Sunday, March 15, 2009

Grandma Lope's Award Wining Chili

This last week, we had one really cold overcast day - a perfect day for chili!  This is also a GREAT cook once, eat twice meal.  (See here for more recipes, crafts, and hobby-type stuff!)
And it really is award-winning.  My sister, Chantal, made it for their church chili cook-off and won!!  It's super easy and super yummy!

So here's the recipe, courtesy of Grandma Lope (she's the one in the middle!)

Here is the list of ingredients:
1 large onion, diced (I like pretty big chunks)
1 cup of celery, chopped (I don't like celery in soups, stews, or chili - pretty much anything where it's cooked, so I omit the celery, but add celery seed at the end, because I do appreciate the flavor)
1 lb. of hamburger
2 Tbls oil (I use Canola)
garlic salt
chili powder (I used probably 2-3 tsp., but I'll explain how I measure it in a moment)
1 can (regular sized) of tomato sauce
1 can (regular sized) of diced tomatoes
1 can (little one) of diced green chiles
1 can (regular sized) of beans, kidney or pinto (I used pinto)
NOW...  here's the secret ingredient: 1/2 - 1 tsp. peanut butter (I'll explain later.)

First, fry the onion, celery, and hamburger in the oil.  Once the hamburger is almost all the way browned, add garlic salt and pepper and enough chili powder to cover the meat.  (I use the "fresh" chili powder that you find by the Mexican food in the grocery store - not the bottled stuff you find by the spices - it's just better.  And it's even better if you're in the Southwest!)

When the meat is fully browned add the cans.  You want to rinse the tomato cans with a little bit of water (a 1/4 of a can or less) and put that in the chili pot also.  If you find your chili a little too thick, add more water.  Or, if it's a little to thin, just let it boil off a little.  Then, if you didn't use celery, like me, you can now add the celery seed.  And finally, add the peanut butter.  This helps to age the chili - so it tastes like it's been cooking together all day - or like you made it yesterday.

And ta da!  Grandma Lope's award winning chili!  It's super yummy.  We called it "Hamburger Soup" so Israel would eat it.  We let him put cheese on it to make it "Cheeseburger Soup."  You can also add sour cream and crackers.  Personally, I just like it plain with a dinner roll.  This is comfort food for me.

And for a variation, omit the chiles, but add corn, green beans, carrots, and pasta and you have a different kind of soup.  

Now, if you've got leftovers, you can have one of my family's favorites the next night, with only a little bit of effort.

Frito Plate!
You'll need:
Grandma Lope's Award Winning Chili
Rice (we always use white minute rice)
lettuce, chopped up
tomatoes, diced
and if you're eating it at my parents house:
Red Devil
El Pato tomato sauce
Fried eggs (over medium - so that the yolk is runny, but the white is cooked through)

Build your plate:
Fritos, then rice, then chili, then cheese, then lettuce, then tomatoes.
You could stop there.  But I don't.
Then a fried egg.  And if I'm feeling extra indulgent, TWO fried eggs.  Believe me, it makes the dish!
And if you're Grandpa or my sister, Jenny, you add Red Devil.
And if you're my mom, you add El Pato.
And if you're my brother-in-law, Logan, you add Ranch dressing (must be Hidden Valley!  The kid seriously adds Hidden Valley Ranch dressing to everything!  He even brought a little bottle of it on our cruise!)
You could also add green onions or avocados, but personally, I like it pretty simple, with that fried egg.
Oh, man.  That fried egg.  Seriously, it may sound weird, but Frito plate with a fried egg is probably one of my top-ten favorite dishes.  And for sure in the top 3 of things I have mom make me when I'm home!


Jenny Lynn said...

you know you are basically being dis-owned for revealing the secret ingredient. i'm ashamed!

but looks yummy!

Susan (Mommy) said...

Grandma always thought she was so sneaky adding the peanut butter. I loved watching her do it.

Dazy said...

My Grandma also used to prepare some mouth-watering recipes like this. So cute Grandma of yours. This is something new to me. Keeps me pushing to the dining.