Quick(ish) Chili!

My BFF Saucymama gave me the best Kristamas present ever! Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything. I keep sitting down to read a recipe and realize I’ve been sitting idle for an hour! So great!
When an awkward cold front blew in the other night, I decided to whip up a quickish batch of chili. Emphasis on quickish, because when I think of chili, I envision a slow cooked masterpiece, and this still took about 2 hours?! So I dove into my first recipe from HTCE; Mark’s idea of chili was a bit different from mine, so I had a few additions. It was still pretty yummy! Maybe could use a bit more work, I, of course was the only one that thought that, but it did it’s job by warming us up!!

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1 pound dried red beans, (you don’t have to soak them if you didn’t think ahead, just means a longer cooking time)
water or broth to boil beans in (I did half and half)
1 pound of beef, turkey, chicken, etc
1 whole onion, unpeeled (I chopped of the top and bottom)
1 small onion, minced
salt and pepper
1 cup of the bean-cooking liquid (leftover)
8 oz. tomato sauce
1 14 oz can of diced tomatoes
1 fresh/dried hot chile. (I ended up using 2 small thai chiles) *note to self, do not bite the chile to see how hot it actually is….
2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp marjoram
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp herbs de provence
cayenne pepper to taste (be careful! You already may already have 2 chiles)

Put the beans in a large pot of water to cover and bring to a boil over high heat, add the whole onion. Adjust the heat, so the beans are at a steady boil rather than a rolling boil and cover loosely.

While beans are cooking, brown your meat. Before draining the meat, add salt and pepper, and the 2 tsp of chili powder.

When beans begin to soften (start checking at 30 minutes, cooking time depends on whether you soaked or not) season with salt and pepper. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, and adding water if necessary. Cook until beans are very tender but still intact.

Drain the beans and reserve the cooking liquid. Take out the whole onion, eat it layer by layer (or whatever). Add the rest of the ingredients, including the leftover cooking liquid, and bring to a boil, then cover and turn down to low.

Cook, stirring occasionally, until the beans are very tender and all the flavors have mellowed. Taste, and adjust the seasoning, and serve!

I like mine best with shredded cheese and avocado!

Enjoy!

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