Friday, January 28, 2011

My Standard Chili

I thought I had posted this recipe at some point, but I can't find it so I guess I hadn't! I make this pretty often; it's an easy recipe and always seems to find a welcome reception. It also freezes well. This is excellent with cornbread.

Olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
4-6 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 tsp ground cumin, or to taste
1 tsp chili powder, or to taste
2 bell peppers, diced (red, green, or one of each; frozen is fine)
2-3 chili peppers, seeded and minced (optional; frozen is fine)
1 cup corn kernels (frozen is fine)
3 cups cooked black beans or kidney beans (drained and rinsed if canned)
3 cups chopped or ground tomatoes with their liquid (canned or frozen is fine)
1 lb ground beef (thawed)
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup chopped cilantro (optional; frozen cubes are fine)

Heat a little olive oil in a Dutch oven or soup pot. Add the onion and garlic and saute 2-3 minutes. Add the cumin and chili powder and mix well, then add the peppers, chili peppers (if using), corn, beans, and tomatoes with their liquid. Add a little extra water if needed. Mix well, then cover and simmer until the vegetables are tender. Extra simmering time is fine.

While the vegetables simmer, cook the beef in a separate pan. When it is cooked through, drain off the fat and add the beef to the vegetables. Simmer another few minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Adjust other seasonings as needed. Stir in the cilantro if using.

Serves 4-6.

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