As I’ve been writing this post while picking up bowl after bowl of cereal that the mini-ions have dropped on the floor, I’ve kept thinking about how dry this post is. But, when the raisin bran hits the floor, again, I realize, some days you just don’t have it in you to be witty. Maybe after two or three more cups of coffee.
In my post about Pasta Fagioli I talked about how I like making some of the ingredients that can be bought, because it is cheaper and healthier. I’m going to lead up to our favorite chili recipe, by giving some of the ingredients that I make.
It is definitely cheaper to make a lot of the ingredients. The chili beans alone are a huge savings. One bag of dry pinto beans costs about $1. And will make about 8 cups of chili beans. Granted, you’ll pay for the electricity (I cook mine in the slow cooker), water and seasonings, but I think it still is a significant cost savings.
It takes more effort. True, it does. But beans are a pretty easy ingredient to make from scratch – here’s how. I’ll take a full pound bag, sort and rinse them (I keep the rejects for blind baking of tarts). Soak them in a large crockpot overnight. The next morning, rinse them, add some herbs (for beans for chili I like to add oregano, for beans for other purposes I like to add thyme, for baked beans, I’ll add onion and pepper and maybe a little bacon). Cover with about two inches of water on top. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours, adding some salt around hour 5 (salt at the beginning can make them tough).
I let cool and use what I need for that meal, then bag up the rest in 2 cup increments for the freezer. At the end of baked beans, I’ll squirt in Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce (I haven’t convinced dear husband of a homemade one, yet).
If you like your chili spicy, I found a really really great recipe for chili beans. For my chili, I’ll make my beans plain and add a chili spice mix to the whole pot. but that link to the recipe makes good, spicy chili beans.
- Beans, beans! (seasonallyeffective.wordpress.com)
- Jack sold a cow for some beans, came home to his mother, and spilled the beans (crumbsoffthetable.wordpress.com)