Tuesday, April 27, 2010

"Quick" Weeknight Chili

In a large pot, dump in one can of tomato puree and a can of chopped tomatoes, a can of red beans and a can of black beans.

1 medium onion, one yellow bell pepper, two large cloves of garlic, all minced and sauteed in 1/2 tbsp olive oil until the peppers just start to char. I added the garlic towards the end so that it wouldn't burn. Dump in the pot and turn on the heat to medium.

Brown 1 lb ground beef and add to the pot. Roughly chop three strips of bacon (I used turkey bacon -- HEALTHY!) and crisp them up in the reserved beef fat and add to the pot.

Add to the pot: 1-2 tsp cumin, 1/3 cup chipotle salsa (I would have used minced chipotles in adobo sauce, but didn't have any on hand), 1-2 tsp chili powder (or several drops of Dave's Insanity Sauce), 1 tbsp light brown sugar, 1 tbsp minced cilantro, and some salt and pepper. I also added about a heaping teaspoon of unsweetened cocoa powder.

Bring to the boil, and then back down to simmer. Make sure it's at a regular simmer (not a rolling boil), stir occasionally, and go watch TV and read for a couple hours, or until your dinner partner gets home from yoga. Before serving, add chopped scallions and shredded cheese as desired.

The cornbread? From a box. Still good.

A final note -- for the first hour or so, this looked a heck of a lot more like soup than like chili. Don't panic! At some magic point that hasn't been explained to me, the beans break down and suddenly... chili! Thick, rich and tasty. For a largely improvised recipe, I was rather proud of it.

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