I never knew chili could be served in any other form until I was in my 20’s. I don’t know how widespread this recipe is, but I do know that friends from out of state always say, “We’d heard about you people eating your chili that-a-way.” They always say that with a skeptical look on their face, as if they are thinking we are crazy to call that chili. They always end up eating crow… er, well, chili and enjoying it. So, I hope you’ll enjoy my chili recipe and let me know how similar or different it is from what you eat in your neck of the woods.
Yes, those are noodles in my chili. Some folks use spaghetti and some use macaroni. Some are very stringent about what they use. Me? I just use whichever is the closest in the cabinet.
Start by browning 1 pound of ground beef with a big old diced onion. Season with salt and pepper.
Add an equal amount (about 2 cans) of red beans or chili beans. I use red beans because I prefer to control my own spices rather than having them already in the can.
Also, add enough chili powder to lightly cover the whole thing. You can adjust the amount later if it isn’t enough, but you can’t take any away if you get too much so don’t get too crazy with the spices yet.
Wish I had a little home canned tomato sauce, but the store bought stuff will have to do.
I add two cans of sauce. Then, fill the cans with water and add that. It rinses out the last little bits of sauce and the chili will need that water for cooking up the noodles.
Yum. Let this simmer for at least 30 minutes.
About a half an hour before you plan to eat, add the noodles. I add about 1 cup of macaroni or a small handful, about an 1 inch in diameter, of spaghetti. If you use spaghetti, you will want to break it into small, manageable pieces before adding it to the chili.
This chili is perfect, because it’s a mild recipe that folks can fix up to their own tastes. Even kids will eat this chili! Some folks like to add cheese. Cheddar is lovely, but American cheese will work just fine as long as it’s not that terrible, fake, individually wrapped plastic stuff (but that’s just my opinion). You also need some saltine crackers. Don’t forget to set out the salt and pepper, chili powder, and hot sauce so people can “doctor it up.” Doesn’t hurt to set out the brown sugar, too. A fellow once brought his own bowl of brown sugar to my house, knowing he would want it for his chili. I guess he just wanted to be on the safe side and bring his own just in case I didn’t have any!
This is “Kitten Britches,” and you just can’t serve chili without it. It’s just peanut butter mixed with honey or pancake syrup. Eat it off the spoon or be civilized and spread it on a piece of bread. It tastes fabulous with chili. It also pleases any persnickety kids in the group.
Me? I add cheese and crackers. You’re gonna love it.
So, how do you eat your chili?