|Hot Dog Chili|
Oh, my goodness. I meant to have a photo of the actual hot dogs with chili on them. But once the assembly process started, there was no slowing down for anything. Kids were hungry and we were passing plates out as fast as possible. You will have to imagine every surface in the church kitchen lined with plates with baked beans and chips and a cookie as we put the hot dogs in place. (I know, I know. This meal will not win any nutrition prizes.)
We were in charge of supper for Vacation Bible School one night this week. And as the last kitchen team in place, all of the kid-friendly suppers I could think of were already on the menu. But I make good hot dog chili, so that's what we did.
Feeding hot dogs to a group of children was probably the most labor intensive of the meals because of the condiments—mustard/no mustard, ketchup/no ketchup, only chili/no chili, "Can I have some salt, please?" It was not a one-size fits all kind of supper.
But thirty minutes after they sat at the table, every hot dog was gone. Admittedly, one fell in the floor. One small girl poured sand from the beach-themed centerpiece over hers, but I think the rest were eaten. Or, at least nibbled on. For the tiny kids, I split their hot dogs lengthwise into quarters, and then sliced them, and they ate theirs as finger food, with a half bun on the side.
I made this basic recipe three-times over. It is so quick to make that I did it in three batches, pouring each (when all the pink was gone) into the big pot to simmer. For me, that was easier than cooking a triple amount of meat in one big batch.
You are seeing these photos right—I do not brown the meat before I make chili. Browning it first changes the texture of the chili. It's much coarser/chunkier. We like it this way, when the chili is "smoother" and perfect for spooning over a hot dog.
If you feel like this is too hard to stir together, you can add a little water at the beginning. I don't usually do this. (But I have, and that way works, too.) I do stand right there and stir it continuously for several minutes until the meat juices kick in. That water will cook out as it simmers uncovered.
HOT DOG CHILI
1 lb. lean ground beef (I use 90% lean)
about 1/2 of a 24-oz. bottle of ketchup
1 teaspoon chili powder
salt & pepper to taste
Place everything in a saucepan and mix together. Cook on medium-low heat, stirring continously as the meat on the bottom browns. The meat will release it's juices as it cooks making it easier to stir. Add a little more ketchup, if you think it needs it. Once all of the meat is no longer red, simmer on low heat for about 30 minutes, or longer. Stir every now and then.