I don't love to cook.
There, I said it.
I read all these great recipes and think I will try them some day, but some day never comes around. Although that pineapple casserole recipe Riley posted last week sure is tempting.
None of the protagonists in my books like to cook, either. Well, not the women anyway. Sarah, one of the homicide detectives in my new mystery, doesn't even make real instant coffee. She runs the tap until the water is hot and uses that. No messing with a tea kettle or even a microwave for that woman.
I didn't pattern Sarah after me. Honest. I do know how to boil water, but I did think that little quirk said something about her as a character. She has a tendency to focus on the end result, often skipping steps along the way, which does get her into trouble with her boss, and her new partner.
When trying to decide what to share today, I thought about my chili, which folks here in Texas do not consider the real deal. Okay, the recipe came from Michigan. What can I say.
When I was a child, this chili was made every Sunday and left simmering on the stove. That was the one day of the week that the “cook” took the rest of the day off, and we were free to eat a bowl whenever we were hungry. Some of us liked to eat it spread generously over an open-faced hamburger bun. We called it a chili burger.
I thought of those great, lazy Sunday afternoons when the heroine in One Small Victory needed some “comfort food” for her children. What better than a bowl of Gringo Chili.
1 lb. ground beef
1 lb. pork sausage (mild)
1 onion (chopped)
1 green pepper (chopped)
3 toes of garlic (more if you are a garlic lover)
3 lg. cans crushed tomatoes
1 lg. can tomato paste
2 cans pinto beans drained and rinsed
1 can green chilies
3 tsp chili powder
½ tsp. crushed red pepper
½ tsp cinnamon
2 tblsp. sugar
Brown meat with crushed garlic, onions and peppers. Cook until vegetables are soft. Drain. Add tomatoes, beans, and tomato paste, then add seasonings. Simmer, stirring often, for at least an hour.
Of course, the recipe can be modified; adding more spices to make it sizzle, but then it wouldn't be Gringo Chile any more, would it?
Maryann Miller's latest mystery, Open Season, is the first in a new series. It is a police procedural in the vein of The 87th Precinct series, and the second book, Stalking Season will be out November 2012. Her suspense novel, One Small Victory, is available as an e-book and in paperback. Visit her Web site at www.maryannwrites.com. Find her on Twitter at @maryannwrites and on Facebook.
Thanks for coming by today, Maryann! I think some Gringo Chili sounds like the perfect all-American option for the 4th of July weekend! Thanks for sharing it with us!