Monday, March 17, 2008

Slow Cooker Chili

Late winter is not especially exciting when you’re trying to eat in season. Root vegetables and squash are getting old…both literally and to the palate. But things are starting to bloom, a signal that it’s time to really make an effort to use up whatever is in the freezer in preparation for next year’s supply. At this point we have a lot of frozen corn and tomatoes left. It’s time to use those ingredients in abundance. Here is a favorite recipe modified from Simply in Season

Slow Cooker Chili

1 lb ground beef

Brown in large frypan.

1/2 to 1 onion (chopped)
1-2 cloves minced garlic (optional)
1/2 to 1 cup green pepper (I use frozen, chopped)
1/2 to 1 cup celery (chopped, optional)

Add to beef and sauté for 3-5 minutes. Place in slow cooker.

4 cups beans (I use 1 can black and 1 can kidney)
1 qt. tomatoes (chopped, I use frozen**)
1-2 T. chili powder
1 T. honey
1 t. salt
1-2 or more cups corn (I use frozen)
1 can pieces & stems mushrooms (optional)
1 T. Worcestershire sauce (optional)
1 hot chili pepper (minced, optional, I use frozen)

Add and cook on high for 15 minutes then on low for 8-10 hours. Serve as soup (add water at the end to make soupier) or over rice or pasta.

My family really likes this as an alternative to taco soup which is another soup/stew favorite.

**This past year I read several articles about the potential problems with plastic packaging in food storage. I was particularly concerned with storing acidic ingredients in plastic. In the past, I froze tomatoes in yogurt or cottage cheese containers (recycling!) or in standard freezer containers. This year, in an effort to get away from plastic, I froze tomatoes in quart jars with used canning lids from the previous year. (So the lids had already had the seal used, but the seal was still adequate for freezing.) I left plenty of head space for expansion. The system has worked great as long as I remember to pull out ingredients with time to allow for thawing.


AmyP said...

Who says garlic is optional in chili? Not in my house! =)

Leslie said...

Oh, wow. It is almost time for chili again. I try not to vary from my own recipe too much, but I think my family could use a change. I have been gathering up a bunch of my recipes and I'm thinking of uploading them to EZ-Cookbook since it is a free way of keeping my recipes organized. Maybe you can add this recipe there?

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