It’s chilly outside so let’s make some chili! A play on words for sure. Have you ever thought about how many words in the English language are pronounced exactly the same, maybe even spelled the same, but have totally different meanings? Here’s what I found on vocabulary.com:
A homograph is a word that has the same spelling as another word but has a different sound and a different meaning. Example: wind (to follow a course that is not straight)/wind (a gust of air)
A homophone is a word that has the same sound as another word but is spelled differently and has a different meaning. Example: to/two/too. If you want to watch a short funny video on an Italian trying to understand the English word “four” click here.
Depending on whom you talk to, homonym means either: A word that is spelled like another but has a different sound and meaning (homograph); a word that sounds like another but has a different spelling and meaning (homophone) OR a word that is spelled and pronounced like another but has a different meaning (homograph and homophone). In the strictest sense, a homonym must be both a homograph and a homophone.
I could word play all day – well maybe I have too much time on my hands right now. 😉 Back to the chili!
There’s so many variations of chili you could probably make a different version every day for a year. This recipe is one that I’ve tweaked over time, adding garden ingredients when available. This makes a big batch and freezes nicely.
And what goes well with chili? Tortillas! But that’s a recipe for another day.
- 1 pound ground beef or turkey
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 medium to large carrot, shredded
- 2 ribs celery, finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
- 28 oz can crushed tomatoes or use 14.5 oz can crushed or diced tomatoes and equal amount of diced fresh tomatoes if you prefer
- 1 cup to 1 can beef broth
- 8 oz can tomato sauce
- 30 oz can kidney beans or 14.5 oz kidney beans (rinsed and drained) and equal amount of another bean such as black beans or Scarlet runner beans
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano (or for fresh oregano, double amount)
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- generous sprinkle of cinnamon (optional)
- Olive oil
- Drizzle olive oil in fry pan and sauté onions and celery. Add carrots and garlic for about a minute before removing all ingredients to put in chili pot.
- Break up ground meat into pieces and add to fry pan to cook for a few minutes before adding to the chili pot.
- Add all other ingredients and spices to the chili pot.
- Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer for about an hour. Can also cook in crockpot instead on low or high setting.
- I substitute Scarlet runner beans for 1/2 the beans used in this recipe. I cook them in beer to soften before adding them to the chili mixture.
- Cinnamon helps tone down your chili if it is too "hot" for your tastebuds. I use a few dashes of it, just because I like the added flavor of this "secret ingredient."
- Try different types of tomatoes for a flavor boost. I sometimes substitute Mexican stewed tomatoes as one part of the added tomatoes.