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I have to admit that I'm not much interested in the debates about chili, and barbecue sauce, and pulled pork, and... As long as it all tastes good, who cares? Why narrow your options!?
Therefore, the chile recipe in this house is based more on what I have on hand than on any set-in-stone ideas. Sometimes it has meat, sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes, it even has *gasp* "fake meat." You know, that soy-based stuff. Which I like. Two major admissions in one post. I've probably just lost half of the two readers I have. But I am compelled to tell the truth about food.
Anyway, tonight's chili was served with the Maple Cornbread recipe found in the 2009 Cooking Light Annual Recipes. The cornbread was fast--maybe 30 minutes total-- and only slightly sweet. A perfect match for the chili.
Beef and Roasted Red Pepper Chili
2 tsp vegetable or canola oil
1 heaping tsp chopped jalapeno (adjust to your spiciness tolerance)
1 tsp minced garlic
1 c chopped sweet onion
1 lb ground beef
1/4 tsp Chipotle Chili Powder (McCormick)*
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, or to taste
1/4-1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper (start with lower, add rest at end if desired)
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp of cocoa chile blend (McCormick)*
1 tsp cumin, I went heaping, but it depends on your taste
1 tsp kosher salt
15 oz can tomatoes (I used no-salt added diced)
15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 roasted red peppers, chopped
15 oz water, beer, or beef broth (I used water)
1 c frozen corn, no need to defrost
lime juice (I squeezed in a 1/4 wedge)
1. Heat oil in a dutch oven over medium. Add jalapeno, onion, garlic, and a tiny pinch of salt. Sweat until onions are almost translucent. Add ground beef, breaking up as you put it into the pan. Raise heat to medium high, and cook until beef is browned. Add all of the seasonings, Chipotle Chile powder through salt; stir well.
2. Add tomatoes, black beans, peppers, and liquid of choice. Bring to a boil, add the corn, and immediately reduce the heat to medium-low. Let simmer for about 15-20 minutes. The longer you let it simmer, the thicker it gets; mine probably went about 40 minutes tonight because I decided last-minute to make the cornbread.
3. Just before serving, stir in the lime juice.
*Spices can be expensive, but I like to play around with different flavors. These two by McCormick are fun, and versatile. The Chipotle Chile Powder adds a sweet-smoky heat, and the Cocoa Chile Powder adds a richness, or roundness, to the taste. Both are great on pork and chicken, too. You'll find excuses to use them.