So, I read an interesting article in the paper the other day. It was about cookbooks and getting back to basics. Apparently, Americans have forgotten how to cook! Cooking is somehow second nature to me and I find it difficult to believe that basic skills are forgotten. In fact, I would say that they have not been forgotten, but that they have been buried, maybe!
In the hype of all of the cooking shows and recipe books and magazines, I think there is an idea out there that every meal must be fancy and use every utensil in your kitchen to be “good!” I would say the most important thing about cooking is to make food that tastes good. Food that the people you are serving will enjoy eating. And, if you want something “fancier” that you don’t know how to make or prepare, what is the harm in letting an expert do it for you? Prepared and packaged foods, while pricey, are getting more and more authentic and yummy. I am not suggesting that you have every meal specially prepared for you, just that you can maybe add in a couple of special elements to jazz up the basic, delicious fare that you have created yourself.
I have a rockin recipe for a southwestern chili. Talk about cheating. You will die when you see how simple it is. However, when I serve it, I often use bread bowls from the bakery or serve my favorite guacamole from my favorite restaurant. And I sometimes put my time and energy into a spectacular dessert to balance the spiciness of the main course. It always seems to end up “fancier” than the time it took to prepare it!
2 pounds ground beef
2 cans black beans
2 cans pinto beans
1 can white beans
2 cans corn
1 large can petite diced tomatoes
1 large can crushed tomatoes
1 pkt ranch dressing seasoning
1 pkt mild taco seasoning
3 T chili powder
2 T cumin
1T minced garlic
- In a deep saucepan, brown the beef with the minced garlic. Drain off the excess fat.
- Add the tomatoes, the cans of beans (undrained), the corn, and all of the seasonings.
- Let simmer until all is well combined. The flavors get better as they sit.
Serve with shredded cheese, tortilla chips, sour cream, jalapenos and guacamole