I made chili right after I watched the Top Chef Texas Chili Cook Off. It was made very clear to me that real Texas chili does not have beans. Well guess what? I am not from Texas nor do I live in Texas and so my chili has beans. Lots of 'em. Deal with it Texans.
I more or less get my chili making method from my Gram. And whenever I make chili, I cannot help but think of her. Note: I do not measure anything. I just throw it all in my dutch oven and the longer it cooks the better it gets because the flavors have lots of time to really develop. We didn't even eat this chili the day I made it. On the Top Chef Chili Cook Off, there was no time limit, so they were up all night cooking their chili. I am not that extreme. My chili went in the fridge overnight and we had it for dinner the next day.
My Gram uses ground beef in her chili. This is not an option for me since I do not eat beef. I have made chili with no meat at all, but I have found that I enjoy this meat substitute. It is just a veggie protein that is sort of smoky in flavor. It has the same consistency and texture as Bob Evan's sausage. Add it in, leave it out, use ground beef, use ground turkey, whatever.
I started by browning up half of this tube.
Then I added a bunch of chopped veggies. The more the better. Look how beautiful!
I start with some sort of bell pepper. For this batch, I used red and orange. I also used 1 jalapeño and a red onion.
I like mushrooms in my chili so I added some criminis.
And a fair amount of garlic.
Let the veggies soften a bit and maybe even get a little browned.
Then I add in the spices. It is up to you whether you want to add in spices or maybe just use chili beans. I only had kidney beans, so I needed the spices. I used (working clockwise from 12:00) smoked sweet paprika, chili powder, cayenne pepper, cumin and in the center, some garlic powder.
Next I add in the kidney beans (use whatever beans you like). Here is what it looks like with the spices, beans and also some tomato paste. I used probably about 2 tablespoons of the stuff.
Then add the tomato sauce. I used 1.5 cans. Go easy on the tomato sauce. You can always add more in, but it is not nearly as easy to take it out. I tend to like a thicker chili.
The next day I served it up with some shredded cheddar, sour cream and cornbread muffins. I just use the Jiffy cornbread mix that costs like $0.37. A bit of a warning, you want to cook your cornbread (whether as muffins or bread) for about half the time that it says to. These were supposed to cook for 15-20 minutes. I took them out around 8 min and they could have come out sooner. Why does cornbread get so dried out???
Anyways, the chili was great! A little bit spicy (hot jalapeño) but really flavorful.