Friday, December 4, 2009

Chili and the SEC Championship!

Its time to gear up for cold weather, warm chili, and good ol' fashion football! Thats right its the SEC championship, a rematch between the Florida Gators and Alabama Crimson Tide. Its hopefully gonna be a great game! After 10 years, Dave has converted me to a Florida fan, and I love it! I'll be making a big batch of chili and watching my gators. This chili is pretty awesome, and it freezes pretty well too. Here is the recipe.

Big-Batch Chili

4  pounds  ground chuck
2  medium onions, chopped
1  green pepper, chopped
2  garlic cloves, minced
3  (14 1/2-ounce) cans diced tomatoes, undrained
4  (8-ounce) cans tomato sauce
1  (6-ounce) can tomato paste
1/4  cup  chili powder
1  tablespoon  sugar
1  teaspoon  salt
1  teaspoon  pepper
1/2  teaspoon  paprika
1/2  teaspoon  ground red pepper
1  bay leaf
2  (16-ounce) cans light red kidney beans, rinsed and drained (optional)

Toppings: sour cream, shredded Cheddar cheese, chopped green onions, sliced ripe black olives

Cook ground chuck, in batches, in a large skillet over medium-high heat about 5 minutes, stirring until meat crumbles and is no longer pink; drain. Place meat in a 6-quart slow cooker; stir in onions, next 12 ingredients, and, if desired, beans. Cook, covered, at HIGH 5 to 6 hours or at LOW 6 to 8 hours. Remove and discard bay leaf. Serve with desired toppings.

Cooktop preparation: Cook ground chuck, in batches, in a large Dutch oven. Drain beef and return to Dutch oven. Add onions, next 12 ingredients, and, if desired, beans. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; reduce heat, cover, and simmer 4 to 6 hours. Remove and discard bay leaf.

To freeze: Let chili stand 30 minutes. Evenly divide chili mixture into 3 (1-gallon) zip-top plastic freezer bags; seal and lay each bag flat. Stack bags of chili in freezer. Freeze up to 1 month. Thaw frozen chili overnight in refrigerator or defrost in microwave. Pour thawed chili into a 9-inch square baking dish. Cover tightly with heavy-duty plastic wrap, and fold back a corner to allow steam to escape. Microwave at HIGH 6 to 7 minutes or until bubbly, stirring after 3 1/2 minutes.

Well, if that doesn't get you fired up enough, check out some of these videos of my man Spikes and the other Florida Gators!

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