February 19th, 2011
Hey Eaters! Here we are, once again, obliterating the boundaries that separate flavor from thrift. This week’s edition will give you a taste of what you can do if your local grocery store has any great deals on Hormel Chili. Welcome back, one and all, to Waste Not, Eat Lots!
Volume IV: Canned Food Jive
The above photo features the main ingredients of the chili I made this week:
3 cans of chili (assorted variety)
1 can of bean with bacon soup (condensed)
1 big can of black beans
1 can of cheap beer
1 giant bottle of hot sauce
Step 1: This is the hardest part: find a good can opener. Or if you’re smart, you bought those fancy new cans that have pull-tabs on them. Either way, this is still the hardest part. Open the cans and empty their contents into a pot. Add as much hot sauce as you think you and your friends can handle. Heat over medium flame until bubbling.
Step 2: I know, this is kind of cheating, but it’s also kind of delicious — they have these things at the grocery store that you can add to chili; they’re called vegetables I think. Chop them up and add them to the pot. At this point you can basically use anything and expect more enjoyment from your meal. I chose an onion, a tomato, a hot pepper of some sort, and a bunch of mushrooms. Other options might include spinach, broccoli, carrots, and steak. If you want to keep with the theme, things like peas and corn are readily available in canned form.
Step 3: The longer you let your chili stew in the pot, the more cohesive and homogeneous it will become. The decision is yours; I prefer the well-stewed variety. Whenever you’re ready to eat, I recommend eating out of a bowl. For the finishing touches, again, you have options. I grated some cheddar cheese over the top and then placed some croutons in the bowl. This two-step garnish is great for the instant increase of cheese it provides as well as for the sponge-like behavior of the croutons. Have you ever eaten a sponge? No? Weird. Other great toppers that serve similar purposes: pepper jack cheese, mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, nacho cheese, Cheez-It crackers, Goldfish crackers (Original Cheddar Cheese flavor)…