I don’t about ya’ll but this recession is beating the living daylights out of me. And nowhere is it more evident than in my kitchen. Because that’s where I am all the time now.

Do I feel bad about all the restaurants out there losing business right now? Yes, I do. I want to be their business so badly. But it’s hard to justify spending $15 for lunch when the ingredients for Hurry-Up Chili cost just $14.53 and makes enough to feed the Counselor and myself for three days. And that’s with the organic ground chuck that I now feel compelled to purchase even in my reduced financial state. I will say that I actually happened to have everything except the beef, crushed tomatoes and kidney beans already in my pantry. So that’s like getting free ingredients.

This is Hurry-Up Chili because it literally takes a half hour to make.

The chili is full of flavor, but it’s not terribly spicy. If you want a little kick, add some hot sauce. And if you’re wondering why I add unsweetened baking chocolate to chili, as you well might, it adds a depth of flavor to the pot. If you don’t have any around, don’t go out and buy some just for this recipe. We are, after all, in a recession.

Hurry-Up Chili

2 pounds ground chuck

1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes

2 15.5-ounce cans kidney beans

2 tablespoons minced dried onion

½ teaspoon garlic powder

2 teaspoons salt

3 teaspoons chile powder

2 teaspoons ancho chile powder

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 ½ teaspoons cumin

½ square unsweetened baking chocolate

Brown meat in a large pot over medium-high heat until crispy brown bits begin to develop and the grease has been completely absorbed into the meat. Add the remaining ingredients. Simmer about 20 minutes.


  1. Julie
    September 23, 2011 at 1:39 am

    yes, absolutely, must have. Wonder if it will be as good in a crock pot in a non-Hurry Up version? And would it be heresy to use chick peas instead of kidney beans?

    • the south in my mouth
      the south in my mouthReply
      September 23, 2011 at 12:48 pm

      No such thing as heresy where chili is involved. You could also add some cinnamon and make it slightly middle eastern.

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