Thursday, March 5, 2009
Rachael Ray's Chili Mac
It was another cold day here in New Jersey and I needed something to warm me up. I had a pound of ground sirloin defrosting in the fridge but wasn't sure what I wanted to make with it. I didn't want to make soup because I have photos of Escarole and Mini Meatball soup that I still haven't blogged about. After some internet searching I found a recipe from Rachael Ray for Chili Mac. There was only one ingredient that I didn't have which was Jalapeño peppers. That didn't stop me because I knew I had chipoltle hot sauce in the fridge and that would provide enough heat that this chili needed.
This recipe makes a lot (8 servings) so I have halved it so I would have enough for me and Steve and some leftovers for lunch. I have more than enough for lunch so I will be sharing that with my coworkers (taste testers!). I'm very happy with the way it came out. I wish I had some Mexican cheese to add to my dish but I didn't so I did sprinkle a little Romano. I know, I know, it's not an Italian dish but I was desperate. It's hard for me to eat any pasta without cheese!
Besides using only one pound of meat and half pound of pasta these are the changes and additions that I made. Did not use the Jalapeños but used 1/2 red bell pepper (because I had it) and a few shakes of chipolte sauce. I didn't use another hot sauce like Rachael uses but did add some smoked paprika, additional chili powder and adobo seasoning. Season this however you would normally season your chili. I don't measure the seasonings I just taste and adjust. I used two cans of diced tomatoes and broke them up with my wooden spoon as they cooked. With the amount of meat and pasta I had adding crushed tomatoes would make this dish too saucy for me. I wish I had scallions for garnish but I just finished my scallions a couple of days ago.
Here is the recipe in it's original form which could be found on the Food Network Website.
1 pound corkscrew shaped pasta with lines or elbows with lines
2 pounds ground sirloin
2 tablespoons (2 turns around the pan in a slow stream) extra-virgin olive oil
1 sweet onion, chopped
2 jalapeno peppers, seed and chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
3 tablespoons (1 1/2 palm fuls) dark chili powder
2 tablespoons (1 palm ful) cumin
2 tablespoons cayenne pepper sauce
1 cup beer or beef broth
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes in juice
1 (14-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
Chopped scallions, for garnish
In a large pot, boil pasta until al dente.
Meanwhile, in a big, deep pot, brown beef in oil over medium high heat. Add onions, peppers, and garlic. Season meat mixture with chili powder, cumin, cayenne, and salt. Cook together 5 minutes, stir in beer or broth, and reduce liquid by half, 2 minutes. Stir in tomatoes and simmer for 10 minutes.
Drain pasta. Add hot pasta to chili pot and stir to coat pasta evenly. Remove from heat and garnish big bowlfuls of chili mac with chopped scallions.