Wednesday, January 21, 2009

For my friends in the cold cold north who are ...

... freezing either their arses (Steven) or tootsies (Tammy) off, I thought I'd share with you a good recipe for crock pot chili that my daughter gave me a few months back.

Here's the original recipe ...

1 pound lean ground beef (10% fat or less)
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
1 can (15 ounces) red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 sweet onion, chopped
1/4 cup canned diced chilies
2 tablespoons tomato paste

In large nonstick skillet cook beef and garlic over medium heat, stirring with a wooden spoon to break up meat, until browned; drain. Add chili powder and cumin; stir to combine.

Combine tomatoes, beans, onion, chilies, and tomato paste in slow cooker; stir in beef mixture. Cover and cook on high until the flavors are blended, 4-5 hours.

Per serving: 142 calories, 5g fat, 4g fiber

The first few times I made this, I followed the recipe exactly (even rinsed and drained the kidney beans) except for ...

... Instead of 1 can crushed tomatoes and 1/4 cup diced chilies, I used RO*TEL's original diced tomatoes & green chilies all combined in a 28 ounce can (two for the price of one, doncha know!).

Do you have RO*TEL products where you live? They're Texas-based. Let's see if I can read the extremely fine print on this can. It's difficult, even with the aid of my bifocals! OK. Here we go ... ConAgraFoods P.O. Box 802521 Dallas, TX 75380-2521 USA. Also, RO*TEL has a neat website (I swiped the above pic from there), where you can read more about their product line.

... I wasn't at all familiar with cumin, so when I went to the store to buy it the first time, I looked for a package that I could open and then refrigerate. Found one! Bought the smallest that I could see. I've made this chili - I don't know, maybe seven times now, and this little package will probably last for another 20-30 years!! I mean, you use only one teaspoon per recipe. (And don't overdo it! I made the mistake once of putting in too much cumin. It has a very distinctive taste. It wasn't inedible, but still!!)

... I usually use 3 garlic cloves, and never a whole onion! I chop away until it looks like 'enough' and add it to the pot. I mix it all up and then, if it looks like I need some more I add some more. Pretty simple, actually. (That's a really good thing, because all y'all know that I am basically a non-cook.)

... Now, for the tomato paste. The first time I made this, I bought the smallest can that I could find in the store. Two tablespoons is all that's required. What did I do with the rest? Well, I didn't know when I would be making it again, and so I threw the rest away. I hate wasting stuff like that! So, the next time I went to the store to buy ingredients for chili, I looked for an even smaller can. There wasn't one. Then, one of the stockers showed me this tube of "double concentrated" tomato paste (Amore's the brand name) with a net wt. of 4.5oz. I used the last of it just yesterday*. Fabulous! Still used 2 tablespoons each time, even tho it said "double concentrated". (Info on the tube says it's made in Italy and manufactured for PANOS brands out of Saddle Brook, NJ 07663. They have their own website, as well, but I haven't checked it out yet. It's at

... The word "drain" in the first sentence of the instructions is laughable. If you are really using lean ground beef, there won't be any draining required. In fact, you'll have to watch out that you're not burning your meat while it's being browned! I don't add the chili powder and cumin to the skillet and stir. I dump everything - little by little - into my crock pot, stirring like crazy each time. And every so often during this several hour period of cooking, I stir some more.

*I decided yesterday to change up the recipe just a bit. There weren't enuf beans and tomatoes/chilies in there to suit my taste, and so I doubled the kidney beans (two cans instead of one) and added another 10 ounce can of RO*TEL. Used 1 pound 2 ounces of meat instead of just the one pound. Changed nothing else. Perfection!


Tammy said...

Oh this sounds really tasty, and healthy too. It doesn't sound like it would have many carbs either. Thanks for sharing the recipe with us. My family will love it I'm sure.

By the way, we don't have Rotel (can't remember if I'm spelling it right) that I've noticed in the stores. But I'm pretty sure we have some other brand of tomatoes and chilis. I'll have to check next time I'm grocery shopping.

Tammy said...

Ok, just printed out the recipe with your comments.

I'm with you on the smallest can of tomato paste. Every recipe I've ever seen calls for 2 Tablespoons or less and I've always had to toss out the rest of the can. Recently I heard of these "tubes" of tomato paste. I'll have to buy one. I'm guessing they are right there near the cans???

Nancy said...

Sounds good! I make chili very similarly, but use 3X the amount of cumin (mmmmmmmm) and a tiny pinch of cinnamon. Cumin is an ingredient in curry, which I didn't use to know.

Goldenrod said...

I don't know for sure about those tubes being 'right there next to the cans', Tammy. You might have to ask a stocker or a manager the next time you're at the store. (I'll have to do the same thing, I'm pretty sure, the next time that ingredient is on my grocery list!) But I'm definitely with you here on the possible savings!

Nancy, your comment about your 'love' of cumin (my words) reminded me of how diverse we all are in our tastes, no es verdad? My daughter had told me that she added yet another spice (I forget which one!) to that recipe. It didn't sound particularly good to me, and so I just left it out entirely!! :)

Goldenrod said...

Tammy, I picked up another tube of tomato paste yesterday when I was at Kroger's. Had no trouble finding it. It (they ... there are three or four different tubes available now, all the same brand) was right above the RO*TEL tomatoes. Simple!