My Hybrid Chili Recipe (I'm No Chef)

I'm no chef, I'm far from it, but I do like to try different recipes, season/marinate and grill any meat that will go on the grill, actually I like to cook anything that will go on the grill period.  Either way a couple weeks ago a few friends came over and I made some chili to serve as game food for the NFC/AFC Championship games.  They could have been lying but everyone had good reviews for the chili  Again, I'm no chef so I took three recipes mashed them together to create on finished product.  This wasn't my first time making chili  and the next time the recipe won't be the same but here you go.

I started with Rachael Ray's Manly Chili Recipe and doubled most of the ingredients.

Recipe courtesy of Rachael Ray
Makes 2 quarts, up to 6 bowlfuls

2 tablespoons corn or vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped fine
4 cloves garlic, minced
1-1/2 lbs ground sirloin
Montreal Steak Seasoning or coarse salt and black pepper, to taste
1/2 bottle beer (6 oz)
1 can (14 oz) beef broth
1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
1-1/2 tablespoons dark chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 oz smoky BBQ sauce
2 oz Frank’s Red Hot or other cayenne pepper sauce (about 3 tablespoons)
chopped raw onions, for garnish (optional)
Corn tortilla chips, for dipping
Heat oil in a deep pot over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic and saute 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently, till onions are soft. Add ground beef and brown, another 3-5 minutes. Season meat and onions lightly with Montreal seasoning or salt and pepper. Add beer and let it reduce by half. Stir in broth, paste, chili powder, cumin, smoky BBQ sauce and cayenne pepper sauce. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer 10 minutes. Serve with shredded smoked cheddar cheese and chopped raw onions and corn chips.

I also used some of what I learned from my Step Father's Chili Recipe, most by taste recall, and some by him trying to tell me what he uses off the top of his head.

Last but not least I used some of the ingredients and instructions that I got from my homeboy +Chris Simms recipe for "Dogg's Beef and Pork Chili"
4 to 6 servings

4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 medium onions, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
3 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon chipotle chili powder
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound 85 percent lean ground beef
1 pound ground pork
1 cup beer (recommended: Budweiser)
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 (24-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 (24-ounce) can diced tomatoes, with juice
1 Chipotle Chili in Adobo sauce, chopped
Sour cream, for garnish
Shredded Cheddar, for garnish
Sliced scallions, for garnish

In large heavy-bottomed Dutch oven, cook garlic, onions, bell peppers, chili powder, cumin, chipotle chili powder, oregano, and smoked paprika and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cook until the vegetables are tender and seasonings are aromatic. Add the beef and break it up with a wooden spoon. Once beef is broken up and beginning to brown, add the pork. Break up with wooden spoon like the beef, and brown, until no longer pink, roughly 4 minutes. Stir in the beer and beans. Toss together, then add the crushed and diced tomatoes, chipotle pepper, and a little adobo sauce. Turn the heat down to low and simmer for 1 1/2 hours. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper, if necessary. Transfer the chili to serving bowls and garnish with lime wedges, sour cream, shredded cheese, and sliced scallions.

Sounds like a lot of work huh?  Nope, making chili is pretty much whatever you want it to be, whatever flavors you like, its cooking by taste.  Cook it, stir it, let it simmer, taste, add what you think is missing.  Here are the pictures of my process and ingredients.  I just put it all in the pot and let the heat and stirring spoon do the rest.  This batch was intended to be more sweet than spicy because of the possibility of kids eating some of it.

Started with a lot of chopping and dicing, with I suck at, but it was all worth it.  I browned (and seasoned) all the meat in a separate pan before adding it to the pot with the rest of the stuff.

Smoked Sausage cut up small enough so that they don't steal the show.  I used pork, but beef sausage or turkey would be fine here as well.

White Onion, Green Onions, and Garlic

Celery.  Next time Red, Green, and Yellow Peppers will go in at the same time as the celery.

Salt, Pepper, and Montreal Steak seasonings. 

Brown and Season the Beef. The other ingredients are getting to know each other in the pot.

 Beer, it makes everything better. I went with a light lager made by Yuengling. 

Diced Tomatoes made for chili, kidney beans, tomato paste, canned corn (not the sweet corn), beef broth, and the star of the show...Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ Sauce

 I cooked, simmered, stirred, tasted, and seasoned more until I felt the chili was the taste and thickness that I was going for.

