The Easiest "Leftover Chili" Hack Ever
Ever have a ton of leftover chili, but want something else to make with it (besides just more chili)? I've sure had this problem on a pretty regular basis, as I really enjoy making chili in large batches for ease of use (and because it's tasty and healthy the way I make it, with lots of veggies and beans). I've managed to discover a few really useful ways to turn the same chili into a second, third, or forth unique meal option! Here's one of my all time favorites, and it also happens to be one of the very simplest ways to use your leftover chili: scrambled eggs topped with chili and cheese. You can make the whole thing (once you have the leftover chili) in about 10 minutes, even if you aren't a culinary wizard (or even great in the kitchen!). I love recipes just like this, and even simple ideas of how to combine already cooked ingredients can be inspiring.
Materials and tools you'll need
- Eggs (for scrambling)
- Shredded cheddar cheese
- Fresh tomato and/or jalapeÃ±o
- Leftover chili
- Wire whisk
- Bowl for mixing
- Sautee Pan
- Rubber spatula
- Hungry belly
- Less than 10 minutes from start to finish, and probably an extra 10 minutes for cleanup. I do not mess around with "leftover ideas" that take a tremendous amount of time to complete, as the general concept is to make life easier, not harder. Making the chili itself is considerably more labor intensive, but in order to justify the 2 hours or so of prep and cooking time, I will make it in enormous batches of 30 servings or so and freeze the portion that I won't eat within a week or so, or have a large group of friends over to cook for them.
1. Prep the eggs for scrambling by cracking 2 eggs (per person) into a bowl. Add about a quarter cup of milk to smooth the consistency, and whip until blended. Try to use classical figure-8 whipping in order to achieve uniformity throughout.
2. Scramble eggs on the stove top, using a rubber spatula and a nonstick pan (I like Calphalon hard annodized pans). Melt cheese on the eggs just as they are finishing (you can scramble the cheese in, but for easier cleaning, wait until the eggs are scrambled and add the cheese on top. Use the spatula to slide the eggs and cheese onto a plate.
3. Heat the chili in the same pan (no sense dirtying another pan) for 2 or 3 minutes on medium high heat (for one serving; add a little time if there's more chili in there). Once again, use the rubber spatula for mixing. Pour the chili on top of the egg and cheese mixture.
4. Add more cheese on top if you're a pig like me! It'll be delicious. Serve with sliced jalapeno or tomato on the side (optional). Making the plate look great is a nice touch, especially if you're making this for a friend or significant other. Enjoy!
Similar approach from another chili maker
I'm going to make chili again this weekend, and I'll make sure to take a lot of photos (and maybe a video) during the process, so that I can outline some of what I do that saves me time and money. I realize that I have the benefit of having worked in restaurants for about 15 years of my life, and I tend to take for granted that I understand certain fundamental, time-saving concepts that others might not know just yet. Having said that, my goal is to help make your life easier!
Regarding this particular "hack", not only is making chili in large batches more economical (because you can use large quantities of ingredients and get bulk discounts), but it's also much more time-economical as well. For me, saving money and time is enough of a reason to get really creative with my cooking, and I've certainly come up with several creative solutions on the fly, just like this one. I hope you enjoy being able to eat your chili for several days without becoming bored, and if you have come up with any additional recipes like this that are super easy to do, please feel free to let me know!
Update: here's the original chili recipe I used, or very close to it, since it changes a little each time. This recipe is incredible, and yields some amazing tasting chili every time! I hope you have as much pleasure in eating it as I've had over the years.