Saturday, 29 September 2012

Chili con Carne

The weather has just started to change here. The evenings are getting cooler and some days aren't that hot.  Even when I was a student, and this weather meant the impending doom of school starting, I liked it.  I like that the hot days end with a reprieve of cool open window sleep weather.  I like dragging out the hoodies (not the snowsuits!!) and cardigans.  I like the slightly shorter days.  Mind you in 2 months when it is dark by 6:30 at night I am almost suicidal...but dark by 8 is a completely respectful time that I can live with.

Another nice thing about the change in the weather is that we have been able to turn off the air conditioners, open the windows and breathe the real of the draw backs to this is that my ratty ol'dog has to bark at anyone who walks by and dares breathe.....which means she is great at warning us that neighbours are walking dogs, or the mail has arrived but means that we will have very little warning in the Zombie Apocalypse.

And every year I celebrate this time not just for the open windows but for the cooking windows that open with cooler weather.

"I fear not the hot baking oven ....I fear not slow long cooked stews....I fear not  pungent spicy curries (see while I say this I see myself standing a top a mountain with one arm thrust in the air, oven mitt on fist holding maybe like a ladle or large wooden spoon or you see it?) I fear not.....ok so you catch my drift...."

And so I fear not the Chili con Carne, a kid favourite around here


1 medium onions, peeled and finely diced
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely diced
1 medium carrot, peeled and finely diced
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tin or home canned jar of diced tomatoes
1 tin mixed beans, kidney beans, chickpeas, black beans, drained and rinsed
1 tin corn niblets, drained
1 lbs good quality ground beef
1 small bunch fresh cilantro leaves, washed and chopped
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper

Options: A pot of cooked balsamic rice, grated cheese, plain yogurt, cut up avocado or guacamole, fresh lime slices.

To a large pot on medium-high heat add the olive oil and all the chopped vegetables. Add the chili powder, cinnamon and a good pinch of salt and pepper.  Stirring frequently let the vegetables soften and lightly colour.  Add the corn, beans and tinned tomatoes.  Add the ground beef, breaking up the larger chunks.  Let it all come to a boil and then turn the heat down to a simmer. Let the meat cook through, about 20 minutes.  Stir in the balsamic vinegar and let cook a further 10 minutes.  Add cilantro just before serving. Serve on rice with a sprinkle of cheese, a dollop of yogurt, sliced avocado and a squeeze of lime.

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