As a parent, my culinary skills fall somewhere around ‘Not Bad on an Easy Bake Oven’. But as a parent, its my job to make sure my kids get at least 2 or the 4 food groups during a meal. Yet, I’m guilty of cutting corners, microwaving those corners, and substituting something steamed and green with applesauce. Yes, I’m guilty, at times, of foregoing good food for fast food (be it a drive-thru or a two minute heat up in the microwave).
Its time to change that and what better way than to invite my friend Josh to share some of his favorite recipes. Josh has the culinary credentials and the passion for food that makes him perfect to kick start a new weekly column at Founding a Father focusing on food for our families.
My hope is not only will this help me, but also help you. Help to eliminate drive-thru’s and take-out on Friday night and put in its place food we all can make and not have to slave over the oven to do so. Recipes that not only have us eating good food but new food and eating together. As a family.
So without further ado, I present my new weekly series:
The Founding a Father Tavern.
Friday Night Chili
3-5 slices of bacon
2lbs ground meat
Including meatloaf mix to the meat can be a nice addition too.
1-32oz Bloody Mary mix
Bloody Mary Mix is a trick I learned from a friend for depth of flavor without adding 357 different spices and saves you money since spices can be costly. If you prefer a more tomato simple chili, substitute with tomato juice.
1-29oz can of tomato sauce
Chunky or smooth
1 ½ – chopped onion
3 garlic cloves
1/4 cup peppers
If chunky tomatoes, onion, and peppers are not preferred by kids or spouses, use a hand chopper, immersion blender, or food processor to finely chop or even puree and hide in the chili.
1 large can of bush’s baked beans smokehouse tradition
1-15oz can Kidney beans drained and rinsed
1-15oz can black beans drained and rinsed
Pinch to 1 tsp. of sugar
1/2 tsp. of oregano
1/2 tsp. of black pepper
1/2 tsp. of salt
Be careful though. Salt is easy to add. It is hard to take out.
1/4 tsp. of chili powder
Even with the chili powder, this will be on the sweeter side so for anyone wanting some heat I suggest some jalapeno slices or hot sauce. Add to your taste. Sriracha is a great addition too.
1 tsp. of cumin
Totally optional but will give your chili another layer of flavor
Mince garlic cloves. Take strips of bacon and cut into 1/4 inch pieces and put in to a frying pan in medium high heat. Once the bacon starts to get some color add the minced garlic. Let the garlic sauté for a moment and when that gorgeous garlic aroma smacks you in the face add your meat. Once your meat is evenly browned and broken up, drain away the grease. Put in to the refrigerator for the next day.
In a crock pot on low heat, add your remaining ingredients and the meat. Stir and let cook for 8-10 hours.
If you get home early or are planning a late dinner, instead of the crock pot, you can use a large pot. Add your meat and remaining ingredients into the pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat and let simmer for 1 1/2 hours.
The great thing about chili is, it is extremely versatile. You can serve with corn bread, grated cheese (a nice sharp cheddar) or sour cream. It can be served over white rice but try serving it over smashed sweet potatoes or regular mashed potatoes or even couscous.
Leftovers can be used for Nachos on Saturday night, Sunday during the game, or packed in your lunch for Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.
Chili is a wonderful staple meal that everyone is most likely familiar with and that we can teach or kids and significant others to experiment and transcend into an open mind. If you don’t like this chili recipe, take your family’s recipe and use different meat, try different spices, or serve it over something new. A simple change gives an opportunity for a varied taste. Don’t be afraid to try something new. It is a better option than our future generation only having pizza, soda, and McDonald’s on their pallet.
Thanks Josh. I’m looking as forward to making this chili as I am to see what we’ll be cooking next week.
If any of you have variations of chili recipes you’d like to share, email them to: