Thursday, November 22, 2012

Double-Cheese Chili

Being as we ARE such a large family (most nights I'm cooking for eight - and a half if you count my little womb-resident) I always have to alter recipes I find to feed a crowd. So I'm going to regularly post recipes on this blog - partially just so I can keep up with how I've modified them in the past! This is the first time I've tried this Double-Cheese Chili, and I'm kind of looking at the recipe and wondered what makes it qualify as "double cheese"? But okay, they call it that, so that's what we'll stick with.

To Feed MY Crew:

 5 lbs ground beef
2 large onions, chopped
2 large green peppers, chopped
5 (15 oz) cans kidney beans, rinsed
5 (14.5 oz) cans diced tomatoes, undrained
2 (15 oz) cans tomato sauce
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
5 Tbsp chili powder
4 cups water

Brown meat in large skillet on medium-high heat. Chop onions and green peppers and run through *Ninja or food processor if desired. Add to meat and cook for five minutes. Drain.

Add beans, tomatoes, tomato sauce, chili powder, and water. Mix well. Cover. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer thirty minutes or longer, stirring occassionally.

Now, the way the original recipe read was to put 3 Tbsp of cheese on the bottom of each soup bowl. I say PFFT. The way WE do it? I buy two of the one pound bags of Kraft Mexican Four Cheese blend and a container of sour cream, and stick them on the counter with a box of saltines. Then it's a free for all as everyone makes their bowls. And everyone puts their cheese on top and stirs it in so it melts all they way through. THAT is how you do chili right. I also make a mean taco soup that all the kids love. Keenan would eat it and ask for seconds when we could still count the number of foods he would eat on one hand (and have fingers leftover). I'll post that one someday, though I no longer have the original recipe. It disappeared in one of the random clean-ups of my favorite recipe sites over the years.

I have NO IDEA how many servings this actually makes the way I make it. The original recipe says six, and I multiplied most ingredients by five. When we make chili or taco soup around here I make more than even we can eat in one night (and that's saying a lot with the 15 year old boy I'm feeding, recently known to eat FIVE bowls of tuna salad). We keep it around for lunch leftovers.

And now that we have actually EATEN this, I can say, if you like your chili spicy, you might want to add more chili powder or some hot sauce. It's not very spicy at all, but that's good around here, because Mom and Dad and the kids are always happy to add hot sauce, and I don't like things REALLY spicy, and Mark has an ulcer, so really spicy things don't work out well for him. Also, I'll probably use a wider variety of beans next time... Maybe three cans of kidney beans and two cans of chili beans. But, I think I have found my go-to chili recipe! Before, I've always used the one off the back of the packet of chili seasoning.

* I love my Ninja, because there are certain things we all love the flavor of, but some of us hate the texture of (onions, peppers, fresh garlic). The Ninja chops them fine enough that texture is no longer an issue. You can practically puree an onion with the help of a Ninja. Actually, when I made my apple butter? I ran the apple chunks through it before putting them in, and it helped make them smoother.

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