From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...This is another of the go-to recipes that comes from my Table for Two collection. It makes a quick, easy and inexpensive bean stew that's perfect for those days you don't want to fuss or deal with leftovers. The ingredients used to make the dish can be found in any large supermarket and, with the possible exception of the canned chili beans, I suspect you already have everything needed to make the dish in your pantry. Canned chili beans are simply pinto beans that are processed in a sauce of chili peppers, onions, garlic and tomatoes. The pre-seasoned beans make quick work of meal preparation and they make it is possible to have this dish on the table in 30 minutes. While I have not included masa harina in the ingredient list, I do use it to thicken this stew which can be on the watery side. Masa harina is a very finely ground flour made from corn that has been dried, cooked, ground up and dried again. The water in which it cooks always contains slaked lime, also known as “limewater,” which gives masa harina its distinctive taste. Masa has a soft texture that reconstitutes easily when mixed with water. I use a teaspoon of it to make a slurry that I use to thicken and add additional flavor to my stew. While corn starch or flour can be used for thickening, you'll lose the unique flavor that masa adds to the stew. The ease with which this dish comes together makes it a perfect vehicle for beginning cooks or those using dorm kitchen to try. If you are looking for meals designed to feed just two people, you might want to give this recipe a try. Here is how my beef and bean stew is made.
Southwestern Beef and Bean Stew...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite inspired by Taste of Home magazine
1/2 pound ground beef
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 can (16 ounces) chili beans, undrained
1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1) Cook beef and onion in a saucepan set over medium heat until meat is no longer pink. Add garlic and cook one minute longer. Drain.
2) Stir in chili beans, diced tomatoes, chili powder, cumin and smoked paprika. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes or until heated through. Yield: 2 servings.
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