Chili Power, Chili Sauce, and Ground Cumin.  I made sure not to have a heavy hand with these.

Simply and easy, and easy to personalize.  I can't wait for the next spell of cold days or possible snow to come through so I can do it all over again and add more ingredients and spices to it.  I think I want more corn, more peppers and more fire for the next time.


2012 Fantasy Football Round Up

Five leagues and I made the playoffs in all five and took up the Championship in one. That's good odds if you ask me.  I'll probably try to trim it down to four leagues next year so I can focus more and so that there isn't so much overlap between teams.

The first league I drafted in was the Beltway Brawlers league which I am the commissioner.  I rarely make the playoffs in the league and the times that I have I never get far.  I guess its a commissioners curse, I'll break it one year, lol.  Just wasn't this year, I did make the playoffs as a 6 seed, lost the first round and lost in the consolation rounds to finish in 8th place in the league. One bug trade helped get me into the playoffs and that was trading Ray Rice for Dez Bryant and Alfred Morris.  My WR position was lacking all year thanks to Greg Jennings being out and the Eagles as a team sucking therefor DeSean Jackson sucked.  I picked up players like Kendall Wright and Josh Gordon to help me throughout the season.  Matt Schaub was mainly a disappointment this year, he actually helped me win all of 3 times, maybe.  Bradshaw was too up and down and injury prone. I probably won't draft him or Matt ever again.

The next two drafts were both money leagues. ESPN League "A Tacocorp Production" which was The League themed, many teams changed team names throughout the year, and a CBS League which my main money league which I have won the title for twice, East Coast Blitzers.  In the ESPN League I finished in 3rd place and took home some change.  I backed into the playoffs in this league, picking between Stafford and Luck week to week made things difficult.  It seems like they flip flopped as far as who would have a good game.  Then there was Greg Jennings again... But either way I lost in the playoffs to Kaepernick's 4 TD performance in New England.

In the East Coast Blitzers league I paniced early because Chris Johnson was slow to start, so I traded Peyton for Leshoure and Fitzpatrick, bad move... I did however survive thanks to defenses that I add/dropped every other week my WRs, and when Chris Johnson came to life.  Same deal, made it in the playoffs and lost the first round.  The team I lost to lost the next round to the team that went on to be the Champions.  Marshawn Lynch's 3TD game killed me in the playoffs.  The team I traded Peyton to made the playoffs to, but didn't make it to the championship either, so I don't feel as bad about the trade.  I got off to a bad start and got desperate, what can I say.

Drafts #4 and #5 were for a free NFL.com league, PlusSideOfFantasy, that I was 1-1 in the championship games, and a sister money league to the East Coast Blitzers called ECB 2.0.  Starting with the ECB 2.0 league I had a pretty dominate season in this league even with losing my starting RBs for weeks (Trent Richardson and DeMarco Murray), the stars on this team were Eric Decker, Andre Johnson, Andrew Luck, and the Texans Defense.  I also had issues with picking between Schaub and Luck in this league. Next year I'm getting an elite QB for all my teams and an average backup so I don't have to worry about who to start week to week.  I started off 5-2, finished 9-7 due to injures.   I lost the last game of the season which dropped me to 2nd place in my division so I lost my bye week.  I did however win the first game of the playoffs, only to lose the 2nd game by a huge margin partially in thanks to Kaepernick's 4 TD game in New England again.  The next week I played for the 3rd place game and got smoked again.  So 4th place.

Now for the NFL.com league PlusSideOfFantasy formerly known as TweetYourFantasy, which is in its 3rd year.  I made it to the championship all 3 years of this league has been established.  I lost the first year but last year and this year I dominated all season and won the championship.  Last year I may have only lost 2 or 3 games all season.  This year I lost 3 games to start the season, the Brady, Peterson, Vincent Jackson, Eric Decker, and a host of other players finally came on for me.  I finished 10-5 going into the playoffs on a 5 game winning streak and dominated the playoff game and the Championship.  My team also scored the most points throughout the season.

Time for my Playoff Challenge (link), I generally host a free one on NFL.com and the Commish of the ECB leagues usually hosts a paid version on CBS.