Help! How much meat/beans for chili to feed 8 adults, 12 kids?
Hi all, I am making chili to feed about 20 people, 12 of which are kids (ages of the kids have not been disclosed). I've been looking online for a bulk recipe but haven't found anything that seems to fit how many people I'll be feeding. It is for a charity-type situation so I'm not sure they know how old the kids would be, of course knowing that would make it a lot easier to know how much chili to make.
Also if you have any ideas for fun kid-friendly desserts that can easily be made in bulk, let me know. I'd like to make something fun for the kids, but nothing too time-consuming since baking isn't my strong point. The food will have to travel so anything frozen is out.
And just in case someone says "chili doesn't have beans!!" Well, since this is supposed to be a crowd-pleasing, very filling chili, this one does ;)
Howdy Cpilgrim! Here's a quick and easy chili that will make a big ole' crock pot full of chili with beans (I know, I'm a Texan and I use beans too.) I'm going on the assumption that quick, inexpensive, easy and toss together is what you need. However, if you want to do the beans from scratch or make your own chili powder, go nuts. When I'm making this for Church Soup Suppers I don't mess with it. You might want to make this up in 2 batches, one mild the other pretty spicy, so folks epecially kids) can choose. It is quick to mix up but will taste loads better if you cook it up the day before, let it ruminate in the fridge overnight and reheat for the feast. Or make one mild version and have a shaker of chili powder on hand for those who want to kick it up. Serve with Corn Bread Muffins (easier to take than bread and don't require keeping up with pans or a knife) and shredded cheese and minced fresh onion. You might be having a salad but my preference is for a sweet and sour cole slaw. It's cheaper and more forgiving if it spends an hour or so on the buffet. For the kids especially serve a frito pie option; Take single serve bags of fritos, cut along long edge, open to form pocket, dish in chili and top with a little cheese send them outside to eat with plastic spoon. This is excellent as there is no need to even use disposable plates, just wrap a napkin around the outside if the chili is a little warm. or just serve from a large generic bag onto bowls and top with chili. All depends on your budget.
*3 lbs ground meat (beef is common, we use venison, ground chicken, pork, goat or turkey and you can use 1/2 meat and 1/2 Textured Vegetable Protein (soymeat)
*2 -3 lg yellow onions, diced
*1 clove garlic, minced, pressed through presser, whatever
*3 cans pinto beans (pinto is traditional but I use what I have or is donated to the church so black, kidney whatever goes in the pot.) everyone says if using canned, rinse well. I don't I just dump and go. I can adjust the salt to taste.
* 3 15 oz Cans un/reduced sodium diced or crushed tomatoes undrained
*3 8 oz Cans un/reduced sodium tomato sauce (hush up folks, it's my chili)
*3-4 tbsp Chili powder (as long as it's fresh, ready made ought to be fine. Check out the bulk spice area of your grocery store if you have one, you can get as much as you need if you won't use this spice blend often.)
*1-2 tsp Cumin
Salt to taste
totally optional - 1 1/2 c chopped bell pepper. We don't like this taste in our chili, but I've seen it in others. They can be pricey so feel free to leave this out, I do.
In large skillet saute ground meat until no longer pink and fat renders out. Drain off fat and juices into small dish. Dump meat into pot,
Return drippings to pan and saute ontion (add bell pepper if using and a little more oil if needed) until soft and slightly translucent.
Add garlic and chili powder to pan and saute gently until garlic softens. Will become extremely fragrant and yummy!
Add to pot
Add remaining ingredients to the pot. Stir well.
Turn on low and leave in crock pot for 8-9 hours. Check, if possible, after 4 hours and see if it needs more water, sprinkle in cormeal if it looks too thin. (omit and allow to reduce if you are worried about food allergies for guests.) Don't allow to burn and remember that every time you remove the crock lid you add 15 minutes to the final cook time. You can do this cooking on the stove or in the oven. Just keep on low heat or an oven temp of apx 200 degrees. If you do this on the stove you MUST tend the pot and stir to prevent burning on the bottom.
Serve immediately or divide into containers, cool as quickly as possible. Reheat at site to 140 degrees internal temp. Keeps well in fridge for several days, improves as it sits. Freezes beautifully.
