Monday, May 7, 2012

Bonnie Crock Pot Chili

Okay this may be one of those times where everyone is like "um, derrr, Bonnie, everyone knows how to make that..."  If so, that's fine.  I just thought I'd share it just in case because every time I see a recipe on someone's blog that's easy prep and clean up and/or can be done while Elijah is sleeping, I always try it out (assuming that it's not something I know Mike wouldn't eat).  Anyway, this is my easy peeasy crock pot chili recipe that can be done before you go to work, the night before, or during the kiddo's nap and will be ready for dinner.

1 lb ground beef or turkey
1 medium yellow or white onion
1 can chili ready tomatoes
1 can chili beans
garlic salt (or a few garlic cloves if you want to be fancy pants)
chili powder
Salt and pepper

First you're going to toss the tomatoes and chili beans in the crock pot.  I don't drain them because the juice in them has flavoring and if you do drain them you'll have to add water so it doesn't get too dry.  Make sure you keep one empty can to drain the grease from your meat into so you don't screw up your sink.  Then chop up the onion and throw it in a skillet with the meat.  Brown the meat, mixing it with the onion as you go until the meat has no pink and the onion is opaque.  If you want you can chop up some garlic cloves and put them in with this.  Then you won't have to use garlic salt.  But, as I have said numerous times before, I'm lazy so I usually just use garlic salt.  Once the meat and onions are done, drain the grease into your saved empty can.  (If you leave it sitting on the counter for a few hours, it will dry and harden and you can throw it in the trash.)  Then put meat and onions in the crock pot with the beans and tomatoes.  Season with salt and pepper and chili powder and garlic salt (if you didn't use garlic cloves--or you can do both if you want it super garlicky).  I can't really say how much of each spice to add because I just throw it in until it looks good to me.  Probably about a tablespoon of garlic salt and chili powder and then just a few grinds of salt and pepper.  Then mix it up.  This one I actually do mix so that the spices get mixed into everything.  Since it's pretty much all made up of cooked items you don't have to put it on for any particular amount of time.  A few hours on low will get all the juices and spices mixed pretty well.  I wouldn't do it on high unless you want it done in like 30 minutes.  And I wouldn't leave it on for longer than like 5 or 6 hours because then it might get dry.

If you want it spicier you could add red pepper flakes or even chop up some chilies like jalapenos and cook them with the meat and onion.  Of course if you have kiddos, that's probably not a good idea.  Then you serve it with whatever you like.  We usually do corn chips (i.e. fritos) and sour cream and cheese or if you're weird like my husband you can just add ketchup (like it isn't salty and tomatoey enough already).

Clean up is just bowls, silverware and crock pot rinsed and thrown in dishwasher.  And of course you have to wash the skillet.  I use a teflon one so I have to hand wash it, but, again, it can be done while Elijah is napping so way less stress on me and less cleanup after dinner, which is really what I try to avoid.

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