Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Senator Barry Goldwater's Arizona Chili

I apologize for skipping last week.  I meant to update, but had a presentation in my Italian class on Dante's Divine Comedy which took up my time.  It's coming to the end of the semester so my updates may end up being more sporadic, but I'll do my best (besides, the crock pot is awesome for the end of the semester when you don't want to have to cook a full meal every night).

On October 12, after my chili craving not being satisfied by the Lentil Chili, I decided to make the most basic chili recipe I could find in the Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Cookbook, Senator Barry Goldwater's Arizona Chili.  This is one that you need to start the night before, because the pinto beans need to soak overnight in cold water.  So I sat and sorted beans while watching Law & Order: SVU, my favorite distraction.  The only veggie prep is to chop two onions, but because of the way the recipe tells you to cook everything, you don't necessarily have to do it the night before.

So the thing about this recipe is that, like the Boston Baked Beans, you have to pre-cook the beans, with three whole garlic cloves, on high for two to two and a half hours (the cookbooks says, "until tender but not mushy").  The cookbook says that you could do this the night before and refrigerate the beans overnight, but I chose to get up early and do it in the morning.

After starting the beans cooking, you can chop the onion if you didn't do it the night before.  Then you brown the onion and ground beef on the stove.  This doesn't take much time, so you can do something in the meantime, like take a nap.  Or, like me, you could do a workout video, shower and get dressed for the day.  :)

After the beans cook, you drain them and take out the garlic cloves, as these are not part of the chili.  Then the mean, onions, and beans go into the crock pot.

The only other ingredients are to add some flavor and sauce: tomato paste, chili powder, and ground cumin.  Then you add enough water to cover the beans and stir everything to mix it up really well.

This is what the chili looked like before I turned it on.

And this is what it looked like after cooking on low for eight to nine hours.

The recipe calls for adding 2 tsp salt in the last hour of cooking.  Adding things mid-way through cooking is difficult for the grad student; you really have to time it so that you can get back home in order to do those things.  Of course, if you've been reading this blog, you know that I don't add salt to most recipes anyway, so that doesn't matter for me.

The recipe recommends serving it with shredded sharp cheddar cheese, chopped fresh tomatoes, and chopped green onions.  It also recommends cornbread or saltine crackers on the side, so I made corn muffins to go along with this recipe.  I picked up a simple Jiffy corn muffin mix when I went shopping so I'd have it just for this recipe.

My roommate and I had the chili the first night after I made it.  We ultimately decided that it was a solid, basic chili recipe, but I cannot emphasize enough how really basic it is.

Of course, it's not too bad for a week of dinners--I got six servings total out of the recipe, which is pretty much what was expected (the recipe says that it serves four to six).  Chilis can often have a lot of calories.  I was looking at cans of chili in the store earlier today and each can said that there were 250 calories per serving... but a serving is half a can... and who ever eats only half a can of anything (except maybe my mother).  My chili comes out about the same: just over 260 calories per serving.  But that's still for the actual serving you eat (as opposed to the "fake" serving in the can of chili).

In terms of cost, I only spent $13.14 on all the ingredients for this dish, and that includes splurging on extra lean ground beef so it'd be healthier.  That comes out to $2.19 per serving, not bad at all if you're trying to stretch your stipend!

1 comment:

  1. Do you have a lisr of ingredients?