Served with grated cheddar cheese or colby jack and minced fresh onions. I've seen sour cream, avocado, fresh cilantro as toppings and corn bread is a traditional side but saltines are common too. Some folks serve it over spaghetti ?!? what the heck is up with that? or rice. I've also seen this done as a casserole with the chili ladeled into a casserole dish and the cornbread batter poured on top and baked until done. This will work but use a cornbread recipe that is NOT a really sweet "yankee" version and timing would be tricky if you are serving at a remote site. And if you don't know about allergies to flour, gluten tolerance etc, it's safer to have leave anything corn or flour out of the chili and just keep it on the side.
For what it's worth, This is the spice level I serve at church. This is Lutheran Church Missouri Synod with lots of midwestern German backround members AND my perfectly delightful but spice adverse yankee in-laws none of whom think it's too hot. My husband wants it hotter and usually adds more chili powder. My 7 year old native will scarf it down as is. The crock always comes back empty from church.
Makes 18 adult size servings. Add another can of beans and another small can of tomatos or sauce to strech out even further if necessary. Got a big enough pot? Double this recipe and freeze what doesn't get eaten in disposable containers (heavy duty zip freezer bags) for shut-ins, greiving families, families with new babies or illness meals.
Dump cobbler - sounds gross tastes delicious.
2 cans fruit or pie filling (choose reduced sugar or light if you can)
1 small can crushed unsweetened pinapple
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/3 c butter or margarine
lightly grease 1 9X 13 baking pan
Pour in 2 cans cherry or apple pie filling, or 2 equivalent cans of fruit cocktail or peaches.
Sprinkle with 1/2 tsp cinnamon
Dot top with crushed pinapple, undrained
Sprinkle 1 box yellow or white cake mix evenly over fruit
If desired sprinkle 1/2 nuts over cake mix
Slice 1/3 c butter or margarine into thin slices and lay out in checkerboard pattern over whole cake
Bake in 350 degree oven for about 45 minutes. Test to see if batter is cooked through, should spring back.
Serve with Ice cream to "cut the sweetness" :) Yeah, we really say that. Make it truly Texas and serve warm with Blue Bell ice cream if you can get it. Or just serve at room temp. Hope everyone has a great time! let us know how it goes and what recipe you end up with using.
Cpilgrim84, yep this is my go to big group/potluck meal. I always volunteer to do it because I can have pretty much everything ready to go at the house swing by the church in the am, drop of the crock, turn it on put the cobbler on the counter and the slaw in the fridge and then come back after work. Ah the life of a modern working mom/church lady.
We've started doing soup suppers rather than potlucks as we found there was much less coordination headaches. Everyone brings a soup, stew or other, the church provides plates, plastic, bread, crackers, etc. and whatever church board has that night's meal is responsible for organizing desserts. So there isn't any of this having waaaaay too many desserts and no actual entrees, casseroles or side dishes.
Also, we really find that it turns into a "loaves and fishes" situation. Somtimes during the Lenten or Advent season I look at the number of crocks and stock pots and I think, There is no way we are going to have enough. Sure enough, we do, usually with a little left over. God is good that way. :)
It isn't traditional chii, but my very favorite is this turkey/tomatillo one: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo..., although I use only about half the meat called for. Tripling the recipe would definitely cover your needs, which (using my modified proportions) would be about 6 lbs. meat and almost 2 lbs beans if you start your own from dried, rather than cans. You can totally tweak these two proportions according to taste and/or budget w/o throwing off the flavors, too.
For desserts, I often dress up brownies (throw in peanut butter or mint chips), or really good chocolate chip cookies (I swear by Cook's Illustrated thick and chewy) are always popular.
I'd use five pounds of ground beef, which ends up being 1/4 pound per person. For the beans, I'd soak & cook my own, about 3 pounds, which will be much cheaper than about 8 + regular cans of regular beans. I like chili with and without beans :-)
Desserts are easy: brownies, any type of bar or drop cookie; simple sheet or bundt cake, cobbler or crisp. Baking a simple rolled sugar cookie cut out with different shapes then supplying icing and decorations would give the kids an interactive dessert.