I can already see a few of the leaves changing color on the trees here in Chicago, which means fall is right around the corner! Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love summer, but I adore fall. I love wearing sweatshirts and jeans, going to football games and eating tailgating foods, and playing in the leaves. And let’s not forget about the food. As the temperatures begin to drop and the leaves start to fall, there’s no doubt that we all crave a little comfort food in our lives. Between mashed potatoes, pot pies, and casseroles, there are plenty of tasty dishes to warm up with once autumn arrives. My personal favorite comfort food is chili. With a dollop of sour cream, a sprinkle of Cheddar cheese, and a handful of oyster crackers, chili is hearty enough to enjoy for family dinner any night of the week. It’s also the perfect dish to bring to a tailgate party, backyard bonfire, or a neighbor’s get-together.
Although there are many different variations of chili recipes including white bean chili, turkey chili, and even vegetarian chili, preparation usually remains the same. Making chili typically requires nothing more than combining a bunch of relatively cheap ingredients together and letting everything cook until the flavors combine; you are then left with one big pot of deliciousness. I love making chili not only because it’s so budget-friendly and easy to make, but also because it leaves your kitchen smelling amazing; plus, you are usually left with plenty of leftovers to enjoy throughout the week!
I know I am not alone in my love for chili. In fact, chili has actually evolved into such a popular dish, chili cook offs now take place all across America during the autumn and winter months. Everyone seems to claim that their chili recipe is the best. Personally, I think I have found the best recipe for chili. Made in a big pot on the stove, this recipe for Autumn Chili warms me up every time I make it. It’s easy to prepare, and the flavors complement each other perfectly. Although it’s best enjoyed on a crisp, fall day, this is a fantastic dish that the whole family is sure to enjoy year-round.
Autumn Chili Recipe
1 pound hamburger
2 small shallots
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
16 ounces can tomato sauce
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 pinch chili powder
2 tablespoons chives
Basil, to taste
Garlic or garlic salt, to taste
1 small habanero, minced (optional)
2 cups grated Swiss cheese
Finely chop the shallots and set aside.
Brown hamburger in a skillet adding salt, pepper and basil. When done, drain the grease and set the hamburger aside.
In a large pot over medium heat combine the tomato sauce, the hamburger, the red pepper and the garlic.
Stir in the chopped shallots and chives. Stir in a small pinch of salt, and add the pepper to taste. Add a pinch of chili powder and about a teaspoon of basil.
If chili becomes dry add a few tablespoons of water and mix in well.
As the chili nears completion, stir in a bit of the grated cheese to thicken the sauce a bit. Place the remainder in a bowl to sprinkle over the chili when serving.
I hope you enjoy eating this chili as much as I do. I usually use Cheddar cheese instead of Swiss, and for an extra treat, I add some oyster crackers on the side! Cooking great meals for the family doesn’t always have to break the bank and take all day. There are plenty of tasty, budget-friendly recipes like this one that are easy to make and delicious to enjoy.