Wednesday, January 17, 2007


We've been entertaining a lot recently. Why? Because we're sick, of course. Nothing attracts invitations and calls, from family and friends alike, like the sleepless cough of a spouse or the oozing eye of a child.

To make things easier, we've had chili. But not just any old chili; we've had what I call German Chili. Why's that? Because the lady who taught it to me was German, silly person. And it has corn in it.

Apparently Germans think of corn as the quintessential American ingredient, like we associate tomatoes with Italian food, peanuts with Thai, or cumin with Mexican. How do I know? Well, a friend of mine went to Germany a while back (okay, like 10 years ago) and the Pizza Hut there had an American Pizza that featured corn. And a German friend is the only person I've ever seen put corn in chili.

Is there a hole in my logic? Yes. Moving on.

As crazy as it sounds, people like this chili. In fact, they ask for the recipe, hence this blog, despite the fact that TBC came out yesterday (my server is down, FYI). So, as long as I'm writing this up, I may as well post it here for both of you who still read this thing.

I'll post the basic recipe first, in all its Teutonic glory, and then I'll add a little something about variations.

German Chili
1 medium Onion
1lb Ground Beef
1 can Corn
1 can Red Beans
1 can Chili Beans
1 can diced or crushed Tomatoes

Brown the onion in a little oil. Brown the beef. Add all 4 cans and cook for about 15 minutes over medium-low heat.

Serves 4-6.

That's it. Very easy. The spices from the beans work in, and cooking longer over low heat blends everything nicely. This goes really well with cornbread or muffins, in spite of the obvious double-dipping into the Maize family.

And so, since I like to mess around with my food, I've come up with some variations.
  • More beef - sure, why not.
  • 2 cans of tomatoes - makes it more chili-like, in my opinion. Also, an increase in tomato content is an increase in the likelihood that Jonah will eat it.
  • Spices: 1/4 tsp of each of the following: chili powder, chili flakes, cayenne, paprika (for color), and cumin- this makes the above recipe kind of hot. As in none-of-my-kids-will-eat-it hot. Add more or less to your taste.
  • Sugar - I don't, but have at it if you like your chili more Hormel than "my nose is running"
Enjoy. More recipes as events warrant.


At 2:51 PM, Anonymous Chris Henderson said...

You are so sweet. Thank you so much for the recipe. I can't wait to make it. If the grocery store wasn't a mad house at the threat of 1 snowflake, I'd head out now. We had such a great time over the other night. Thanks so much for having us. Nothing better than a relaxing evening with 3 kids, 2 toddlers and a screaming baby. I had heard to have a blog, but never visited. Glad to know about it and now I can keep up with you guys more. Love, Chris

At 5:31 PM, Anonymous mark hannah said...

to Chris: What's this about the threat of snow? we have more than a foot on the ground and we go for a stroll with all the kids- up hill.. both ways.. and we love it! oh, how quickly I forget life in Hotlanta!

To Scott: I love your culinary genius! I actually said " That's it? " out loud right before I read what you wrote after the recipe- "That's it".
I have recenlty been introduced to a website that has inspired the little chef inside of me- I have made all sorts of new dishes and have not had to go out and buy special things that many recipes always include. As Dana says, if she only knew all it would take is a computer to get me in the kitchen more...
Actually, I cook quite a bit, but this website has given me many creative ideas. Of course, she has a whole shelf full of cookboks I can chose from. But why use those when I can store recipes in my online recipe box and even let the computer create shopping lists? The reviews are real helpful for giving me ideas for variations-kinda like this blog entry except other people write in. Check it out sometime- you might find yoourself whipping up some new dish the next time you have brochitis or a stomach virus- just for fun. BTW, I will be cooking the Mexican vegetable rice dish tonight- sounds real yummy.


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