Friday, October 30, 2009

Chili Mac

Chili Mac topped with cheese. You'll need the spoon to help scoop the Chili Mac onto any flat tortilla chips.

I didn't have a plan for dinner so quickly needed to think of something. Chili was an option, but with just less than 1 pound of ground beef when my regular recipe calls for 1.5 and I usually use toward 2? Hmm. I could cut all of the ingredients accordingly, which would make a reasonably-sized pot of chili for two. Or I could do a combination of chili and Chili-Pasta Skillet, which I enjoyed and Rodney didn't think was so hot.

Check it out.

Chili Mac:

1 lb lean ground beef
1 c chopped onion
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 15 oz can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
2 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
1 6-oz can tomato paste
1 c water
3 heaping tbsp chili powder
1 tsp dried basil, crushed
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 c elbow macaroni

In a 4-qt Dutch oven, brown ground beef, onion and garlic. Drain; return to pot.

Add beans, tomatoes and juice, tomato paste, and water.

Stir in chili powder, basil, and pepper. Bring to boiling. Reduce heat to simmer and cover for 10 minutes.

Add macaroni, cover, continue simmering 8-9 minutes. Remove from heat and serve immediately.

Top with cheese and serve with tortilla chips if desired.

Eh, this was alright. It was chili with some limpish macaroni in it.  I've never had the actual Kraft Chili Mac from a box and so maybe this was spot on.

Just now I Googled to provide that Chili Mac link and realize my concoction was way, way off.  It turns out Kraft Chili Mac is macaroni and cheese with tomatoes, beef, and chili powder in it.  What Korean-American gal would've guessed that?  I seriously thought Chili Mac was chili.  With macaroni in it.  Wouldn't Kraft have called it Mac' Cheese 'n' Beef otherwise?  Or would that be too close to a Betty Crocker Hamburger Helper?  And no, I've never had that either.

This recipe definitely needs more tweaking. I think more pasta of a sturdier type would help, especially if it was added later in the cooking. 

  • ground beef: $2.49/lb
  • onion: $0.20
  • black beans: $1
  • kidney beans: $1
  • tomatoes: $2
  • tomato paste: $1
Total:  $7.69.  I know the beans and paste were less that what I listed, but I figure the rounding will include the cost of macaroni and spices, but to be sure, let's round it up to $8.  So that makes this pot of chili mac $1.33 for each of 6 servings.

We ate half and put the other half in the freezer for a day when I don't feel like cookin'.  It'll be interesting to see how the pasta holds up.