Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Julie Surprise: Five Things to Do with a Can of Chili

Since we're all feeling rather poor and stressed lately, I thought I'd share some of the things I've come up with to make for dinner.

Canned foods tend to be less expensive than fresh food, but sometimes it can be hard to know how to use canned items without making you feel like, "Oh, yeah, I'm eating out of a can . . . Yummy."

I try to cook creatively and make things taste more homemade even when I'm often cheating by using pre-prepared foods. So, I will often look in my pantry and say to myself, "Okay, I've got a can of chili, what can I do with it? What else do I have?" Here are some things I've come up with over the past four years.

Hope it's helpful! Enjoy!
~Julie :}

Five things to do with a can of Chili:


Chili Chips and Cheese

You will need:

1 can of Chili

1 bag of tortilla chips

Cheese (either pre-shredded or no)

1 can diced tomatoes (opt)


What you'll do:

  1. Heat the chili on the stove as directed, adding water if needed and diced tomatoes if you so choose. (I like to add extra things like this because it makes it seem more homemade and stretches the chili further.)

  2. Once chili is heated through serve in bowls with tortilla chips and shredded cheese.


Cornbread and Chili Casserole
You will need:

1 can of Chili

1 box of corn bread mix

1 8x8 casserole dish


What you'll do:

  1. Pour the can of chili into the bottom of your dish. (add water to thin or other ingredients first if desired.

  2. Prepare the mix according to package directions and pour over the chili into the dish.

  1. Bake according to packaged directions and enjoy when cool, possibly with a side salad or fresh cut veggies and ranch dip.

Note: If you don't have a cornbread mix you can make it from scratch. See cornbread recipe here.

Taco Salad/Super Nachos

You will need:

1 can of Chili

1 bag of tortilla chips or Fritos

Cheese (either pre-shredded or no)

Tomatoes (diced)

Lettuce (chopped/shredded)

Salsa or taco sauce

Sour cream

Avocado diced (opt)

Black olives, sliced (opt.)


What you'll do:

  1. Heat the chili on the stove as directed, adding water if needed and diced tomatoes if you so choose. (I like to add extra things like this because it makes it seem more homemade and stretches the chili further.)

  2. prepare bowls or plates by covering with a layer of chips.

  3. When chili is ready pour over the chips and then top with your choice of the remaining toppings.

Note: Cheese best follows the chili as it will melt nicely, end with your freshest ingredients and then top all with sour cream.

  • The recipe can vary from being more a salad or nachos depending on how much lettuce and veggies you use versus how many chips you layer on the bottom.


Bean Soup with Toasted Tortillas

You will need:

1 can of Chili

1 bag of flour tortillas (opt)

Cheese (either pre-shredded or no)(opt)

Tomatoes (diced)

1 Can of refried beans

Water

Sour cream(opt)


What you'll do:

  1. Heat the chili on the stove add directed, adding diced tomatoes and refried beans.

  2. Add water as needed to reach a nice thick soupy consistency. Add extra seasonings if desired.

  3. Once soup is done, place tortillas in the oven under the broiler for about one minute, watching carefully so as not to scorch them.

  4. Once the tortillas are slightly browned and crisp remove from the oven and serve with your bean soup. They're great torn up and thrown into the soup like crackers, or if they're a bit soft still, you can use them for sopping.

Notes: You may also top the soup with cheese or sour cream if your so wish.

  • If you don't have tortilla's on hand you can make your own, see tortilla recipe here.

  • This soup is very versatile, you can throw in a can of black beans or anything else you think might add to it well.


Chili Dogs and or Burgers

You will need:

1 can of Chili

1 package hot dogs or 2 frozen beef patties

Cheese

Burger toppings of choice (opt)

Buns or bread slices(opt)


What you'll do:

  1. Place the hot dogs in a sauce pan or small pot and cover with chili, place on stove and heat as directed.

  2. If you are doing burgers, cover a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and place on the bottom rack of your oven.

  3. Place the frozen beef patties directly onto the top rack of your oven above the cookie sheet. Cook at about 350ยบ F until burgers are thawed.

  4. Once thawed, brush or pour on some Worcestershire sauce and steak seasonings, or your sauce of choice.

  5. Let cook a few minutes longer until the edges have begun to cook; then flip the patties and baste or season the other side.

  6. Continue to cook and turn burgers as needed until they are cooked through to your desired degree.

  7. Serve hot dogs with chili either in a bowl or on a bun with extra chili and cheese on top (if desired)

  8. When burgers are done, place on prepared bun, top with cheese and chili and any other desired toppings and serve.