Thursday, October 21, 2010

Freestyle Chili (Good For The Common Cold)

We all knew the common cold was coming with the cold.  It hit Chris last week, and then myself this week.  This has meant, less cooking on my part.  Chris has been my hero with breakfast before work, and a lot of dishes too (what?!)   I’m on day four, you know, the day when you just don’t care how many drugs it takes to clear you out, when all food tastes the same because of your lack of smell, and really you don’t want to make any more decisions than you have to!!!

All this leads to my chili.  It’s nothing that special, in fact it changes every time I make it.  But… I’m getting smarter each time I make it.  Now, if you haven’t been sick yet this year, you know it’s coming- and you know you’re not gonna want to cook when you’re down, so make the chili now and freeze it!

When I’m sick, I tend to eat more spicy foods than normal.  I’m not huge into HEAT, but I’m trying to expand my weak palate, so I guess “here’s to being sick!”  Maybe it’s because I can’t taste anything BUT the kick, or maybe it’s because if my nose and eyes are gonna run, I might as well eat with some heat when the facet’s already running!

Here’s the other great thing about chili: no decisions… just throw in whatever you’ve got.  Unless you’re blogging about it, then you might want to think critically.

So mine turned into:

Black Bean, Corn & Turkey Chili:  (warning, this recipe feeds 2 + tons for freezing, or 8 for now)

1 ½ yellow onion
6 cloves garlic
3 cans tomato paste
12 cans water
1- 1 ½ lbs ground turkey
2 cups black beans (cooked, or soaked via instructions)
1 cup corn
1 tbs. chili powder
1 tbs. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. red chili flakes
Lots of salt
Lots of pepper

You could add carrots, kidney beans, ground pork, bell pepper, serrano and green chilies… whatever… remember when you’re sick- make the least decisions possible in the kitchen- avoids unneeded crankiness.

First sweat chopped onions and garlic with salt in pot over medium heat for a good 10 min.

Then add tomato paste and water.  Salt here as well.

Brown your meat, salt and pepper it.  Add it to the chili.  I have been adding some of the “juices” too… more flavor (I know I know… maybe unnecessary, but more flavor the better!)

Then add beans, corn and whatever else you have laying around.  It’s freestyle!

Then add the rest of spices.  I’m still playing with the perfect chili/cumin ratio, but it’s pretty equal parts from what I can taste... which isn't saying much right now.  And then Salt and Pepper away!

I cooked mine for about 3 hours.  

So less energy beforehand meant less pictures. :-/  But AFTER DINNER was another story…

I was feeling great!  The chili cleared my senses, and my sinuses, plus I got off work early- so I got to walk Chris to class.  So many smells!  Nature smells in the air from all the leaf blowers, restaurants cooking up their week night specials, cigar smoke from the neighborhood porches of old men talkin’ up how it feels like it’s gonna rain.

Now before anyone scolds me about going out in the cold when I’m sick… check yourself.  Do you know WHY it’s called “the common cold?”  Back in the day, and I mean back in the day, they started to notice that everyone got sick during the winter months.  They started believing that it really was because of the cold weather.  But reeeeeeeeeally, because it was so cold out people would gather in homes, closed spaces to keep warm and huddle together- hence spreading germs much more easily.  Now I’m not saying we should throw out this winter gathering concept at all- but at least have good food for everyone who comes over to get warm!  Throw on the chili!


  1. I will be making this soon, I'm sure. I've been craving chili and this looks fantastic. Thanks!

  2. I think your chili approach to the common cold is a great cure!! Glad your feeling better!