When I was growing up, chili always had beans. We never even called them "red beans" or "kidney beans". At our house, they were "chili beans." So I wanted to add beans to this recipe. I didn't have a bag of dried beans to cook, but I did have a couple of cans, so I added one can to this recipe. (There's a toxin in some beans--especially bad in red beans--that can be a problem if the beans aren't cooked at a high enough temperature. Crock-pot cooking generally won't get hot enough, so red beans need to be cooked separately, then added to the crock-pot. Or you can just open a can...)
I had a large onion, rather than a medium one (from my store's "locally grown" produce section). I like onions, but I started chopping this thing and it seemed to go on forever. I used a little more than half of the onion; I chopped and refrigerated the rest.
My skillet (for browning the beef) wasn't large enough to do all the beef at once. I did it in two batches. The good news: the front left stove-top
Not so fine was the state of the spoon rest I had on my stove. I put the metal tongs on the rest for a moment, and they melted a spot. Really? The spoon rest--and its cheap kitchen gadget black plastic brethren--are in the trash now. (The back of the pieces said heat-resistant to 400F. Um, I don't think so--) I've put an old Corning ramekin on the stove to serve as a spoon rest. It's shallow, so spoons won't fall out of it, and it's nice, safe Corning that's rated for inside the oven.
I used to have a set of double-ended measuring spoons, and the bowls of the spoons were shaped like this:
I don't know what happened to those spoons, but I'm definitely going to shop for a new set of these. It's silly to have fat, round spoons that won't fit into a spice bottle.
And I learned that if you start cooking at 3am, your dogs won't bother to get out of bed to see what you're doing in the kitchen.
I have some boil-in-bag rice I'll cook in the microwave to put the chili on. I have the plain white rice, Jasmine, and Basmati, which I bought just to try them out. The Jasmine is lovely, and I can eat it plain and unseasoned. I'm not as fond of straight Basmati, but it should be just fine under the chili.
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Chili over Basmati rice, with shredded cheddar and sour cream
The chili is very good. The spice combination is good--not too hot.
For me, though, maybe less of the crushed tomatoes. Despite stirring the crock before it started cooking and again before I dished up, I'm encountering some mouthfuls that seem to be plain tomato, without the seasoning.
I've had a bowl (for breakfast). I've turned off the crock-pot and I'll let the contents cool some before I package them for the freezer and the refrigerator. Meanwhile, the little nap I had between 5:30 and 8:15 (when the timer for the chili went off) is not going to get me through the day. I'm going to take another nap while the chili cools enough to be put away.
(Mostly) well-behaved foster boy came over when I had the chili. I told him "no," and he laid down as close as possible to nap. Move over, Peter, and I'll join you.
Note: After I ate a serving of about 1¾ cup, I let the chili cool while I took a nap. When I woke up, I packaged four batches of leftovers. Each package was 2 to 2½ cups so this made about 10 cups of chili.