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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Taco Chili

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This is a recipe to pass along to your neighbor who insists they can't cook. Or your brother, who's looking for an easy, inexpensive meal for him and his college buddies. Or you, because you don't have time for a labor intensive meal but you're trying to avoid hitting the drive-thru.

The point is, you can't go wrong with this recipe. You can handle it, so long as you can handle opening and dumping a bunch of cans and browning some turkey. You can pay for it, because it's going to feed a lot more people for a lot less than a trip to McDonalds will. You can't screw it up, and my experience making it is testament to that.
I got this recipe from my friend Amanda, who actually passed it along to our friend Maggie. Maggie had made it a few times for us and I finally asked for the recipe. Though I've posted the original recipe below, let it be known that I forgot the tomato sauce, subbed jalapeƱo salsa for the diced tomatoes, added a bunch of spices in place of the taco seasoning, and used frozen corn instead of a can. You'd have never known I strayed from the original recipe...and I guarantee you can do the same! Add black beans, eliminate the meat (or double it!), or throw your favorite salsa in there. I promise you'll end up with a hearty, comforting batch of soup that you'll find yourself making again and again. As for the name, it's a heated debate whether this is taco soup or a chili, so I decided to settle the debate and compromise, dubbing it "taco chili"!

One Year Ago: Wilted Greens and Roasted Sweet Potato Winter Salad
Two Years Ago: Cranberry, Pistachio, and Ginger Blondie Cake
Three Years Ago: Ten Minute Tomato Soup

Taco Chili
from Amanda

-1 lb ground beef or turkey
-1 onion, chopped
-3 cans Mexican chili beans
-1 can corn
-1 can tomato sauce 
-1 can diced tomatoes
-1 can green chilies
-1 packet taco seasoning (alternately, add garlic powder, chili powder, oregano, and cumin to taste)
-1 packet dry ranch dressing mix
-1 1/2 cups water
-desired accompaniments (chips, cilantro, cheese, sour cream, etc.)

1. In a large stock pot, brown meat with onions. Add remaining ingredients (do not drain cans) and bring the soup to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes, or until heated through.
2. Serve bowls with sour cream, cheese, cilantro, and tortilla chips, or other desired toppings.