I was off on Friday because I worked last weekend. It is so nice to finally have some help, I love being able to have a life again! Anyway, I invited some of the neighbors over for a quick Halloween dinner of chili and hot dogs, odd combination, I know, but the kids won’t eat chili so I figured we would throw some dogs on the grill to feed the kiddo’s before their night of trick or treating started.
Originally, I thought we would eat outside, but the day dawned cold and windy, no worries, we certainly have enough room in the house to host a party! I made homemade chili, a huge pan of cornbread, and made sure the candy basket was full to the brim. Everyone brought something to share and we dug in to a big pot of spicy chili.
I make my chili with beef cubes that I cut into bite size pieces. I prefer it to a ground beef chili. I tried, really hard to not make it too spicy and I think it worked. I never follow a recipe for this, I make it completely by smell and color. I start by sauteing onions and green peppers in a bit of olive oil. Once they start to soften, I add minced garlic and a whole host of spices. I use two different kinds of cumin, two varieties of paprika, chili powder, chipotle powder, cayenne pepper, oregano, salt and pepper. Crazy, I know, but I love the combination of spices, how the roasted cumin and the smoked paprika give the dish a hint of smokiness, how the heat from the chili powder, chipolte, and cayenne hit your palate at different times when you are eating. Yum!
Anyway, once the veggies are tender, I add my spices and saute them for a bit. After they have cooked for a minute, I add the tomato paste and crushed tomatoes to the pot.
While the vegetables are cooking, I brown up the beef cubes and start adding them to the pot with the vegetables.
Once the beef cubes are in the pot, it is a matter of letting it all simmer for a few hours to tenderize the meat and allow the spices to blend. I usually let mine cook for about 5 hours and the meat just falls apart when you dish it up.
I put out some shredded cheese, sour cream, and hot sauce to add to the chili. I think everyone had a good time. I know the kids loved the cornbread and hot dogs, maybe next year I will make them corn dogs on a stick! What did you make for Halloween dinner?