Wednesday, February 3, 2010

It's Ch-Ch-Chili

Janet here: In the winter in the Northeast, I turn to chili when I want an easy dinner that will satisfy. First, I can make it ahead. Second it's easy. Oh and then there's the nutrition factor. It's made of all kinds of stuff that are good for you (which also meant that it was a dish that I used to sneak good food into my kids when they were younger without them realizing it. I have one son, for instance, who will not eat beans or onions in pieces ... except he does in chili so haha.)

But I digress.

Anyway, I make a lot of different kinds of chili, including a very tasty white one that I just discovered this past year. I decided for this post, however, to do the vegetarian one since my carniverous daughter was going to be including some kind of meat. So on to the dish, which of course is also just a great way to have a lot of melted cheese too. :) This batch will serve 6-8.

1 large yellow onion, diced
2-3 cloves garlic, diced
1 19 ounce can red kidney beans
1 15 ounce can black beans
1 28 ounce can diced tomatoes
1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes with jalapeno
about 1/2 cup rice
chili powder, hot sauce, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper to taste

In a large cooking pot, put in the oil and saute the onions and garlic until translucent. Then add the beans, tomatoes, rice and seasonings. Cook, covered, on low heat until the rice is done. Serve with grated cheese and sour cream.

Rachel here: Chili is awesome. I really think this. First, it's a vehicle for cheese and sour cream. Second, it's warm. Third, it's hearty. Fourth, it's easy. Really, it's like a wonder-food. For this batch I used a combination of leftover items in my fridge along with umm...non-leftover items (there must be a better way to say that). And, in the end, I now have new leftovers, but now they are of the chili variety (yeah!) and some will be frozen in portions for a future evening and the rest will be eaten for lunches and whatnot this week. It's a happy day here in Oakland (oh, and it's a bit chilly, too...ha ha ha).

1 medium yellow onion, chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium sweet potato, chopped
28 oz. whole peeled tomatoes (I use the organic variety and, I dare say, you should, too)
28 oz. ground peeled tomatoes
2/3 lb. flank steak, cubed
1 large bone-in, skin-on chicken breast
1 c. chicken stock (or more if you have it...just use that instead of the water)
2 c. water
4 c. beans (NOT dried...I used the leftover black beans I posted about last week)
6 large fresh basil leaves
2-3 T. fresh lemon thyme
2 c. couscous (already cooked)
2 c. fresh chopped spinach
dried oregano
orange peel
chili powder
worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper

In a large pot, saute the onion, garlic and sweet potato in butter. Add tomatoes, steak, chicken stock, water, beans, chicken breast (I like to put it in whole and then pull it out after it's cooked, chop it up and throw it back in), couscous, spinach, basil (I just tear these up as I throw them in) and thyme. Let simmer until starts to cook down and chicken is cooked. Add spices listed above to taste. This recipe makes a big old pot of chili so I don't cook it down quite as far as I would if I were serving it all at once so that in future re-heatings I won't have to water it down. Sprinkle cheese on top and add a dollop of sour cream and go get cozy.

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