One thing I've learned while living in Texas this past year and a half is that Texans love Texas! They love living here, playing here, and eating here. Most Texans I've met wouldn't live anywhere else in the world. They don't mind the heat, hate the cold, and have a state pride that they aren't afraid to show to the world. They even have there own holiday, Go Texan Day. This state wide celebration is held on the Friday before the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo starts (February 26, 2010). On Go Texan Day kids and grown-ups alike are encouraged to step out in their finest western wear as they display their Texas spirit.
At my son's preschool where I work, we celebrate Go Texan Day with lots of cowboy and cowgirl hats, boots, and pearl snap shirts, and a chili cook-off. Each of the classes makes a big pot of chili which is enjoyed and entered into a friendly competition. It is quite impressive to watch a room full of four year olds slurp up big bowls of hot chili topped with cheese, fritos, and sour cream. Even better is watching the ones who choose to enjoy their chili perched upon a hot dog, messy and delicious! Little Texans are so cute!
In honor of Go Texan Day, I am sharing my favorite chili recipe. Place all the ingredients in the crock pot in the morning and come home to a luscious aroma and hot meal that everyone will enjoy. Take a lesson from some little Texans and top your big bowl of chili with fritos (sometimes called Frito Pie), cheese, and sour cream. If you're lucky enough to have any leftover chili, rustle up some hot dogs and serve chili dogs for lunch the next day. Happy Go Texan Day!
Crock Pot Chili
2 cans pinto or kidney beans, drained (sometimes I use a combination)
2 cans (28 ounce each) diced tomatoes, undrained
2 large green peppers, seeded and coarsely chopped*
2 large onions, coarsely chopped*
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 cup finely chopped parsley
2 pounds ground beef or turkey
1 to 3 Tablespoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon cumin seed
optional: 2 to 4 Tablespoons tomato paste
*sometimes I used frozen chopped onions and peppers to save time
- Brown ground beef or turkey and drain off excess fat if needed (great to do the night before).
- Add all ingredients to crock pot. Mix thoroughly.
- Cover crock pot and cook on low 8 to 14 hours.
- Check one hour before serving. If chili seems to watery add a few tablespoons of tomato paste. Also taste for seasoning and add additional chili powder or salt as needed.
- Serve on top of a hot dog, on top of a pile of fritos, or in a large bowl topped with cheese and sour cream. Also, great served next to a big slab of cornbread.