Without being too much of a weenie, I must confess I haven’t cooked much this Summer. Let’s just say, I’ve been under the weather for the last two months. Now that I am on the road to recovery, and Fall is on its way, I am so ready to start cooking the Fall and Winter foods. The Meatloaf Rule is soon to expire. I hope Mr. Wii reads this, he is so happy when the Meatloaf Rule expires. That means, he gets Chili. What exactly is the Meatloaf Rule? Let’s see if I can explain.
The Meat Loaf Rule
The foods encompassed under The Meat Loaf Rule (The Rule) are to be determined by the cook. These may include, but are not limited to, meat loaf, chili, scalloped potatoes, lasagna, fruit pies, soups, and any food items that may require extended use of the stove and oven. This cook’s reason is simple, if you don’t use the oven it doesn’t get dirty. A dirty oven requires the self-cleaning mode to be used. The self-cleaning mode requires the oven goes up to temperatures not registered by any thermometer in the cooking arsenal. We are talking nuclear heat. Have you seen what’s left in the oven after a self-cleaning? Dust. More precisely, ash. I think it is nuclear ash. Thus, The Rule.
The Rule goes into effect only when the cook says so. It usually goes into effect when the weather is so warm that turning on the oven results in the house becoming an instant target for infrared guided missiles. It’s a family protection rule. Also, this cook is pretty sure that the Eco/Green people can sniff out a summertime bake off, while the A/C is running at top speed, within one hundred miles. No amount of reusable grocery bags could possibly save my butt and my carbon footprint would be seen from space. Thus, The Rule.
The Rule expires only when the cook says so. It usually expires when the walnut trees are just starting to turn yellow and the A/C has been turned off for more than two weeks. By then, even this cook is ready for a pot of Chili. Chili is the season opener. Mr. Wii knows that when he sees that pot sitting on the stove and he smells the first Chili of the season, The Rule has been lifted. He is one happy camper.
My daughter adheres to The Rule at her house. I think Chili is her home opener as well. Us gals have to stick together!
Chili is one of those foods you just cannot mess up…..if you stick to the secret ingredient. By following these simple instructions, you will always make the best Chili. Just use what you like and you will have great Chili.
1 medium onion, chopped
1 Tablespoon oil
Saute the onions in the oil over medium heat, just until soft and translucent. Remove from the heat, then add:
2 teaspoons minced garlic, more if you like more, less if you like less, none if you like none.
1 4 oz. can chopped green chilies, again, this is optional. If you have never tried them, give them a try. They are not hot, they are flavorful. Set aside because you are going to add this to the cooked ground beef a little later. Isn’t the house starting to smell really good?
1 to 2 pounds of lean ground beef. Here again, use the amount you like. Some like lots of meat and others like just a little.
In a large soup pot, cook the ground beef over medium to medium high heat until done. Chop it as you go so the pieces are not too big. You decide how much to chop. After it is cooked, drain off any fat. Stir in a little salt. I would say a half teaspoon for one pound of meat and one teaspoon for two pounds of meat. Now the easy part:
Into the cooked meat, add the onion, garlic, and green chilies mixture. Then, stir in:
1 envelope of Williams Chili seasoning
THIS IS THE SECRET INGREDIENT
The envelopes come in different sizes depending on how much meat you use. I always buy an extra envelope because a little later in the prep, when I taste it, I usually need to add a bit more.
Start opening cans and add the rest to the pot. Use only the stuff you like and in the quantities you like. Start with one can of each thing you like and then add additional cans as needed. Since I like beans in my Chili, I use more beans than the tomatoes. Remember to taste as you go.
1 14-15 oz. can diced tomatoes or petite diced tomatoes
1 14-15 oz. can crushed tomatoes plus one can of water
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce plus one can of water
1 14-16 oz. can of beans (pinto beans, chili beans, red beans, black beans, or kidney beans)
1 Tablespoon tomato paste
I sometimes add additional water to achieve the desired consistency. Let it simmer on low to medium low heat for about five minutes. Give it a taste. Add salt and pepper to taste. Then, turn the heat down to very low and let it cook at least a half an hour.