Last week was a long one for me, spent on the road for work. In the middle of my travels, our sweet foster dog was adopted. It is always hard to say goodbye to the dogs that we inevitably fall hard for, but it is even worse when I miss the chance to say goodbye at all. I mean, look at this face!
The week culminated with travel delays that landed me home after my husband had already left for his deer hunting adventure. The house felt so empty with one dog and one husband gone! Determined not to give in to the desire to sit around all weekend and
eat cookie dough alone feel sorry for myself, I invited a few of my friends over to watch the football game on Saturday. I spent the morning preparing a Razorback red spread that included this cheesy chili and plenty of other treats:
I was not too fond of chili before I started making it myself. When I make chili, I like fewer beans and more spices. I also usually add a few surprises (like my chili with roasted butternut squash or my sweet potato, black bean, and lentil chili). This version skips the veggies that my previous recipes have utilized and goes straight for the comfort food: Velveeta! Chili is one of the hallmarks of autumn, and Velveeta is one of the hallmarks of football game spreads. It was only natural to bring them together.
Yields 6 servings
You will need:
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large bell pepper, diced
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 2 cans (16 ounces each) diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
- 4 ounces chopped green chilis
- 1 can (16 ounces) chili beans
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 tablespoons Mexican chili powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon each garlic powder, dried parsley, salt, and pepper
- Hot sauce, to taste
- 8 ounces Velveeta cheese, sliced into large cubes
- Optional toppings: sour cream, cilantro, grated cheddar cheese, corn chips or tortilla chips, and avocado
- Add olive oil, onion, and garlic to a large pot set to medium-high heat. Saute for five minutes or so, and add the diced bell pepper. Cook for another five minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Once onions are fragrant, add ground beef. Cook until ground beef has browned, breaking up any clumps that form.
- Stir in tomatoes, tomato sauce, chilis, beans, water, and all spices and seasonings. Bring the mixture to a boil (uncovered), then reduce heat and cover the pot. Let the chili simmer for thirty minutes to an hour, stirring occasionally.
- Increase heat back to medium and add Velveeta. Cook for an additional 15 to 20 minutes, stirring frequently to mix the cheese into the chili.
- Serve hot with your choice of toppings.