Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Sgrishka's Favorite Chili Mac

I think this picture says it all...

Five years ago, way before I started food blogging, one of my primary sources of inspiration Sgrishka at BigOven. His interesting culinary background and recipes often prodded me to try something outside of my comfort zone. These days, I just consider him the best food blogger that never blogged because his approach to cooking embodies the spirit of food blogging. Here is an excerpt from his profile:

My mother, both my grandmothers and several aunts were always trying new things in the kitchen; they encouraged me to do the same. I can remember my mother trying a new recipe at least 4 or 5 days out of the week, every week, for years -- yes, years! She would find cookbooks that interested her and in some instances, try virtually every recipe in them. Some good, some not so good. One good thing though, no-matter what the recipe result, as she learned "what worked" or "what didn't," so did I. My mother taught me to be adventurous, to not be afraid to experiment. After-all, you have nothing to lose but boredom. She taught me to try new recipes and techniques. You may not like them all, but you are sure to make some new discoveries that could very well become life-long favorites.

Tonight I wanted something I hadn't had in probably over a decade, chili-mac. Not a fancy, upscale version of the comfort food classic. I wanted the basic chili-mac that Mom used to make 30 years ago. A quick google search and whose recipe just happens to pop up? You guessed it.

Sgrishka's Favorite Chili Mac

My Mother used to make this easy recipe and I still love it. It's great for busy week nights.

1 cup elbow macaroni

1 pound lean ground beef

1 large onion chopped

3 tablespoons chili powder (I like Gebhardt Chili Powder)

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper or to taste (optional)

1 can (28 oz) diced tomatoes in juice (I use Hunts)

1 can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes (I use Hunts)

1 can (15 oz) red kidney beans rinsed and drained

-- optional toppings --

* grated cheddar cheese

* minced sweet onions

* sour cream

Cook macaroni according to package directions. Drain and keep warm.

Cook ground beef with onion in a 6-quart saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat for 4 to 6 minutes or until crumbly and no longer pink. Drain, if needed.

Stir in chili powder and crushed red pepper (if using). Add tomatoes and beans; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; simmer for 20 minutes.

Add cooked macaroni; cook for 5 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.

It was easy, hearty & warm. Just like Mom used to make.

I appreciate that Sgrishka knows when to push the culinary envelope and when to let a simple classic stand on it's own.

So, who is someone that is NOT a food blogger and inspires or inspired your cooking?