I love fresh tomatoes…fresh corn….rehydrating dried beans to their perfect constitution…who doesn’t? Unfortunately there are those days where none of that is going to cut it. Come on, I have a job, it’s a Monday and I got home late with 30 min or less to put dinner on the table. Cans! Cans to the rescue! This chili might not win any competitions, but it’ll make a solid weeknight dinner.
This is one of those “recipes” (I use the term loosely) that I can usually make with just stuff from the pantry, and there are several elements that are flexible depending on what I have on hand, so I’ll give you some options. The key, though, are the smoky, spicy chipotle peppers in adobe sauce. If I don’t have those I may as well make a bagel.
1 onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, chopped
ground spices. Your options are paprika, cinnamon, cumin, garam masala (in Tex-Mex food? Yes!), or a chili powder. Whatever you feel like.
1 lb ground beef (chicken or turkey is fine too)
a splash of whatever you’re drinking (water, wine, beer, coffee)
1 can diced fire-roasted tomatoes
2 cans beans, drained and thoroughly rinsed. Mix and match; tonight I used black and pinto
1 small can white corn
2-3 chipotle pepper in adobo, chopped
Cilantro and lime wedges for garnish
Heat olive oil in a pot or dutch oven. Saute diced onion until translucent then add garlic and ground spices and cook for another couple of minutes. Add meat and brown, stirring. Deglaze with a splash of liquid, then add tomatoes, beans, corn, and chipotles and water to cover. Simmer for 10-15 minutes, covered, then uncover and evaporate liquid to desired thickness.
Tonight I made a regular dinner a little special by spooning our Midsummer Avocado Salad on top. I was curious…blue cheese with chili? The answer a resounding “yes!”