Chili - A Confused Little Word

One of my family's favorite meals when the weather turns cooler is beef stew. There is something very comforting about this hearty dish. I've tried different ways of making it and my favorite way, by far, is the one I make in my slow cooker. For some reason, cooking the stew slowly this ways seems to always ensure that the beef is fall apart tender. I love the idea of putting it all in the slow cooker in the morning and letting it cook all day long. By the time dinner arrives, it is cooked to perfection and my house smells wonderful.

There are several good reasons why one would not include beans in chili. Tradition notwithstanding, people may not like the taste of beans or particularly the after effects. After all, beans are the "musical fruit" and this could create some uncomfortable circumstances in certain situations. And once beans are put into a chili recipe, they are not easy to remove.

Use ground to flavor cakes, biscuits and milk or fruit puddings. Sprinkle on hot drinking chocolate. Cinnamon sticks add spice to stewed or preserved fruit and to mulled wine.

So which one is correct? It is by all accounts a common question and has indeed fueled many arguments over the subject. There are many accepted versions. Chile with an "e" at the end is the correct spelling in Spanish. Chili with an "i" at the end is the Americanised version. The "i" version began with the name of the dish "Carne con Chili," meaning "Meat with Chile." It evolved into "quick crockpot chili" and then shortened to just "Chili." The term ending with an "i" is widely accepted and is often used as the name for "Chili Powder." The term "Chile" with an "e" is the more correct way to spell it. So there you have it. For me it makes little difference - chilies are chillis - we should just keep them that way.

Liner Bags. Slow cooker liner bags are available and nothing beats these bags when it comes to slow cooked chili clean up. Just line your slow cooker with a slow cooker liner bag, cook your slow cooker meal, and discard the bag after serving. In a pinch, these bags truly make slow cooker clean-up a breeze, but keep in mind that these slow cooker liners are wasteful, will cost you some money, and if you prepare an 8-10 hour recipe, your bag may not hold up completely.

slow cooker chili - Beef doesn't grace the table every day, no matter how much I like it. I precook some organic ground chicken. This goes in my crock pot with some crushed tomatoes, chopped celery, and chunks of carrots, mushrooms, sea salt, onion, garlic and chili powder to taste. Sometimes I make my own chili powder. I leave it on low and head out the door. When I get home all I have to do is make some brown rice or eat it right out of the pot with a sprouted grain tortilla.

Transfer roast to a rack in a small roasting pan, place in center of oven, and cook until the internal temperature is 145 degrees F. - 60 to 70 minutes.

Put the onion in the middle of a platter and sprinkle the cilantro around it. Put the radishes around that. Serve the frijoles in deep bowls with lemon wedges and let everyone take onion, cilantro, or radishes as they like. Chop the rest of the chili con carne no beans and put it in a separate dish so people can serve themselves. This recipe serves about twelve people.