Friday, May 3, 2013

Frugal Foodie Friday - Quick Three Bean Chili

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...I made a pot of chili today, despite the warmer weather. Many call it a three bean stew, but around here it's known as summer chili. Back in the day, summer meals were drastically altered to prevent kitchen heat from filtering through the rest of the house. Midwestern summers were a fearsome thing, and come August, you could actually see heatwaves rising, mirage-like, from  asphalt so soft it could be pierced by the heel of a woman's shoe.  Much of the cooking was done early in the day and the  dishes that were made tended to be lighter and quick to fix. Soups and stews were rarely seen and chili was unheard of.  Then, Willis Carrier invented the air conditioner and how and where we lived dramatically changed.  Strangely though, menus from the summer kitchen changed only slightly and the emphasis continued to be on the fast and light. I tend to be a rule-breaker, so the output from my summer kitchen depends more on fancy than the vagaries of the season.  I do make chili when the thermometer soars, but it's not the same version that I make in the winter.  My summer chili is an economical pantry affair that is table ready in about 30 minutes. It's based on a recipe that I found in Food and Wine magazine. I loved the flavor of the dish, but I found the original recipe produced a dish more like a bean soup than a chili. I had to thicken it because the Silver Fox insists a spoon should be able to stand upright in a proper bowl of  chili. Rather than disappoint him, I pulled out my bag of masa and set about transforming soup into chili. Masa harina is a very finely ground corn flour that's made from corn that's been dried, cooked, ground up and dried again.  It has a soft texture and it reconstitutes easily with water, so it makes a perfect thickener for some Mexican and Southwestern dishes. If you are unable to find it, use cornstarch in its place, or puree some extra beans to use as a thickener. Do not use flour or standard cornmeal. Gerhard's chili powder is my favorite, but any brand you trust and have tasted will work here. There is no cumin in this dish, so the chili powder is going to carry the day and it is important. This is a dish that is very inexpensive to make. It is also one that proves you don't have to spend a lot to have a great meal. I hope you try this week's Frugal Foodie Friday  recipe. Here's how the 30 minute chili is made.

Quick Three-Bean Chili...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite inspired by Melissa Rubel Jacobson and Food and Wine magazine

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 slices of thick-cut bacon, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch strips
1 large onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
2 jalapeños, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch dice
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup chili powder
One 15-ounce can Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed
One 15-ounce can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
One 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
One 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
3 tablespoons masa harina or cornstarch dissolved in 1/4 cup chicken broth
1-1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Chopped cilantro and sour cream, for serving

Heat oil in a medium soup pot until it shimmers. Add bacon, onion, jalapenos and garlic and K
In a medium soup pot, heat the oil until hot. Add the bacon, onion, jalapeños and garlic and cook over moderately high heat until onion softens and bacon fat has been rendered, about 5 minutes. Add chili powder and cook over moderate heat until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in beans, tomatoes and 1-1/4 cups chicken broth. Simmer the chili over moderately low heat for 15 minutes. Dissolve masa or corn starch in 1/4 cup reserved chicken broth. Stir into chili and cook until chili thickens. Season with salt and pepper and serve with cilantro and sour cream. Yield: 4 servings.

One Year Ago Today: Chicken Tinga

Two Years Ago Today: Spaghetti with Shaved Asparagus Brown Butter and Toasted Walnuts

Three Years Ago Today: Chocolate-Hazelnut Track Bread

Four Years Ago Today: Chocolate Bread


David said...

Mary, This chili looks great...but I'd have to forget frugal just a little and add a bit of ground beef. I like your spice combos...especially the jalapenos! Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

Tricia Buice said...

Mary - I could eat chili any time of year and this looks so rich and full of flavor. Thanks for another great recipe. I see you are posting "4 years ago on this date" - you have so much here to be proud of. What a wonderful blog and you make it so easy to find the great recipe successes. Have a lovely weekend.

Ginny Hartzler said...

I have heard of three bean chili, but not this quick!! Thanks so much for sending me the recipe link for the tuna cakes, it is now finally safe in my recipe box!

Mr. & Mrs. P said...

What a fast and delicious dish!!! Thanks for sharing!!!

Joanne said...

All these beans make it so hearty! Love how easy it is to throw together.

My Little Space said...

Good morning Mary! your new look. So pretty! This definitely a healthy comfort food for the family. Hope you're all well & happy weekend.
Blessings, Kristy

chacha said...

Your site looks so fresh and different but still has your very distinctive style. I love the new photo of you, too. While I was actually looking for something to make for a vegan guest who is coming for Cinco de Mayo, I will save this one for my family. They will love the bacon and jalapenos. Blessings.

Rafeeda AR said...

this looks so good... new to me but i'm definitely going to try this... :)

Related Posts with Thumbnails