1 Pot, 3 Dinners

I know a lot of people who aren’t fans of leftovers, but I say What’s not to love? It means you get the night off! Granted, many things don’t do well when reheated, like pizza, or hamburgers. Also, I don’t like leftover seafood making my fridge smell funny. But some things are actually better the next day, like a favorite pasta sauce, or potato salad.

A good rule of thumb for leftovers is, if you can imagine someone canning it, it will keep. Like soup, or jam, or for our purposes today: chili.

With one pot of chili, I suppose you could come up with dozens of ways to serve it after the first day. I came up with two: soft tacos and individual, bubbling hot, 3 layer dips.

Here is a recipe for one huge pot of chili. I made it for a family of eight one day, after realizing at the last minute I had promised to bring them dinner when the mom was in the hospital.

This is the recipe I jotted down for them in an email after they requested it. It’s amazing how sometimes the best things you can make in your kitchen are the things you come up with on the fly, and when you break all the rules.

Quick Chili

3 pounds ground beef
2 onions, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic (I forgot to add it, but it would have been good.)
1 yellow bell pepper
1 red bell pepper (I used a few of those mini ones you get from Costco)
2 teaspoons chipotle chili pepper
2 teaspoons regular chili pepper
1/2 teaspoon cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 can black beans (that’s all I used, because that’s all I had in my cupboard, but I would have added more)
1 14 ounce can fire roasted tomatoes
1 14 ounce can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

(I bought the ingredients for this about 45 minutes before I got to my friend’s house.  These are the instructions for cooking it FAST, so please use caution if you will follow these.  If you want to cook it slower, just lower the heat, and take your time.)

1.  In a large pot, and adding in a little at a time, brown the meat over high heat.  Stir frequently to prevent burning.  Add in onions and peppers, and keep stirring.

2.  When the meat is cooked through and the peppers and onions are tender, add in the garlic and spices, and cook for about 3 minutes more.

3.  Stir in beans and tomatoes, and simmer on low for 20 minutes to an hour, or until flavors are well acquainted with one another.  Right before serving, stir in cilantro.  Garnish with cheese, chips, more cilantro, and sour cream.

Soft Tacos

Uncooked tortillas (I like TortillaLand brand)
Quick Chili (recipe above)
shredded cheese
avocados, chopped
tomatoes, lettuce, olives
sour cream

Assemble tacos to your liking.

Individual Bubbling Hot 3 Layer Dip

1 can refried beans
2 cups leftover Quick Chili
1 cup shredded cheese

Preheat oven to 425. In individual ramekins, layer refried beans, chili, and cheese. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bubbling.

Article Posted 6 years Ago
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