With Super Bowl 2012 just around the corner, there’s no shortage of recipe ideas for game day. From chips and dips, cocktails and coolers, and of course… NACHOS!… it’s quite simple to put on an enviable spread.
When I first found this Big Batch Chili-In-The-Oven recipe from Life Made Delicious, I had fully intended to go double duty – chili in a bowl for dinner, leftover chili on nachos for Super Bowl Sunday. I had high hopes for the recipe as it currently has 34 thumbs up, and I figured a few dozen people can’t be wrong.
Do you want the good news or bad news first?
Okay bad news. The bad news is that even though I pretty much followed the recipe to the letter, the texture of the chili is completely unsuitable for nachos. There is just SO much rice in the dish, I’d venture to say this is more like Cuban Dirty Rice than chili. There is just rice, rice and more rice everywhere. Yikes!
Good news. Whatever the heck this dish is, it is BEYOND FREAKIN’ DELICIOUS. We can’t get enough! I absolutely adore all the vibrant, pungent flavours that come through; smoky cumin, tangy tomato, fresh cilantro. And, the earthiness of the ground beef and beans. It’s like Chili 2.0: The Wrath of Rice. I will make this dish again, but I’ll either severely cut down on the white stuff or omit it altogether.
1 lb (1 kg) lean ground beef, chicken or turkey
2 jars (each 650 mL) Old El Paso Thick N’ Chunky Salsa*
2 cans (each 19 oz/540 mL) kidney beans or black beans, drained and rinsed*
4 cups (1 L) water
2 pouches (each 39 g) Old El Paso Chili Seasoning Mix*
1 cup (250 mL) long grain rice
2 cups (500 mL) shredded Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese, divided*
sliced green onions and shredded Cheddar cheese if desired
Before I head on to the method, here are a few substitutions I made:
I had a large, Costco-sized jar of Garden Fresh Gourmet “Jack’s Special Medium” salsa – which happens to be my favourite salsa of all time – that was due to expire in two days. So I used that, because it was what I had on hand.
What I didn’t have on hand was Old El Paso Chili Seasoning Mix. However, since I have an extremely well-stocked spice rack, I was able to create my own with this recipe:
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons chili powder
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper
1 tablespoon dried minced onion
1 tablespoon dried, minced garlic
2 teaspoons white sugar
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons dried parsley
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
I used 2/3 of a cup. Regarding the beans: I used one can of kidney beans, one can of black beans. Regarding the cheese: that’s a whole lotta cheese. I used only one cup.
“Heat oven to 350°F (180°C). Brown beef in Dutch oven or large saucepan over medium-high heat; drain.” I did this, and took a very uninspiring photo.
“Spoon into two 9×13-inch (23×33 cm) rectangular baking pans. Cover and bake for 30 minutes.” I decided to go hardcore and just place the entire works into one large baking dish. Note to readers: it was pretty darn heavy.
“Into each pan, stir in 1 cup (250 mL) of the shredded cheese. Bake, uncovered for 5 minutes until rice is tender and cheese is melted. Top with additional cheese and green onion if desired.” This is what the dish looked like when it first came out of the oven —
However, as the dish cooled down, it appeared that the rice was really soaking up all the excess moisture. My husband’s second helping was definitely thicker, and heartier (still excellent flavour though).
All in all, it wasn’t what I expected – but I’ll give it two thumbs up just the same. The dish is exceptionally tasty and likely one of the easiest meals I’ve ever made. You can find this, and more easy recipes, from Life Made Delicious.
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