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Using Those Frozen Tomatoes

I write a lot of posts about tomatoes.

Since it’s still winter this one is a recipe post. One of my favorite ways of preserving an abundance of tomatoes from my garden is to throw them all in a ziploc bag and toss them in the freezer. Seriously, no work. Not like turning them into salsa or sauce or drying.

And so what do I do with bags of tomatoes? Chili! I simply measure out the amount and take into account the size and gaps and then dump them into a big pot. As they cook, the peels come off and I usually scoop them out. By the time the chili is all cooked, everything is nice and broken down. I mean, it all depends on how you like your chili, of course, but I prefer my chili a bit on the soup side rather than thick side.

Here is the recipe I’ve been using for the last many years. I got it off the web under the auspicious title “The All-Around Best Chili You Can Make.” I have made a few changes to the original recipe.

4 pounds of hamburger (I never use this much. I use only a pound or two.)

4 medium onions, diced (or probably chopped is more precise)

2 cups chopped green peppers (or less if you don’t have that many)

2 28 oz cans whole tomatoes or 2 quarts (8 cups) fresh or frozen tomatoes

4 large cloves of garlic, minced

2 4 oz cans cans of chopped green chilies (I always use fresh or frozen from my garden and vary the amount depending on the heat of the pepper)

1 pound bag of dry beans of your choice (I like small red beans)

4 cups water

1 can of kidney beans (I usually omit this)

4 TB chili powder

2 tsp ground cumin

2 tsp salt

Of course, you can adjust any of these ingredients to your preference.

Either soak the dry beans overnight or use the quick soak method. I usually rinse it all out and change water and then cook the beans for 40 minutes. The beans are then ready for the mixture as described next.

Cook the hamburger enough to drain off fat if too fatty. Add onions, both kinds of peppers, garlic and finish cooking. Add this and all other ingredients to the BIG pot of slightly cooked beans. Bring to a boil. (If you are using the frozen tomatoes you can stand around and peel off the skins :))

Turn down to medium or low and cook for at least one more hour until the beans are soft.

Yum!

Sandra Smith is the author of the awesome and award-winning middle grade/YA series, Seed Savers. Visit her Facebook and Pinterest pages. Follow her on TwitterSign up for the newsletter!

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