It occurred to me as I was cleaning up from making this chili that it's been a very long time since I (or we) made a vat of either chili or pasta sauce - anything involving multiple cans of anything. We used to do this regularly, and always had either chili or pasta sauce or both in the freezer. I don't remember when that stopped. Or even the last time I made chili. But I did today, and this one took five cans of various things.
This started off as "Beef and Bean Chili", a recipe submitted by a fellow SparkPeople user, and involved cooking pinto beans from dry for a day before making the chili. I don't know what part of the world that user lives in, but at the grocery store I went to that week, I couldn't even find canned pinto beans, let alone dry ones. So, because the Beloved was with me, and hadn't entirely bought into the whole idea of pinto beans anyway, and was chivvying me along as he does when he's bored, I ended up with canned beans. These ones, in fact:
Romano beans were as close as I could find to pinto beans. Maybe they're the same thing; who knows? These looked like the Googled image of pinto beans on my phone. :)
The recipe called for chopped onion and garlic, ground beef, chili powder and two jalapeños, chopped parsley, a 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes, and salt to taste. Which didn't sound very interesting to me, honestly. So to this I added some chopped up mushrooms that needed eating, a yellow pepper ditto, a couple of stalks of celery sliced up, and about half a cup of chopped zucchini (which I like and I hope the Beloved doesn't even notice, because he could do with the veggies). And because of the added volume of stuff, I added a 28 oz can of diced tomatoes, and a 14 oz can, and a little can of tomato paste for thickening. And I might have sloshed in a bit of red wine, just because it was sitting out. (What?) I also halved the quantity of both chili powder and jalapeño (which I chopped up, though the recipe didn't specify what to do with it), and it's still nice and spicy.
I started cooking it about two hours ago, and here's how it looks now, after simmering a little:
Oh, and that pot? That's my (okay, our) Le Creuset Oval French Oven, and it's possibly the best piece of cookware I've had, ever. Nothing sticks to than enamel inside. Yes it weighs a ton, but it's gorgeous and useful and easy to clean up, so it's pretty much win-win-win for me. Also, making chili? Really lets you practice your knife skills. And I need even more practice.
We're off out for dinner tonight, so this will be my dinner on Tuesday and Thursday, when I need something quick and satisfying after the gym. I'll serve it over rice, with sour cream and cheese to help cut the fire. At least, that's the plan.