Christmas is right around the corner and things are looking festive inside the Hoffman family’s home! Heinen’s Grocery recently gave Jane Hoffman a gift card to buy ingredients for one of her family’s favorite meals. She chose to prepare a chili feast for the latest Barrington family feature in our Heinen’s Sunday Supper series. With bowls filled with chunky bites of red and green peppers, red tartan plaid napkins and a beautiful seasonal centerpiece, I’d say the Hoffman’s are ready for the holidays!
The Hoffmans’ Festive Chili Feast
by Jane Hoffman, Barrington resident, writer & Mother-of-three
When the cold air comes to Barrington, it’s time for Sunday chili dinners at the Hoffman house.
Chili is a family favorite – I like it because it is quick and easy to make, easy to clean up and I usually have most of the ingredients from Heinen’s Grocery in my pantry. My kids love it because it fills them up and they can pile on the garnishes to customize their own bowl.
My husband is usually the one making the chili…he starts with either browning ground turkey breast, bison or ground beef. The turkey and bison offer a healthier alternative to beef, but if you opt for the beef, Heinen’s has great organic, grass-fed ground beef.
Then, he adds black beans, kidney beans, one chopped white onion, chopped bell peppers (any colors will do), a can of tomato sauce plus a can of diced tomatoes. We buy the Heinen’s brand of all the canned goods.
Then comes the fun part – adding all the flavor to the chili. He starts with a package of Carol Shelby’s chili seasoning kit . If he feels like making it spicier, he will throw in some Cayenne pepper. The key ingredient for his chili is a lot of mesquite seasoning (found in the spice aisle at Heinen’s). This gives it a smoky smell and flavor that sets it apart from other recipes we have used. Let it simmer on medium for a half-hour and that’s all it takes!
Although a lot of chili recipes call for crushed tortilla chips to give it a crunch, we like to top it with soup crackers (aka oyster crackers). We also add Heinen’s shredded sharp cheddar cheese and low-fat sour cream.
Sometimes we will add a bread as a side – we usually either like a sourdough baguette or the skillet corn bread from Heinens. The corn bread is very sweet and moist! Finally to add some greens to the meal, I will usually make a small side salad with a garlic vinegarette.
We love Heinen’s for their quality foods, good selection of ready-made items and excellent customer service – I like that they always open additional lanes so you never have to wait long! Less waiting in line means more time to prepare and enjoy our family’s favorite recipes.
Heinen’s Grocery is located at 500 N. Hough Street, between E. Main Street and Route 14 (next to Meathead’s) in Barrington, Illinois. They’re open 7 days a week from 8:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. For more information, visit Heinens.com.