I feel kind of silly posting about chili, because I recently learned that making chili can be as easy as dumping a bunch of stuff in a pot and letting it cook for a while.
Chili has been on my bucket list for a while, but it seemed a recipe too shrouded in mystery to make. Every recipe I found online was different - portions, ratios, ingredients. I felt lost.
Then, a coworker at the bakery made chili for our Soup of the Day. I looked at the final result. I looked at the list of ingredients she'd left for us. Then it hit me "Whoa, I think I can just throw a bunch of stuff together, seasoned to taste, and it will probably turn out edible." Now that's my kind of "recipe"!
Cans of beans (I used 2 kidney, 2 black, 1 pinto, and 1 can of corn, 1 can diced tomatoes, and 1/2 can tomato sauce)
Veggies (I used carrots, onions, celery, and bell pepper)
Spices (I used the Mystery Red Powder which was either cayenne or chili powder. Also, cumin, cumin seeds, and red pepper flakes)
1. Heat some oil in a saute pan (I use safflower oil because it has a high smoking temperature). Mix in spices and heat for a while. Add veggies, stirring occasionally, heat until softened.
1.5. Meanwhile, stir the canned ingredients into a large pot, and add some extra seasonings. Let it stew, stirring occasionally - do not let the bottom of the chili burn. I learned from my roommate that slow cooking the beans and stuff draws out more liquid. I grew up with very soupy chili's, so I erred on the side of a very liquidy/tomatoey chili because that's how I like it.
2. After the veggies are softened, add to pot. Cover and let sit on low-ish heat for a while (maybe 20-40 minutes, or about as long as it takes to do the mountain of dishes that appears every time you turn your back).
A Scarface proportioned mountain of cheddar cheese