Football season is in full swing. However, as much as I love me some pizza and wings during NFL Sundays, I am trying to conserve some money. I figured chili is just the way to cook at home, eat yummy Fall food, and still have enough leftovers for the Monday night game. So fire up the crockpot when you wake up next Sunday and have a delish serve your self “buffet” set up for all day game watching. Your wallet will thank you and you can always check out the cute delivery guy next Sunday.
2 yellow onions, chopped
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons of minced garlic (fresh not powder)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 pounds Hot (or Mild) Italian Johnsonville Sausage crumbled (and then 1 pound ground beef, or turkey or even all 3 lbs. sausage, you pick!)
2 cans of diced tomatoes with green chilies (I used Rotel)
2 packages McCormick Chili Seasoning Mix (any flavor)
2 – 15 oz. cans Bush’s dark or light red kidney beans
2 green bell peppers chopped small
2 cans yellow corn
Pinch of cumin & red pepper flakes to taste (I ended up just throwing in a jalapeno instead of red pep flakes)
chicken broth, as desired for thinner consistency chili. It can also be stirred in at end.
Dump all ingredients in the order listed above and cook for 6-8 hrs. in crockpot. (I stirred half way through to make sure the meat was cooking evenly). I served with a platter of “garnishes” such as: shredded cheese, sour cream, pea shoots (or shredded lettuce), diced green onion, chopped avocado with a side warm baked corn bread. (don’t hate, but I cheated and used the store bought mixes vs. making from scratch). You can even skip the cornbread and crush up some tortilla chips as a topping as well. That’s why I love chili, its so versatile. Spicy, mild, whatever meat, veggies, and toppings galore, just eat and enjoy how you like it best!
Now that the nights are getting cooler, we can start turning to some cozy, spicy, comfort food. I’m not saying jump straight to the heavy chili, but you can definitely ease in to it with these lettuce wraps! They’ll make you sweat and cool you down all at once. Warning: Do not eat these in front of potential significant others! After seeing how messy these can get, they may not come back for seconds, if you know what I’m sayin’.
1 sliced cucumber
1/4 cup scallions
1 cup rice vinegar
1/2 cup water
2 tbsp chopped cilantro
2 tbsp chopped basil
1 tbsp peanut oil
1/2 sweet onion, diced
2 minced garlic cloves
1/4 cup scallions (don’t worry, the pickles will take care of any rank breath from the garlic and scallions!)
1 tbsp Sriracha (in a pinch, you can use Franks red hot sauce. It won’t be nearly as spicy, but still gets the job done.)
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp rice vinegar
1 lb ground beef (feel free to use ground chicken or turkey)
1 head boston lettuce
Throw all of the ingredients for the pickles in to a jar or bowl and store in the fridge while you prep the wraps.
For the wraps, heat the peanut oil over medium heat. Add in the onions, garlic, scallions, and meat and cook until brown. Slowly stir in all of the sauces – Sriracha, soy sauce, and rice vinegar. Cook until they’ve been absorbed by the meat, and serve immediately.
Scoop the meat in to a lettuce leaf and top with the pickled cucumbers. The heat from the meat and spices, paired with the chilled pickled cucumbers will be like a party in your mouth!