When I was little, we didn't eat a lot of junk food or fast food or anything like that, but the one thing that everyone in my family really loved were the Southwest Taco Salads from Wendy's. That was the one fast food item that my parents let us have once in a while and we all loved it! I remember when I came home after the year in Germany, my parents and sis picked me up in D.C. and we stopped to get the Southwest Taco Salad along the way home. The salad has a new name now at Wendy's, I believe, but it's basically a salad with chili on top. YUM!
Since nothing warms you up on a cold and dreary winter day like warm, hearty chili, I decided to make a batch of it when I realized I had almost all the ingredients that could make a delicious chili at home already. Here's what I had:
5 Cloves of Garlic
500g Tomato Puree
2 Tbs Tomato Paste
3 Tbs Chili Powder
1 Tbs Red Pepper Flakes
2 Fresh Tomatoes, chopped
1 Can of Black Beans
A dash of hot madras curry powder
A pinch of cinnamon
First, I sauteed the onion for a few minutes (the onions are super strong in Croatia), then added the minced garlic for a bit longer. Then, I added the chili powder and red pepper flakes and mixed it up within the garlic and onion. Next, went in the chopped fresh tomatoes and I sauteed them too. I added the tomato paste to the whole mix. It smelled amazing already! After another couple minutes, I poured in the tomato puree and let the whole pot simmer together. At this point, I threw in the 2 secret ingredients. I almost forgot to put the beans in, which I had rinsed and drained but I put them in then and let it all simmer away happily together.
I got this amazing ciabatta bread from the bakery to use for my Thanksgiving stuffing but I couldn't resist cutting a few slices of it to enjoy with the chili. T and I also used the chili as dip with some chips! If I had had sour cream or some kind of cheese at home, I would have put those on top too but this was delicious as it was!