This morning I woke Nicholas up by whispering in his ear, “You’re going to be happy when you look outside.” Finally, we have had our first dose of “real” snow. Not the kind that disappears as soon as it hits the ground. Not the kind that turns to rain or sleet and makes a giant, dirty, slushy mess. But the kind that snow angels and snowmen are made of. Now unfortunately, there were only a few inches in total accumulation (maybe 4-5 or so), so perhaps not enough to make snowmen, but enough to make our little five-year-old positively beam as he scampered over to the window, nodding his head slowly as he saw it. A great way to start the day. Of course, his day continued by him and The Girlfriend jetting off to a 9:15 am birthday party, so he has no complaining to do.And what better way to end it than with a bowl of some tummy-warming food? Trying to decide between soup or chili, I went for the latter, thinking The Husband would prefer it after working all weekend. We first had this Rachael Ray recipe back in March 2004 (yup, I’m a geek like that, recording when we have things and how the recipe fared against the critics) and it probably hits our table a good two or three times a year. It’s from one of her earlier cookbooks, 30-Minute Meals. It’s definitely doable in the 30 minutes she calls for and is achingly simple to make.
Manly Manny’s Chili
Recipe courtesy of Rachael Ray, 30-Minute Meals
Makes 2 quarts, up to 6 bowlfuls
2 tablespoons corn or vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped fine
4 cloves garlic, minced
1-1/2 lbs ground sirloin
Montreal Steak Seasoning or coarse salt and black pepper, to taste
1/2 bottle beer (6 oz)
1 can (14 oz) beef broth
1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
1-1/2 tablespoons dark chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 oz smoky BBQ sauce
2 oz Frank’s Red Hot or other cayenne pepper sauce (about 3 tablespoons)
6 oz shredded smoked cheddar cheese for topping (optional)
chopped raw onions, for garnish (optional)
Corn tortilla chips, for dipping
Heat oil in a deep pot over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic and saute 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently, till onions are soft. Add ground beef and brown, another 3-5 minutes. Season meat and onions lightly with Montreal seasoning or salt and pepper. Add beer and let it reduce by half. Stir in broth, paste, chili powder, cumin, smoky BBQ sauce and cayenne pepper sauce. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer 10 minutes. Serve with shredded smoked cheddar cheese and chopped raw onions and corn chips.
Cate’s Notes: I top mine with a dollop of sour cream and a handful of shredded Cheddar.