Tag: Kidney Beans

Spicy Beef Chili

My cousins are driving down from Conesus NY tomorrow for lunch; we’re having Spicy Beef Chili and garlic bread with triple chocolate and pumpkin biscotti for dessert.

They make a round trip in one day, five hours each way! Yes, they’re a little nuts but Linda and Cyndi love road trips and Linda’s husband Dave is a good sport and comes along too. The reason for the short visit is they live on a farm. Not a food farm, a horse farm, and the animals need them back in time for dinner.

The farm has been in the family since I was a little kid. I remember spending many weekends there and learning how to groom the horses and muck a stall. I’m glad my little rascal Lacy is not as labor intensive!

Lacy

I hadn’t given the menu much thought. Lunch is somehow much easier than a dinner party; there were no to do lists or even a grocery list. When I got to the meat counter they had some coarsely ground Black Angus beef for chili and that was my inspiration. I picked up some bell peppers, a jalapeño, a head of garlic, canned fire-roasted diced tomatoes and kidney beans. I didn’t give much thought to the garnishes until later and Eric will pick those up tomorrow am and get a baguette for the garlic bread.

A good rule to remember when chopping vegetables is to look at the size of the ingredients in the recipe. In this case, the kidney beans. Cut the bell peppers into a dice similar in size to the beans. This allows a nice combination of ground meat, peppers, bean and tomato to get on a spoon and you enjoy all the flavors together in one mouthful.

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The jalapeño, however, should be minced. The smaller the cut the more cells that are exposed and more flavor transfers to the chili. Also, you don’t want to be the one to get a large piece, especially if it’s particularly hot!

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Ground beef cooks up quickly, no long braising needed, and this chili comes together in about an hour and a half. Start by browning the meat on high in a couple tablespoons of olive oil and break it up into crumbles with the edge of a wooden spoon.

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Add the onions and cook five minutes. Add the chopped peppers, jalapeño, garlic, and the spices. Stir into the meat; the fat and heat release the essential oils of the all those delicious spices more effectively that liquid. Cook and stir occasionally for five minutes.

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Stir in the tomatoes and stock and simmer for 45 minutes.

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Add the drained beans and cook until heated through, about five minutes.

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Put out bowls of sour cream, shredded cheese and thinly sliced scallions to top off the chili.

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It’s a delicious fall lunch that hopefully will keep them full for their long trek home along with some baggies of biscotti for snacking.

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Beef Chili

Ground beef cooks up quickly, no long braising needed, and this chili comes together in about an hour and a half. Adding the spices into the meat and vegetables allows the spices to bloom in the fat before adding the liquids.

  • Prep Time: 25 mins
  • Cook Time: 50 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 mins
  • Yield: 8 portions 1x
  • Category: Beef
Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 2 cups diced onion (1 large onion)
  • 1 each red and yellow bell pepper, cored, seeded and diced
  • 2 tablespoons jalapeño, minced (1 large jalapeño)
  • 1 tablespoon garlic cloves, minced (4 large cloves)
  • 1 tablespoon dried, ground ancho chili
  • 1 tablespoon dried, ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon dried, ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried, ground chipotle
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 2 cans (14.5 ounces each) fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 2 cans (15.5 ounces each) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • Garnishes
  • sour cream, shredded Cheddar or Monterrey Jack cheese, thinly sliced scallions.

Instructions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a 7-quart Dutch oven or large heavy-bottomed pot over high heat. Add the beef and brown while crumbling the meat with the edge of a wooden spoon.
  2. Add the onions and cook for 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in the bell peppers, jalapeño, garlic, ancho chili, coriander, cumin, oregano, salt, chipotle, cinnamon, paprika, thyme and bay leaves and cook on medium-high for five minutes.
  4. Stir in the tomatoes and stock and simmer for 45 minutes.
  5. Add the beans and continue cooking another 5 minutes, until the beans are hot.

Notes

Chili freezes well.

Four Bean Salad

Four Bean Salad

Four Bean Salad is a standard summer dish from my childhood. It’s typically made with three beans, canned green and wax beans and kidney beans, I add chickpeas to make that fourth bean. I also like to make this when the fresh beans are available in the summer. So nice to have that fresh flavor and a little texture in the green and wax beens from a quick blanch.

To start, bring a large saucepot filled with cold water and a heaping tablespoon of Kosher salt to a boil. Trim and halve the beans.

Four Bean Salad

Plunge the beans into the boiling water and cook for three minutes. Remove the beans with a long-handled mesh strainer and plunge them into an ice bath. The beans retain a bit of a crunch, which makes for a nice texture in the salad.

Four Bean Salad

Drain and thoroughly rinse a can each of kidney beans and chickpeas. Drain the string beans. The beans are a bit moist and the excess water dilutes the vinaigrette; place some paper towels in the bottom of a two-quart serving bowl and dump in the string beans. Add some paper towel and cover with the kidney beans and chickpeas. It’s only water on the beans, the towels can be dried and repurposed.

Four Bean Salad

Slice the onion lengthwise into thin strips. If it’s a strong onion, don’t worry, the vinaigrette mellows the onion nicely.

Whisk together the vinegar, oil, sugar, mustard, salt and pepper.

Remove the paper towels leaving the beans in the bowl, add the onion and toss with the vinaigrette.

Four Bean Salad

Refrigerate for at least two hours, occasionally tossing to marinate all the beans. The salad can be made a day in advance, even though the dressing is slightly acidic it won’t turn the green beans that awful gray-green color.

This is a great side dish, but don’t hesitate to have a bowlful for lunch!

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Four Bean Salad

Four Bean Salad

This salad can be made a day in advance, even though the dressing is slightly acidic it won’t turn the green beans that awful gray-green color. Eat as a side or as your main dish!

  • Prep Time: 3p mins
  • Cook Time: 3 mins
  • Total Time: 23 mins
  • Yield: 2 quarts 1x
  • Category: Salad
Scale

Ingredients

  • Bean Salad
  • 1 heaping tablespoon Kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups green beans or haricots verts
  • 1 1/2 cups wax beans
  • 1 can (15.5 ounces) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (15.5 ounces) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion, lengthwise (about 1/2 of a small onion)
  • 1/4 cup plus one tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • Vinaigrette
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Instructions

  1. BeanSalad
  2. Trim the beans and cut in half. Bring a pot of salted cold water to a boil, add the beans to the boiling water and cook for three minutes.
  3. Remove the beans with a long-handled mesh strainer into an ice-water bath.
  4. Drain the beans and place on paper towel to dry along with the kidney beans and chickpeas.
  5. Vinaigrette
  6. Whisk together the vinegar, oil, sugar, mustard, salt and pepper.
  7. Put the beans and onion in a large mixing bowl, drizzle with the vinaigrette and toss to coat.
  8. Cover and refrigerate at least two hours, tossing on occasion to marinate all the beans and onion.