Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Macaroni Chili

This recipe is my go-to staple. I love this. But before making this for the first time about a year ago, I had never used cumin and didn't know what it was for. Subsequently, I discovered it is used to give that smokey flavor in chili. When I started writing this post, I looked up "uses for cumin". 

Cumin seeds are used as a spice for their distinctive aroma, popular in NepaleseIndianPakistaniNorth AfricanMiddle EasternSri LankanCuban, northern Mexican cuisines, central Asian Uzbek cuisine, and the western Chinese cuisines of Sichuan and Xinjiang. Cumin can be found in some Dutch cheeses, such as Leyden cheese, and in some traditional breads from France. It is commonly used in traditional Brazilian cuisine. Cumin can be an ingredient in chili powder (often Texan or Mexican-style), and is found in achiote blends, adobossofritogaram masalacurry powder, and bahaaratCumin can be used ground or as whole seeds. Cumin was also used heavily in ancient Roman cuisine.

Wow! I had no idea it was used in so many different cultures and in so many un-chili types of food. Anyway, to the chili:

12oz. ground beef
3/4 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 (15oz.) can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 (8oz.) can tomato sauce
1 (8oz.) can stewed tomatoes (with juices), chopped
3/4 cup macaroni
1/4 cup water
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/3 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese.... or more if you're like me ;)

In large pot, brown the ground beef with the onions and garlic (I like to throw in a few shakes of Worcestershire sauce here). Drain fat.
Stir in beans, tomato sauce, tomatoes (with juices), macaroni, water, chili powder and cumin.
Bring to boil, reduce heat.
Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir well, then cover and simmer for 10 more minutes, or until macaroni is tender but firm (sometimes, when I'm feeling crazy, I like to throw in a can of drained corn). Sprinkle with cheese, then cover and let it melt over low heat. 

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