On Friday evenings I generally like to keep our meals quick, simple and fun. We often enjoy homemade pizzas or nachos. However, today, we finally awoke to cool autumn temperatures - low 40's ... why some folks here in S.E. Texas would even consider that down right COLD. I know better than that ... although I am a native Texan, I have had the opportunity to live and visit elsewhere. From personal experience I've learned that 40 something does not constitute COLD weather.
This morning's cooler temperatures did put me in the mood for some good old spicy comfort food, like chili and cornbread. (Yeah, I know, many yanks like their chili over pasta or rice, but here in Texas, we eat it with a SIDE of cornbread, garlic bread or crackers.) So this evening I will share my quick, simple, and frugal chili recipe with you.
Chili and Cornbread
3 1/2 c. cooked pinto beans, (1 lb. pkg. dried)
1/2 lb. ground meat (today I used elk, but you can use beef)
1 tbsp. bacon grease (omit if using store bought ground beef)
1 qt. tomatoes w/ juice, diced
1 lg. onion, diced
1 tbsp. Spanish paprika
2-3 tbsp. chili powder (less for mild / more for spicy)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. all-purpose seasoning
salt & pepper to taste
In a large stock pot, stir together all ingredients. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until bubbly. If too thick, stir in water until desired consistancy is reached. Reduce heat and simmer an additional 20 minutes. Serve immediately with a side of cornbread ( http://herpeculiarlife.blogspot.com/2008/07/fried-green-tomatoes.html ).
Makes 6 servings.
Frugal Time Tip: Cook dried beans (1/2 the price per oz. of canned) ahead of time and freeze them in 1 or 2 cup portions. Whenever a recipe calls for cooked beans, they are cooked up and ready for use. I generally cook mine overnight while sleeping by using my crock pot. Cooking dried beans while sleeping or out of the house is a huge time and money saver.
1 lb. dried beans, $0.98
1/2 lb. ground beef, $0.99
qt. tomatoes $1.18
spices $0.50 (est.)
homemade cornbread $0.78 (8 servings)
Total: $4.77 OR only $0.76 per person