Introduction: Chili Con Canine

This revolting-looking yet delicious meal came about when I was serving up leftovers of my world-famous chili con carne. One recipient reckoned his looked “exactly like dog poop”. In fairness, his helping had fallen in an unfortunate shape amidst some lettuce, and I had to concede the resemblance was remarkable. Of such coincidences are Halloween meals born...

The chili recipe is a good ‘un; I highly recommend it. It probably feeds about 12 adults. The green rice recipe comes from Fine Cooking - I went googling for a grassy-looking rice, and as a bonus this tastes good as well as looks the part. It feeds about 6.

Step 1: Ingredients

For the chili:
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 onions, peeled and chopped
4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1 kg ground beef
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried oreganum
1 tsp dried sage
1 Tbsp flour
2 Tbsp chili powder
Most of a small can (150 ml) of tomato paste
1 800 ml can of chopped tomatoes, drained
1 540 ml can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup chopped mushrooms
1/2 cup chopped celery
cornflour to thicken

For the green rice:
1/2 cup fresh cilantro (coriander)
1 cup fresh spinach leaves
1-1/4 cups chicken broth
1-1/4 cups milk
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp olive oil
3 Tbsp unsalted butter
1-1/2 cups long grain rice
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 finely chopped clove of garlic

Step 2: Cook Chili

1. Heat oil in LARGE frying pan. If you don't have one, use a big saucepan. Fry onion and garlic until golden. Add ground beef, fry until no longer pink. Break up the meat so you don't get nasty lumps.
2. Put the cayenne pepper, cumin, chili powder, sage, oreganum, salt and flour into a cup, and mix well. Stir in along with the tomato paste and cook for a couple of minutes.
3. Add the tomatoes and bring to the boil. Add the whole lot to the slow cooker.
4. Add the beans, celery and mushrooms, stir well, and cook for 3-4 hours on high or 6-9 hours on low.

About 2 hours out, check how thick the chili is. It needs to be really thick, so it may be time to leave the lid off the slow cooker and boil off some of the liquid. If you do this, make sure you stir it regularly.

Step 3: Cook Green Rice

1. Blend the cilantro, spinach, and broth to a purée. Blend in the milk and salt.
2. Heat the olive oil and butter in a saucepan until butter is melted. Add rice and saute, stirring occasionally, until it just starts to brown. Add onion and garlic and cook 1 minute with constant stirring.
3. Add blender contents, turn heat to high, and bring to boil. Cover, turn heat to very low, and cook for 20 minutes.
4. Stir carefully, recover, and cook another 5 minutes, then remove from heat and allow rice to steam for 10 minutes.

Step 4: Icing on the Plate

Get a heavy-duty plastic bag and reinforce one corner with duct tape thoroughly. Cut a 3/4" circular hole in the duct tape. Clip the hole closed for now. Wear gloves while dispensing the chili - it's hot! So maybe let it cool a little, because it will thicken slightly and hold its shape better.

Step 5:

Get a stick blender, and blend the chili until the lumps are mostly gone. If it's a bit runny, you'll need to add a few tbsp of cornflour mixed with a few tbsp of cold water to thicken it up a bit. Once the consistency is perfect, make a lawn out of green rice on each plate. Get it flat; take pride in your gardening! Perhaps roll out some nice stripes, tidy the edges, and rake the leaves.

Ladle the chili into the plastic bag, unclip the hole, and extrude a steaming turd onto each lawn. If you can do so to a soundtrack of barking dogs emanating from the kitchen, all the better. Take one out to each of your grossed-out guests. Tuck in with gusto yourself, preferably exclaiming how Rover has outdone himself tonight.

Now, bring on the "what a crappy instructable" jokes...

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