Thursday, August 8, 2013

Skillet Chili Mac

I have a confession to make.  I haven't cooked dinner over the past THREE MONTHS!!! Don't worry, my kids have not been starving.  We were just blessed to have our in-laws visit us for 3 months.  Did I mention my in-laws used to run their own Chinese restaurant?  Did I mention my father-in-law makes the best Chinese food ever?  It was so nice coming home from work and having a home cooked meal on the table every night.  It takes a lot of time to plan meals every week and I welcomed the break with open arms.  It almost felt like I was on vacation.

Well, all good things come to an end, and yesterday I had to cook dinner for my family.  My in-laws visit is over and it's back to our normal routine now.

We've had unseasonably cool weather lately so this recipe was perfect and a reminder that Fall will be here sooner than I would like.

Skillet Chili Mac
Source: Deep South Dish

1/2 T. oil
1-1/2 c.  chopped onion
1/2 c. chopped bell pepper
1 or 2 jalapeños, chopped (I left these out.)
1 lb. ground beef
1 lb. raw breakfast sausage
1 T. minced garlic
2-1/2 T. chili powder, or to taste
1/2 t. cumin
1/4 t. dried oregano
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 (8 ounce) can of tomato sauce
1 (7 ounce) can green chilies
2 c. of water
1 (15.5 ounce) can pinto or red kidney beans,drained and rinsed
1-1/2 cups of dry medium cut pasta (like elbow macaroni or shells)
1 cup of shredded Cheddar cheese, divided, or to taste, plus more for garnish
Optional Garnishes: Sliced green onions,fresh diced tomatoessour cream or your other favorite chili toppings

Heat the oil in a large lidded skillet over medium high heat; add the onion and peppers, and cook for about 4 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. To that, add the ground beef, sausage and garlic, breaking up the meat and cooking, until no longer pink. Drain off any excess fat. Stir in the chili powder, cumin, oregano and salt and pepper; taste and adjust seasonings.

Add the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce and green chilies; stir. Add the water, beans, pasta and half of the cheese. Bring to a boil, stir, cover and reduce heat to simmer. Simmer for 20 minutes or until pasta is cooked through; uncover, stir and let simmer, uncovered, until reduced to desired consistency. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top, cover and cook over low until cheese melts. Garnish with sliced green onions, fresh diced tomatoes, sour cream or your other favorite chili toppings. 

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