Ancho Chorizo Chili

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Ancho Chorizo Chili
slightly adapted from Simply Scratch

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large sweet onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced or grated
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 pound ground chorizo (I use my homemade version)
  • 1 (28 ounce) can crushed fire roasted tomatoes (or regular crushed tomatoes)
  • 1 (15 ounce) can tomato puree
  • 1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3 tablespoons ground ancho chili powder or more to taste
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons Mexican oregano
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 cup of stock or water

Suggested sides/toppings: sliced avocado, pico de gallo, cilantro, green onions, sour cream, cheddar or jack cheese, hot sauce, cornbread, tortilla chips, corn chips

Method

Heat a large Dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat. Once hot, add in a tablespoon of olive oil along with the onion and a pinch of kosher salt. Saute for about 4 minutes or until the onion is just tender. Add the garlic and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Add in the lean ground beef and chorizo. Use your wooden spatula to break up the meat into small crumbles and cook, stirring occasionally until no longer pink. Drain off all the fat in the bottom of the pan.

Add the crushed tomatoes, tomato puree, beans, ancho chili powder, salt, cumin, Mexican oregano, sugar, and stock. Stir and bring to a gentle bubble, then reduce to low and simmer for 35-40 minutes.

Serve with desired sides/toppings and enjoy!

NOTES

OH MAN. This was amazing. I am not usually a big fan of chili (I know, sacrilege!), but for some reason when I randomly stumbled across Laurie’s post, the words “ancho” and “chorizo” took hold in my brain and wouldn’t leave. Maybe because I’ve been so into my recently tweaked homemade chorizo and I’ve been looking for new ways to use it. Whatever it was, I had to make this immediately – and I did not regret it. I admit being hesitant about adding in a full three tablespoons of ancho chile powder, but I’m glad I trusted her judgment and went for it. CRAZY good.

This made a solid six portions for us. I gave two to a friend and then ate my two servings as shown above. Steve had his first with just Fritos and pico and his second with Fritos and… hot dogs! I say that with a bit of a laugh only because we normally don’t think of chili with beans as being good hot dog chili, but we were both pretty blown away by how well it worked. Not a big hot dog fan myself, but for those of you who love them, I highly recommend.

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Chipotle Chicken Chili

Chipotle Chicken Chili
(heavily altered, but inspired by this post from Pioneer Woman)

Ingredients

1-1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces (see NOTES)
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon Mexican oregano
1 teaspoon Kosher salt (or to taste)
1 small yellow onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 12-ounce bottle beer (I used regular Modelo)
1 cup water
1 15-oz can petite diced tomatoes
2 whole chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, minced, plus 2 teaspoons adobo sauce
2 14.5-ounce cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon ancho chili powder
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, minced (about half a “bunch”)

For serving: sour cream, shredded cheese, cilantro, scallions, limes, corn chips, etc.

Method

Heat large pot over medium high heat, then add the chicken, cumin, oregano and salt. Saute for about 7 or 8 minutes, stirring frequently, until the chicken is cooked through. Add the onion and garlic and stir. Cook for a few minutes more, until onion is soft. Add the beer and cook for 2 minutes to slightly reduce. Add the water, tomatoes, chipotles, beans and ancho chili powder. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a hard simmer. Let cook for 10 to 15 minutes.

Add the lime juice and cilantro. Stir to combine, then remove from heat. Serve with desired accompaniments.

NOTES

Salty, sweet, smoky, spicy; this was instant love. Intense flavor with so few ingredients and chock full of protein to boot? Our perfect kind of meal.

As always, if you start with chicken breast, you will need a teaspoon or two of oil to get things going. Also, mine is soupier than a traditional chili, I realize, so if you want to make it thicker, you can blend some masa harina with water or more beer (1:1 ratio) or add a third can of beans. Ree did both in the post that inspired this dish. Up to you, but Steve and I loved it so tremendously as is, I think I will leave it for now.

Chili Cornbread Skillet

Chili Cornbread Skillet
with thanks to my dear Amy at Very Culinary

Ingredients

1 pound lean ground beef (or venison or turkey)
1 medium sweet onion, finely diced
1 bell pepper, any color, finely diced
3 large cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tablespoon cumin
1/2 tablespoon oregano (I use Mexican)
1/2 tablespoon chile powder (I use New Mexican)
1/2 tablespoon paprika
1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
1 (10-ounce) can condensed tomato soup
1/4 cup medium salsa
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 15-ounce can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 package (8.5 ounce) Jiffy corn muffin mix
1 egg
1/3 cup milk

Method

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Heat a 10-inch ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat Add the beef, onion, bell pepper, garlic, spices and salt to the pan. Cook, breaking up the chunks of beef with a wooden spoon, stirring occasionally, until the meat is no longer pink and the vegetables are softened, about 5 to 6 minutes. Removed from heat. Add the soup, salsa, and ketchup and stir until thoroughly combined. Gently stir in the beans.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the corn muffin mix, egg, and milk. Let sit for 2 minutes. Spoon the corn muffin mix over the chili.

Bake, uncovered, for 22-25 minutes, until golden brown.

NOTES

I really have no words for how happy this recipe made me. For one, it tastes FREAKING AMAZING. Deliciously sweet cornbread over spicy beef and vegetables. OOF. It’s also incredibly simple AND totally adjustable – vegetables/no vegetables, seasonings/no seasonings, beans/no beans – anything you want to do with it up through the soup/salsa/ketchup addition is totally at your discretion.

I will be making this one for the rest of our lives. Guaranteed.

Spicy Beef Chili

Spicy Beef Chili

Ingredients

5 thick slices applewood smoked bacon, chopped
1 pound ground beef
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
1 bell pepper, finely chopped
2 to 3 jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely diced*
2 to 3 serrano peppers, seeded and finely diced*
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon New Mexican chile powder
1 tablespoon Ancho chile powder
1 tablespoon Mexican oregano
1 (15-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans
4 cups water or stock, or as needed for desired consistency

(*for goodness sake, please wear gloves! I never seem to learn my lesson…)

Method

Place bacon in a large soup pot. Cook over medium heat until evenly brown and crispy. Remove bacon to paper towels and drain off excess fat from the pot, leaving just enough to coat the bottom.

Add beef to the pot over medium high heat and saute until browned and cooked through, breaking it into chunks with a wooden spoon as it cooks. Drain off all but a small layer of fat and set meat aside.

Stir in the onion, bell pepper, jalapeno peppers, serrano peppers, garlic, cumin, New Mexican chile powder, Ancho chile powder and Mexican oregano. Saute for about 6 or 7 minutes or until vegetables are moderately soft, then add drained beef, crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes and 3 cups water or stock.

Bring to boil, then turn heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add beans, bacon and 1 cup water or stock, stir, and continue simmering for another 30 minutes.

Serve with cornbread, corn chips, sour cream, cheese, scallions, etc.

NOTES

This was my attempt at a simple, weeknight chili and it was a total success. It was smoky, warming without being killer spicy, and held a perfect balance of beans and beef and peppers. We loved it.

I only wish I had remembered to slice up scallions to garnish; I will definitely do that for our lunch portions.