Sunday, April 4, 2010

Quick and Easy Chili With Beans

The other day I pulled some hamburger out of the freezer. My plan was to grill hamburgers for dinner (this is my middle child's favorite meal). Then one of our awful New Mexico Spring winds hit. Let me give you an idea of how bad our spring winds can be. This is the damage done to our fence the week before:

I was still on Spring Break with my kids. I didn't believe that it could knock over our brick fence posts. (They are half filled with cement) I had to see it for myself when I got home. What a mess!
Anyway, I did not want to be outside grilling in a sand storm.
So, I quickly opened up the New Mexico Cooking Book to see if there was a quick and easy chili recipe.
Hey, whatayaknow?

Quick & Easy Chili with Beans

1/4 cup vegetable oil
3 lbs. lean, coarsely ground beef
2 small green peppers, chopped
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
3 (16 oz.) cans whole tomatoes (I was using up some canned ones from my garden from last summer, and they were more like crushed tomatoes than whole. Still fabulous!)
3 Tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons crushed cumin seeds
1/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1 cup water
3 (15-oz.) cans pinto or kidney beans

1. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven or heavy pot. Cook beef, green peppers, onions, and garlic in oil until beef is lightly browned.

2. Add all remaining ingredients, except beans. Cover and simmer 45 minutes.

3. Stir in the undrained beans. Cover and Simmer 25 minutes.

I thought these were fabulous. The kids loved them too. My husband prefers them a lot more spicey. (Don't worry, there are plenty more chili recipes in this book that fit that bill!) It made a lot, so I had leftovers the next day, and thought it tasted really good then, too, the flavors having more time to steep together. I have to confess that instead of making one of Clyde's cornbread recipes, I made my stand-by (you know- the one on the cornmeal box...) You see, I couldn't eat starches or sugar until after Easter, and I knew I would want to taste the ones from the book. So, next batch of chili will be accompanied by some new cornbread recipes!

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