Sometimes chili ideas come directly from my Involuntary Taste Panel. Tonight’s menagerie is a prime example. By all appearances, getting someone to truly listen to another’s ideas is akin to the ring toss game at the carnival. The concept is simple, the endeavor appears facile, and the odds of success are hopelessly minuscule. This evening I was the carny (metaphorically speaking, as I don’t have what it takes to be a “real” carny) and the youngest ITPer was tossing the rings. For once I opted not to game the system and, instead, mindfully listened to her chili advice. I think she hit a ringer with this idea.
This recipe has three main parts (bear with me):
2) Macaroni and Cheese
For the Chili:
Fry in a pan:
– 1 lb ground beef
Drain and add:
– 1 can of tomato soup (unprepared)
– 1 ½ T chili powder
– 1 t cumin
– 1 t paprika
– ½ C onion, diced
Simmer on low for 30 minutes.
As the chili simmers (and the world turns), prepare the pizza crust
– 1 tube Pillsbury artisan whole wheat pizza crust (or, if the little doughboy creeps you out, use whichever pizza crust you have handy)
Place the crust on a greased cookie sheet and bake in a preheated oven at 400F until crust is cooked through. For our crust, this took 16 minutes.
*Note– you’ll need to cook the crust to completion because later, when heaped with macaroni, cheese, and chili, the crust will likely not bake well and will remain gooey. Nobody should suffer with gooey pizza crust.
As the chili simmers, the crust bakes (and the world turns), cook according to package directions:
– At least 2 C of macaroni (we like No. 35, as it’s smallish and doesn’t appear as threatening as the larger macaroni)
**Now I realize that at this point you’ll have quite a bit going on with the chili simmering, the crust baking, and the noodles boiling. Just be thankful that 1) you’re not also in change of making the world turn 2) you’re not engaging in a hypothetical, metaphorical ring-toss simulation.
When the pizza crust has finished baking smear on a coat of:
– Cream cheese, as much as your arteries can handle.
– Pile on two cups of cooked and buttered macaroni
– 1 C of shredded cheddar cheese
– ½ C of sliced green onion
– The Chili (see above)
– Another 1 C of shredded cheddar cheese.
Bake at 400 F for 10 minutes.
It goes without saying that this was an “erector set” of a dish. Fortunately I didn’t, at any point in this process, become incredible-hulk-angry and bend up the pieces into unusable scrap metal. With that digression behind us, I’ll admit that I really liked the chili, although it was very mild. Spiking it with habanero sauce seemed to perk up the flavors quite well. Coupling the mild chili to macaroni n’ cheese and thence coupling that twosome to pizza surely would score big points with the ITP, or at least I thought. Not so, as the boys were lukewarm on this dish. Further, the littlest ITPer, the mastermind behind this crazy recipe, actually sat me down and explained that I had failed to make this chili according to her meticulously outlined specifications. Through my horror and disbelief, I can’t recall exactly how I botched things. Something about “not liquid-y enough” and “blenders” and OH MY GOODNESS maybe I do need to make the world turn! Yikes. Perhaps I should just dust off my resume for the next time the circus comes to town.