingredients.

When I first tried Carol's chili, I actually thought it was kind of bland. No beans? No tomatoes? No spicy peppers? Yet her kids, including my husband, RAVED over the stuff. Just loved it! Still do. And now I do too. I still love that other kind of chili, and I make it often in cold weather (I love my ground turkey chili!)... but occasionally I just really want some of Carol's chili! It's especially good on a simple baked potato.

We don't get Carol's chili very often because she only makes it when ground beef goes on sale. Carol cooks in large quantities, so she only cooks this chili when she has 10 pounds of ground beef or more to make it!

This chili is great on hot dogs, hamburgers, baked potatoes, and sometimes Carol will cook pasta and use her chili as a "spaghetti" sauce of sorts. Carol believes in all-purpose recipes! ;-)

Right now is the season for chili folks! What do you put in your chili? I'd love to hear about your own chili recipes in the comments below!!

This chili would also be killer with that SWEET corn bread we made earlier this week! ;-P If you missed the "sweet vs. non-sweet" cornbread debate, I would love to hear your imput!!

We served this chili on top of fresh oven baked potatoes with sour cream, cheddar, and Italian parsley!

Carol's Chili

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 2 TBSP. chili powder
  • 2 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. garlic granules
  • cornstarch (optional -- as desired for thickening)

In a medium saucepan, brown ground beef until cooked through. Add water, salt, chili powder, paprika, and garlic granules. Cook over medium heat for approximately 30-45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add cornstarch as desired for thickening. (I added about 1 Tbsp. cornstarch and cooked chili down for approx. 40 minutes.) Serve over hot dogs, baked potatoes, hamburgers, rice and vegetables, etc... This is great as a base for a simple meal!

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  1. My mom's is similar, but she adds ketchup. Chili isn't really my thing, but that may because I haven't enjoyed what I've had over the years. I always take a second look at "white" chili recipes. Ever tried one of those?

  2. You want a debate, sweet friend? Talk to someone from Texas about ground beef and beans in chili, as opposed to chunks of meat. OMG, I had to learn a whole new way on chili when I married Randy.

    At least he knew cornbread was NOT SWEET :-) LOL
    Just kidding my friend.

  3. LOLOL Ginger, you're a hoot! I have heard of Texas chili!! I don't think i'd ever be brave enough to get into a debate with a Texan over his chili! LOL I've never had chili with chunks of meat in it like that, although I've seen it cooked on food shows! I bet it is tasty!!

    You and your "not sweet" cornbread husband! LOL

    I guess that's why Michael and I are a perfect pair! We love us some SWEET cornbread!! ;-P haha!

  4. Abby -- I've seen those white chili's too, but I've never actually made one myself. I've had it at restaurants and it was good! You should do a test run and blog about it! i bet it would be good!!

  5. Wow, you might cause me to do a chili post now! In Indiana, everyone I know makes it with a tomato/beef base, hamburger, beans, onion, chili spices. Besides that, I add garlic, cinnamon, parsley, shredded carrots and shredded green pepper. Also a couple spoons of cornmeal towards the end.

    I know people who put elbow macaroni in their chili but I think that is just wrong! I serve mine with cheddar cheese, sour cream and raw onions. I'm hungry for chili now.

  6. GLUTI GIRL -- You DEFINITELY need to do a chili post! I would LOVE to see that Indiana chili recipe! Sounds awesome! Cinnamon huh! Interesting addition! I've heard of people to add elbow noodles too! It does seem just WRONG!!! LOL I wanna see your chili post girl!!

  7. Is your MIL a North Carolinian?

    Her chili sounds exactly like my mom's chili. My mom makes that and something she calls "chili beans" which is her chili plus tomatoes and pinto beans.

    The chili was mainly eaten on hot dogs (and strangely enough hamburgers - I still get a kick out of this ground beef on ground beef) The chili beans are eaten from a bowl with a side of Jiffy cornbread.

    Anyway the first time I heard of "chili con carne" I was so confused. Doesn't all chili have meat in it? Ha Ha!

    You are on a roll here for hot button issues - what is next? BARBEQUE? That will really get blood boiling....

  8. Tamara -- YES my mom in law is DEFINITELY a North Carolinian! It's funny because people here identify themselves by which county they came from... if people ask where she's from, she doesn't say the town she's lived in the past 50 years, she just says the county she was born in! LOL I always get a kick out of that! Nobody identified themselves by county in VA where I grew up!

    yeah, i think the chili on hamburgers thing is weird too (although I kinda like them that way now! haha!)

    you know, I didn't know what chili con carne meant until you posted your comment! LOL I never even thought about it! It makes perfect sense now! It does seem like a total contradiction!

    I asked my husband about it last night too (just to double check myself, so I wasn't crazy!) And he said his mom always made pans of sweet corn bread (similar to what I made the other night) growing up. Just a little sweet, not dessert sweet!

    Barbecue Tamara??... LOLOLOL that WOULD be a debate (and not just an in-state one!)... I won't even go there!! All I will say about that is I prefer vinegar based to lexington style... BUT that's totally my preference, I won't say it belongs to anybody!! LOL (And I know you'll know exactly what I'm talking about!!)

  9. Sounds good to me- I'm allergic to beans, now, so I'm in the chili-without-beans camp.

    Here in New Mexico meat chili is similar to this recipe except you'd add roasted green chiles (and some add pork).

    Me? It's all good. And a great idea for leftover chili? Make chili lasagna. Yummy.


  10. Karina -- Green chiles!! MMMMmmm!! I bet that would be a fine addition! I never would have thought of adding pork in addition to the beef, but I bet that would be really really good! It's so neat to meet bloggers all over the US! I love that you are New Mexico! A place I have only heard beautiful stories about!!

    I bet a leftover chili lasagna would be yummy!!! You are right!!

    SALLY -- Simple, it is! Carol raised 3 kids on a very tight budget while her husband worked swing shift, so she had to have fast, easy, frugal, and SIMPLE meals she could feed her family! She's one lady I look up too!

  11. I've had chili like this before, but I've never just eaten it by itself before (like you would with the kind with beans and tomatoes and such.) This kind of chili is great as a Frito pie - just pile it onto of Fritos, cover with cheese and diced onions.

  12. Carrie-
    I think I am going to post my chili recipe now. You guys have made me hungry!!!!

    Looks good!


    PS I have the tags ready for the swap.

  13. Carrie,
    I am so excited that you brought Carol's wonderful Chili to the Texas Star Chili Cook off at The Cottage. The recipe looks so good. We are going to have so much fun!
    Thanks for coming over.