Clark's Fortnight Recipe
by Cajun Clark
Why Chili? you ask. Da ol' mon's reasoning goes something like
About now us folks in the Northern Hemisphere are experiencing
the depths of winter; fortunately the Winter Solstice was one month ago and the
days are getting longer. While our friends in the Southern Hemisphere, "Down
Under," are still in the middle of their summer, but their days are getting
shorter. Then we have all those good valued subscribers somewhere in between.
Now that you've figured that out it's on to the chili.
Have you ever been to a Chili Cook-off? If so you know that
there are as many ways to make chili as there are cooks! Some use meat,
others don't. Some use beans, others don't. And when it comes to meat, that's a
You'll find any thing from ground beef to elk to rattlesnake,
including just about everything in between; such as moose, possum, raccoon,
venison, chicken, turkey, goat, rabbit, 'roo, emu, ostrich, and who knows what
Some cooks use onions, bell peppers, celery, tomatoes, green
chilies, tomato sauce, even cream of mushroom soup. Yep, you read right on the
soup. The Chili Con Carne recipe from Caj's Mother calls for it.
Another thing that's really strange about chili cooks are the
seasonings they use; not necessarily what's listed here. You name it and someone
has probably used it; maybe not a second time but at least once. Some of the
more common spices are chili powder, salt, pepper, garlic, cumin, oregano, you
fill in the blank ___.
So when it comes to Cookin' Chili, here's the bottom line, the
final ingredient--there's no one set recipe! Sure you'll find basic recipes like
the first two that follow, but when you get to the third one you'd best get a
tight grip on your wooden spoon. Because it all came about by another of da ol'
mon's mistakes in the kitchen; fortunately this one turned out to be an edible
delight. YES! luck does help when it comes to cookin'.
Chili Con Carne
2 pounds hamburger (or ground beef).
Brown in another pan:
cup diced celery and 1 good size onion.
Put meat, celery and onion into a
1 can tomato soup
1 can red kidney beans
1 can spaghetti and tomato sauce
1 can mushroom soup
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 tablespoon vinegar
- Fill soup can with water and RINSE all tins and ADD. COOK in slow
oven 2 to 3 hours.
Fry until brown:
2 pounds hamburger
1 small can green chilies, drained
1 onion, diced
2 bell peppers, diced
2 cans tomato sauce
1 teaspoon salt, to taste
1/2 teaspoon pepper, to taste
2 teaspoons chili powder, to taste
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, to taste
- Add water to cover ingredients. Cover and Simmer
1 hour. Add beans if desired.
This all started out to be Ham Hocks and Beans, but by the time
the recipe was finished... For the full story see:
Since the unmarked package pulled out of the freezer was not ham
hocks, it was time to rewrite the recipe. So, here ya go:
Pull the two-pounds of venison hamburger out of the freezer, a
couple of packages of tomatoes, another couple of onions, and don't forget the
bell peppers. It's time to make venison chili with beans; even if you don't like
beans in your chili.
Looking at the pot containing the soaking beans, then looking at
the other ingredients to be added, leads to another decision:
Get out a bigger pot, the six-quart one. No, forget the eight-
quarter or you'll be selling chili on the corner.
Finally, mission accomplished, cookware ready for filling,
here's the recipe (kinda-sorta, since it's always a personal decision of what to
use and how much to add of any ingredient):
1 pound of pinto
beans, soaked overnight, drained and rinsed
2 pounds venison hamburger
4 cups tomatoes, chopped
4 cups onions, chopped
2 cups bell peppers, chopped
- Add to pot about 1/2 hour before calling it done. 1 can green
chilies, chopped and drained
Mix the above ingredients together, and bring to a slow simmer.
Add water as needed for the consistency you desire; usually just enough to cover
all the stuff you're cookin'.
NOW here's the tricky part, the seasoning. Remember, what you
add and how much depends on your personal taste. So go slow; it's better to have
too little and add, than too much and spoil what was tasting so good.
10 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons garlic, granulated
2 1/2 tablespoons oregano
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons crushed red pepper
Okay, that's it. Well, not quite. Simmer, covered, until beans
are tender. This could take anywhere from an hour to two- or three-hours,
depending on how high you have your heat and the type of cooking pot you're
using. Remember, the amount and kind of seasonings you use depends on your
taste. Any recipe, including this one is only a guide, a track to run on.
Okay, there you have it. Ol' mon Caj's dissertation of Cookin'
Chili. One thing not said is that chili is a great warmer-upper, goes great with
barbecue, and garlic French bread makes a great bowl cleaner-upper. With three
"greats" it has to be a must make for whatever reason. Enjoy, and Bon Appetit!
(c) Copyright Cajun Clark. Email:
mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org Cajun Clark's
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