Monday, November 12, 2007

Not My Mama's Chili

Like I said, this isn't my mama's chili, it's my boyfriend's mama's chili. Oh, my GOD. My roommate and I finished off the leftovers in a little over 24 hours. It was so good! Better than my own mama's chili (she uses beef tips which I think is weird).

After the last meal he made without recording the recipe, I hounded my boyfriend to keep track of what he was doing while he was making this gem. We're actually going to enter it in a chili cook-off this Saturday. If you think you've got the stuff, maybe YOU should enter this recipe in a cook-off . . . just not the one we're entering, that would be stupid.

What you'll need:
  • chili powder
  • 1 large cans crushed tomatoes
  • 1 small can tomato paste
  • 1 large can tomato juice
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • salt
  • 1 small can kidney beans
  • 2 lbs ground beef
As always, brown the beef in a skillet, drain, and then place back on the burner. Add your onions and peppers to the beef and let the flavors mingle and mix.

In a large pot, put in the tomato juice, tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, kidney beans, and the beef/pepper/onion mix.

This part I was a bit startled by but I'm not about to argue with what works. Take 1/3 of a 2.25 oz bottle of chili powder to the pot. It sounds like a lot, it is a lot, but it works somehow. Then add your sugar and salt. As the pot is simmering, taste your chili frequently to see if it might need more salt, sugar (takes away bitter tastes), or a little extra spice. For this I suggest a small amount of cayenne pepper ( if you add to much you could ruin your chili) or crushed red pepper (like you find at pizza places).

What I really like about this recipe is that the spiciness doesn't attack your tongue like it usually does. In fact, the spice gets you after you've swallowed the chili by leaving a wonderful after-taste.

So you've got everything in your pot, have you? Well done. Now comes the waiting. Let your chili simmer for 30 minutes to 4 hours. I give you this large time frame because the longer you let your chili simmer the more integrated the ingredients become and the better the chili tastes.

I hope you enjoy this hot little number. Wish us luck on Saturday!



BBQ Meatloaf

I don't know why on TV everybody's like: "Meatloaf for dinner?! Ugh!" I LOVE meatloaf, it's so good! IF you make it right. This is a super duper easy recipe, which is appropriate for the title of this blog I suppose, so here we go.

This is my Mamma's BBQ Meatloaf recipe and this is what you'll need:

  • 2 lbs of ground beef
  • 1 cup of BBQ sauce (any brand)
  • 4 slices of white bread, diced
  • 1/8 tablespoon of pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of Grey Pupon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons of minced onion

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Here's the gross part, I didn't like it very much but it's TOTALLY worth it, with your BARE HANDS mix the beef, salt, pepper, mustard, BBQ sauce, and minced onion together in a medium sized mixing bowl. I'm sorry, but you have to do it. When it's mixed up real good, place the beef on a greased cookie sheet (you can grease it with butter, margarine, Pam Cooking Spray, etc.). Mold the beef into a loaf shape and pop it into the oven for 50 minutes. After it's done, take it out and pour some extra BBQ sauce on the meatloaf and let it cool.

See? Super easy recipe.



Tuesday, November 6, 2007

My Nanna's Shepherd's Pie

My Nanna makes THE best Shepherd's Pie. Personally, I can eat it morning, noon, and night and I did for years. At least, that was how it was until I went to college and I was sad.

THANKFULLY my Nanna gave me her recipe a few months ago. Now, for the first time ever, I'm sharing this recipe with you, my beloved public.

Preheat the oven to 350 and here's what you'll need:
  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 1 onion
  • 1 large clove of garlic
  • 2 cans of whole corn kernels
  • 2 tablespoons of cornstarch
  • 6-7 Idaho potatoes
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 3/4 cup of milk
This recipe might confuse you because you'll be making two things at the same time; the beef and the mashed potatoes. You might want an assistant on this one. But if you're flying solo it's no problem.

First off, we'll start with the potatoes since they take longer. Put a big pot of cold water on the stove. Don't fill it too high because when you add the potatoes the water might over flow. Put a lid on the water and while you're waiting for the water to boil, peel the potatoes. After they've been peeled, rinse them off, cut them in half, and put them in the boiling water. It'll take a while before the potatoes are ready for mashing, so while that's going on we'll prepare the meat.

Moving on, brown the beef in a large frying pan, skillet, or sauce pan. While the beef is browning, dice the onions and garlic. Drain the grease from the beef when it's done and put it back in the pan with the onions, garlic, and salt for seasoning. Stir it up, mix it around, and when the onions seem cooked, add 2 1/2 cups of cold water. Bring the water to a boil put in the cornstarch bit by bit and mix it in.

Put the beef in a medium sized baking dish like so:

Now crack open those cans of corn, drain the corn juice, and spread the corn evenly over the beef.


You'll know you're potatoes are ready for mashing if a fork can pierce straight through them. If you can do that, drain out the water and turn off the heat. Cut up one stick of butter and put it into the pot with the potatoes and then add 3/4 cup of milk. Mash them up real good. Taste the 'tatoes every once in a while to see how lumpy they are. If they're not buttery enough or milky enough for you just put in some more. I don't know about you, but I add salt AND pepper to my mashed potatoes, so maybe you do too. Get my drift?

By now you're beef should be at the bottom of the baking dish, the corn should be on top of the beef, and you're mashed potatoes are smooth, fluffy, and buttery good. There's just one more step before you throw it in the oven. Spread the mashed potatoes over the corn. It's a little tricky because you don't want to get corn or beef mixed up in your 'tatoes. What I do is plop some down in the middle and smooth it out from the center.

It's okay if you have extra potatoes left over, you don't have to use it all. Put it in the oven on 350 and in 30 minutes you'll have my Nanna's Shepherd's Pie!