I know! Who would give a chili that name? I assure you, it was not the maker of the cookbook from which I obtained this recipe many moons ago.
Yes . . . I'm afraid that I gave it that name.
Logic, of course!
It makes a ton. It freezes well. It's warm. It's comfort food.
Perfect for someone who's just lost someone - with plenty for guests and/or leftovers.
And, sadly, I had to make it quite often a few years back, so I just sort of gave it that unfortunate moniker.
No, I haven't suddenly become cold and unfeeling. It's just that I have always tried to find something that will satisfy someone when they are feeling blue and food fills the bill. I have plenty of heart- and tummy-warming pasta dishes, but don't we all? (Except for my sister, who hates to cook, but she's also not the type to be bringing you food to make you feel all better, either...but that's an entirely different post...)
I wanted to find something other than pasta to make someone feel loved.
And, before you lose all respect for me, I don't just call it "Death Chili." It's also called "New Baby Chili," "New House/Apartment Chili," "Breakup Chili," "Get Well Chili," and "Crappy Day at Work Chili."
But feel free to name it any disaster or triumph you wish!
When my beloved next-door neighbor Ron died unexpectedly, I made this, um, "Death Chili" and brought it over with all the fixin's and some honey cornbread. However, the cornbread looked a little different to me when it came out of the oven and I wasn't quite sure how it tasted so when I brought the food over to my now-beloved-widow next-door neighbor Sue, I announced to her and her son and his wife that I wasn't too sure about the cornbread and that I hoped it wouldn't make them feel worse.
Well, that brought a laugh and now I use that line every time I bring over feel-better food, even if it's not true. It helps ease the tension and hopefully brings a much-needed laugh.
Although, admittedly, on the days when I make it just because I want to eat it myself, I have a sliiiiiight worry in the back of my mind that perhaps something bad will happen now that I have it ready to go. Like reverse karma.
So far, so good. No chili-induced disasters.
So call it whatever you wish:
Death/New Baby/New House/New Apartment/Break-up/Get Well/Crappy Day Chili...
In reality, if you've taken the time to give of yourself and your heart to make this for someone to brighten their day, you may wish to call it:
Sweet Corn Chili
What clearly makes this chili special is the addition of corn which gives a slight crunch as well as a mild sweetness. I never make any other kind of chili now.
1-1/2 lbs ground beef
1-1/2 cups chopped onions
3 TB vegetable oil
2 green peppers, chopped
3 crushed garlic cloves
2 TB chili powder (or more to taste)
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 28-oz cans crushed tomatoes
2 15-oz cans kidney beans, drained
1 28-oz package frozen corn (I have YET to find a 28-oz pkg of corn! Just buy what you can to get enough) or canned corn
Brown the beef in a frying pan over medium heat. Meanwhile, in a soup pot, saute the onions in oil over medium heat for about 5 minutes, or until translucent. Add the green pepper and garlic and cook for a few more minutes. Once the meat browns, drain the fat and add the meat to the onion mixture. Lower the heat, add the seasonings, tomatoes, beans, and corn. Stir well, cover, and simmer for 1/2 hour.