Chili has the benefit of being made largely from ingredients that you can find in most reasonably stocked kitchens, I add cubes of red (or yellow) pepper if I have one to hand, but leave it out if I haven't. The only fresh ingredients are an onion, some garlic (and I, anyway, keep a bag of Rock frozen chopped garlic in the freezer) and some minced beef. Having a pack of beef in the sainted appliance was the main reason for cooking this tonight; as I haven't left the house in over a week now, I'm doing my 'food shopping' from the freezer! Thank heavens for our seemingly weather-proof milkman and my wonderful bread machine; we'd really be having problems, food-wise, without them!.
This is one of those fantastic dinners that is always welcome; one which you can dress up or down, depending on your constituency. With jacket potatoes and cheese it makes an easy family supper; one which I often turn to if I have a couple of portions of chilli in the freezer to use for a meal. For guests (often friends arriving late on a Friday evening to stay for the weekend), it can be tarted up a little by providing tortilla chips, grated cheese, sour cream and guacamole in addition to the chilli and a big bowl of plain-cooked rice.
Tonight I planned to find the middle ground with just chilli, rice and a dish of grated cheese, until James decided he fancied some garlic bread too. Fair enough, says I, and there we are...