May 1, 2009

Chili Cheese fries

For Girls Bible Study this week I made Chili Cheese Fries. While shopping for the meal I stopped to look at canned chili and started thinking.... lots of sodium... ingredients I can't pronounce... why not just make chili myself? It would be fairly similar in cost but make a larger batch and would be healthier? So I did. I made official chili for the first time...


  • 2 1/2 cups dry Pinto Beans

  • 2 cups dry black beans

  • 1 lb ground hamburger meat

  • 3 TB taco seasoning

  • Cayenne pepper

  • Black pepper

  • Bay leaf

  • 1 can stewed tomatoes

  • 1 can tomato paste

  • 1/3 cup chopped onion

  • 1 bell pepper, seeded and chopped (optional)

  • Frozen french fries

  • Shredded cheese

  • Sour Cream

Night before:

  1. Sort through pinto beans; pick out any dirt clumps (careful... they are sneaky) or icky looking beans. Rinse well. Spread over the bottom of your crockpot. Cover beans with several inches of water. Cover and let set over night.

  2. Cook ground beef thoroughly. Be sure to break the beef into little chunks (I don't like big clumps of meat in chili - personal preference here.) If necessary, drain grease from ground beef. Store meat in airtight container in fridge.

Morning of:

  1. Pour water off your pinto beans and rinse them well. Return beans to the crockpot. Cover with several inches water. Add 2 Tb taco seasoning, bay leaf and cayenne pepper and black pepper to taste. Cover. Cook on high heat (the crockpot I used has a warm, low and high setting) 8-9 hours, or until soft. {I turned it on before I left for work and let it cook all day. If able, be sure to check the water level at some point during the day.}

  2. Sort through and rinse your black beans. Spread them in the bottom of a medium saucepan. Cover with several inches of water. Cover pot and let beans soak all day.

To Prepare:

  1. Check your pinto beans. Are they soft? Great. If they still have little bite to them, boil them like crazy. Be sure to remove your bay leaf.

  2. Strain and rinse your black beans. Return to the saucepan and once again cover with several inches water. Bring to a rapid boil; cook until beans are soft. May take 30-45 minutes.

  3. Once all beans are soft, strain off most liquid. I probably had 1 1/2 -2 cups liquid total from my beans. Saute onions and bell pepper (I just used non-stick spray so I wasn't adding extra fat) in a large sauce pan or pot until slightly caramelized. Add beans, ground beef, stewed tomatoes and tomato paste. Stir well. Add last tablespoon of taco seasoning and taste. Add more seasoning, pepper or some salt to taste. I made it fairly mild because many of the girls don't like spicy foods.

  4. Cook on medium-low heat until heated throughout. Should thicken slightly.

French Fries

  1. Spray large baking sheet with non-stick spray. Sprinkle all-seasoning or taco seasoning lightly over pan. Add frozen french fries. Lightly spray fries with non-stick spray and sprinkle with seasoning. Bake 10-15 minutes at 450 until a little crispy. Check every few minutes to turn fries over.

To serve:

  1. Pile fries.

  2. Pour Chili.

  3. Add shredded cheese and sour cream.

  4. Serve.

  5. Yum.

The girls really liked this. In fact one of the girls told me she didn't really like chili, and she doesn't like tomatoes but she liked this!

I was able to fed 9 girls dinner and had enough left over for 2 lunches for myself.

This recipe is linked to Foodie Friday - head over and see some great Cinco de Mayo ideas!

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Pat@Back Porch Musings said...

Looks yummy!!

Lori E said...

Your killin' me here Karen. That looks so good. If I had been there you wouldn't have any to save for lunch I guarantee it.
Ha...the word verification below is
"lardow" Now if that isn't a hint about my threatening to eat too much I don't know what is.

tammy said...

Good for you on making your own chili. I look at a lot of processed food and wind up deciding I can make my own or do without. When you start struggling to pronounce the ingredients you know it's time to make homemade. Yummy looking recipe. :)

Pam said...

That sounds soooo good! I will have to make these soon. Thanks for sharing.

Mary Beth said...

Wow-that looks so good. I can only imagine how good this must taste. : )

Gollum said...

This is such a great FFriday recipe. Your instructions and pictures are wonderful! Many times I want to cook a particular dish, but I chicken out. But you make it sound fun and easy. I love your style. This was like a program on Food Network!

Foley said...

I've always heard of people talking about chili fries, but have never tried them myself. Anything you can get a bunch of girls to eat must be good!!

Lori said...

Oh, that looks so YUM! Um, what night did you say your girls' Bible study was? LOL!