I'm no Martha Stewart, but here is a good thing. On cold days like today I like nothing better than a steaming bowl of Chili Con Carne. I make mine with veggie mince instead of beef. To my shame, I must admit to using a certain pre-packaged chili seasoning mix. I know, it's unforgivable, but I think I can be redeemed because I have found a recipe to make my own chili seasoning mix! You can make it in advance and store it in your spice cupboard until you need it.
Use a small jar with a tight fitting lid, any old jam jar will do. Mix together the following ingredients:
2 Tablespoons of plain flour
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons white sugar
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon dried mixed herbs or oregano
1 Tablespoon paprika
Chop one large onion into a small dice and fry in a little oil until the onion is soft and almost translucent.
Add ground beef (1 pound or 500 grams) or veggie mince to the onions and cook until the meat is browned. Drain any excess fat from the meat.
Stir in 1 can chopped tomatoes and a dollop of tomato ketchup or tomato paste (optional).
Mix two or three teaspoons of the chili seasoning mix with a few tablespoons of cool water, enough to make a loose, smooth paste. Stir paste into the pot. Start with a conservative amount of spice, you can always add more.
Simmer gently for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure the sauce doesn't stick and scorch.
Once the sauce is thick and rich looking, add one can of kidney beans. I like the ones in chili sauce but if you use regular kidney beans, make sure to drain and rinse them before adding them to the pot.
Simmer until the chili is hot and bubbling gently.
Now you are ready to eat! Andy likes his chili poured over a bowl of plain white rice and a few slices of garlic bread. I like mine straight with hot buttered corn muffins. I feel warmer already!