Friday, May 22, 2015

Four Recipes to Use with Homemade Chili

In my last post, I gave you a recipe for homemade chili. Some of the recipes I use with my homemade chili are below. Since much of the cooking has already been done, most of the recipes below can be ready in 30 minutes or less.

Enchilada Bake

Enchiladas are delicious, but require more time than I have available. A while back, I cut some corners and came up with Enchilada Bake. It tastes the same, but requires much less time to make than traditional enchiladas.
homemade chili
shredded cheddar cheese
large package of corn tortillas (or make your own)

The amount of the above ingredients you need depends on the size container you are making the enchiladas in. I usually have a crowd and use a 10"X14" baking dish, but when it is just the two of us, I use a small 1 quart casserole dish.

First, pour a cup or two (depending on the size of the pan) of the chili in the bottom of the pan. Then layer the ingredients in this order: whole tortillas, chili, then cheese. Continue layering until the pan is full or has as much in it as you need for a meal, making sure you finish with a layer of cheese. Bake at 375 degrees F. for 20 minutes, or until cheese is melted.

Chili Mac

1 pound of macaroni, cooked and drained
3 cups of homemade chili (more if desired)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Mix the cooked macaroni and homemade chili in a large bowl. Pour into a casserole or baking dish. Top with shredded cheese and bake at 375 degrees F. for 20 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Mexican Pizza

Crust for one pizza
1 cup of homemade chili
 3 cups of shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
 chopped onion
 chopped peppers (bell peppers, jalapenos, etc.) to taste
    Prepare the crust as directed. Spread the chili evenly over the crust. Sprinkle the cheese over the top evenly until all cheese is used. Top with your choice of onion or peppers. Bake for 20 minutes in a 425 degree oven or until the cheese is melted and the crust is done.

Frito Pie

1 large bag of original Fritos
2 to 3 cups of homemade chili, depending on taste
1 1/2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese
    Mix the Fritos and the chili in a large bowl, then pour into a baking dish. Top with cheese and bake for 20 minutes or until cheese is melted.
    For single servings, use individual lunch size bags of Fritos. Slit the package open along the long side (top to bottom), pour in 1/2 cup home made chili, and top with cheese. Serve with a spoon. Using individual bags like this makes clean up a breeze, and is especially good when you are on a camping trip or having a backyard party for teens.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Homemade Chili for a Crowd

My favorite way to make homemade chili starts with 5 pounds of lean ground beef. Some people like to brown their ground beef in oil, but I much prefer the softer texture that results from boiling it in a bit of water. Be sure you start with a large stock pot  and stir often!

Homemade Chili for a Crowd

  • 5 pounds lean ground meat
  • 6 cups of water
  • 2 #3 (large) cans of diced tomatoes
  • 4-8oz. cans of tomato sauce
  • 2 large onions, diced
  • 1/2 cup diced garlic (less if you don't like garlic that much)
  • 2-4oz. cans of chopped or diced green chilies
  • 1/2 cup chili powder
  • 2-16oz. cans of dark kidney beans or black beans, drained and rinsed, if desired
  • 1 tbsp. sea salt or to taste
  • 1 tbsp. black pepper or to taste
  • Additional water as needed

In an 8 quart or larger stock pot, break the ground beef up into small pieces in the water. Bring to a boil and cook until the meat is completely brown. Add the rest of the ingredients. Allow to boil for another 30 minutes, then reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook for at least two hours. Check often to make sure there is enough liquid in the chili to keep it from burning, and add hot water when needed. Stir when you check it. Serve with grated cheddar cheese and crackers.
There's nothing quite like homemade chili. You can do so much with it, from eating it in a bowl, to making enchiladas, to chili mac, to Mexican pizza, to Frito pie, and more! Homemade chili can be the base for many recipes. Let your imagination be your guide!

Note: I just made this chili recipe using ground chuck, which is about 20% fat. I had to scoop off about two cups of fat from the top after it finished cooking. I used a coffee cup to do that, but if you set it into the refrigerator overnight, the fat will congeal on the top and you can just lift it off to discard. I much prefer using 97% fat free ground meat. It still tastes great with a lower priced ground meat, though.
My next post will have recipes I use with homemade chili.

Photo credit: EmilyClaire1824

Monday, February 13, 2012

Hot Cocoa for a Crowd

Most of the time, we are doing bulk-cooking to prepare for many meals at once. Occasionally, we do bulk-cooking to feed a large group. I recently came across this recipe to make Hot Cocoa for a crowd and decided to share it here.

Hot Cocoa
# of Servings255075100
Cocoa1 1/4 cups2 1/2 cups3 3/4 cups5 cups
Sugar1 3/4 cups3 1/4 cups5 cups6 1/2 cups
Salt1 1/2 tsp.1 tbsp.1 1/2 tbsp.2 tbsp.
Cold Water1 pint1 quart1 1/2 quarts2 quarts
Hot Milk1 1/2 gallons2 1/2 gallons3 3/4 gallons5 gallons
Vanilla1/2 tsp.1 tsp.1 1/2 tsp.2 tsp.
Mix the cocoa, sugar, and salt well. Add water to the mixture and mix using a whisk to break up clumps and lumps. Heat the mixture to boiling. Boil 5 minutes, then add hot milk and beat until frothy. Add vanilla. Serve in heat proof cups.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Bulk Cooking Hamburger: Ready to Go Meal Prep

Recently, our local grocery store had a huge sale on ground chuck and ground round. I purchased about 15 pounds, then had to decide what to do with it. One reason I bought it was that I wanted to make some homemade chili, but it was too much ground meat, even for chili. My solution? I cooked it all, then put it up in the freezer in 2 cup portions. The 2 cup portions were just about what I would put in a hamburger casserole or stovetop hamburger pasta meal. Because this advance bulk cooking was done, in the future, when I want to make my hamburger stroganoff or a mac and cheese hamburger dish, it will only take long enough for the pasta to cook, since the ground meat is already done.

It is important to note that if you are cooking ground meat to use later, you shouldn't put salt in it. Salt in meat will keep it from freezing completely, which could cause the meat to spoil in the freezer if not used immediately.

For the past several years, I have used a FoodSaver to prepare my foods for freezing. Since I have vacume sealed all my foods before freezing, I have not lost any food to freezer burns, even when leaving them in the freezer longer than recommended. When I am bulk cooking foods for later use, the FoodSaver is my favorite tool for preparing my food for freezing.

Bulk cooking is not only helpful when it comes time to prepare meals, it allows you to take advantage of sale prices, too!