Chili Con Carne

Chili is a fall/winter favorite around our house. It's quick to make and easy scale up if you want leftovers [Gotta love leftovers!].

This is the style of chili that I grew up on. Rarely did we have the "soup-like with pasta" type chili. Peg prefers the "soup-like" chili so she uses my chili as a "concentrate" to create her type [see below]

My mom and I would take a spoonful of chili and place it on top of a Saltine. This is how I learned how to eat chili. It was nothing for me go thru at least an entire sleeve of crackers this way. I shudder at thought of this now. Good grief...

Also, as a kid, I picked out the beans because I didn't like them. Now I like them, but Peg picks them out for "preventative measures". Funny how things change...

If you are making this recipe for a gluten-free guest, please read our Guide to Gluten Cross Contamination.


Chili Con Carne

Ingredients:

1 lb ground beef
2 cans of diced tomatoes (use fresh if you have 'em)
       or 1 jar of Newman's Mild Salsa
1 diced medium onion
2 stalks diced celery
1 diced bell pepper (pick your favorite color or colors)
1 can of kidney beans (I prefer Joan of Arc)
1 - 2 teaspoons Penzey's Chili Con Carne spice blend (start small, you can always add if needed)
1 - 2 teaspoons gluten-free Worcestershire sauce
       (
Lea & Perrins brand is gluten-free, many brands are not)
Salt to taste
V8 or tomato juice
GF Beer (optional)
A few ounces of shredded cheese (garnish)
1 - 2 Green onions (garnish)
1 fresh diced tomato (garnish)


Directions:

Add peppers, celery and onions to pan, add pinch of salt and Penzey's Chili Con Carne spice mix
Saute' until slightly soft.
Add ground beef and brown on med-high heat. Remove any excess grease.
Drain and add beans - stir
Add canned tomatoes or salsa - stir
Add 1 - 2 cups of liquid (V8/Tomato Juice/GF Beer) - stir
Add Worcestershire sauce - stir
Allow chili to come to a good bubble and reduce heat to simmer.
Stir occasionally.
Salt & season to taste
Simmer for 10 - 15 minutes. If chili becomes too thick - add more liquid of choice.


Options:

Soup-like Chili with Pasta
Note: Gluten pasta requires you to be be mindful of cross contamination risks.

Make your favorite pasta and set aside.
Place several scoops of Chili Con Carne into a larger pan on low heat
Add 16 - 24 oz of V8/Tomato Juice
Add cooked pasta
Simmer until heated
Salt & season to taste

You might need to re-season this chili depending on how hot you like it. I tend to like my chili spicier than Peg, so when she adds the liquid and the pasta - it's about right for her tastes.


Notes:

If you are using canned tomatoes, they are going to be sweeter and less spicy than salsa. You'll need to adjust amount of chili seasoning depending on the tomato product used. Taste as you go...


Until the next good eats...

Al


Minestrone Soup



This recipe is adapted from Living Without Summer 2005 issue.

It's one of our favorites and gets rave reviews from all who've tried - gluten-free or otherwise.

We save it for the fall/winter when it's cold and yucky on the outside and warm and yummy on the inside.

If you are making this recipe for a gluten-free guest, please read our Guide to Gluten Cross Contamination.


Ingredients

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
2 cloves minced garlic
1 large onion - diced
2 medium carrots - sliced
2 stalks celery - sliced
1 medium potato - diced
1 15oz can diced tomatoes
1 small zuchinni
1 tspn oregano
2 tspn salt
4 cups GF chicken broth (we used Swansen Natural Goodness)
1 cup fresh or frozen corn
1 cup fresh or frozen green bean (1 1/2" pieces)
1 15oz can kidney beans - drained & rinsed
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil (optional) or 2 cubes of frozen homemade basil pesto (See Al Notes)
Parmesan cheese (optional)



Add olive oil, butter & garlic to a large soup pot over medium heat. Saute until onion is transparent and soft.

Add celery, carrots, potato. Saute for another 5 minutes.

Add tomatoes, oregano, salt and chicken broth.

Bring soup up to a simmer. Cover and cook for 15-30 minutes. Veggies should be tender.

Add the corn, green beans, kidney beans, zuchinni and simmer for another 15-30 minutes.

Stir in fresh basil or add frozen pesto cubes and allow to melt.

Serve hot and don't eat too much. You could also top with fresh grated Parmesan cheese.


Al Notes

Since we made a double batch, we use both kidney beans and black beans.

In the summer I will make fresh basil pesto. This is usually a Saturday project for me. We have a little farmers market downtown and I'll get several bunches. I'll whiz up a batch and pour it in ice cube trays and freeze it. After about a month of pesto making, we'll have several freezer bags full of pesto cubes we can use for a whole bunch of things...like this soup!