Thursday, February 5, 2009

Beef & Black Bean Chili with Chipolte & Avocado

Well, as Dad always used to say, "The sandwich always hits the carpet jelly-side down".

I'm in the process of learning my new computer but I'll admit to having had vague hopes of salvaging something of the old machine. Alas and alack, it wasn't meant to be.

CrabCake2 borrowed his father's credit card, bought a gizmo or two and tried to recover what was in the old hard drive. But the old Dell, she is kaput. He offered to take it into the Geek Squad and see if they could do anything with it but, given that all I've really lost is about 8 sets of unpublished Crabby food photos, it just seems like throwing good money after bad, (See: Government Financial Bail-out of Wall Street).

Interestingly, in addition to the "who-zy" he needed to work on my machine, a surprisingly large amount of new equipment ended up in his room. Seems like profiting from my misery is the price I have to pay to hear that there's no solution to my losses, (Again, see: Government Financial Bail-out of Wall Street).

Well crablings, I've got a new machine and the only real pain is how much poorer I am. So today's recipe is going to be something fast and cheap. I know I've told you that I'm not a big chili fan, but desperate times call for desperate measures. Here's a recipe that will work at your next sports party, outdoor BBQ or Mexican dinner, enjoy...


Beef & Black Bean Chili with Chipolte & Avocado
from Fine Cooking

3 15-oz. cans black beans, rinsed and drained

1 14-1/2-oz. can diced tomatoes
1 medium chipotle plus 2 Tbs. adobo sauce (from can)
2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1 lb. 85% lean ground beef
Kosher salt
1 large red onion, finely diced
1-1/2 Tbs. chili powder
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 lime, juiced
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Freshly ground black pepper
1 ripe avocado, cut in a medium dice


Put one-third of the beans into the bowl of a food processor, along with the tomatoes and their juices, chipotle, and adobo sauce. Process until smooth and set aside.

Heat the oil in a 5- to 6-quart Dutch oven or similar heavy-duty pot over medium-high heat until it’s shimmering hot, about 2 min.

Add the beef, season with 1/2 tsp. salt, and cook, using a wooden spoon to break up the meat, until it loses its raw color, about 3 minutes. Transfer the beef to a large plate using a slotted spoon.

Add half of the onion and 1/4 tsp. salt, and cook, stirring, until it begins to brown and soften, about 3 min. Reduce the heat to medium.

Add the chili powder and cumin and cook for 20 seconds. Add the remaining black beans, the puréed bean mixture, and the beef to the pot and simmer for 10 min., stirring frequently.

Add half of the lime juice, half of the cilantro, and salt and pepper to taste. If the chili is thicker than you like, it may be thinned with water.


Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix the remaining lime juice and onion with the avocado. Season generously with salt and pepper. Serve the chili topped with the avocado mixture and remaining cilantro.


Fast, frugal and flavorful, (I've been using a lot of "f" words since the old computer died). This recipe appears as it did in Fine Cooking; I'll warn you that I thought that there was too strong a lime flavor; SSSal disagreed. I also think a better application than chili would be to use this meat/bean mixture as the stuffing of tacos; SSSal agreed.

OK crablings, I'm off to try and remember as many of my old bookmarks as possible. Until next time, remember, you can do it you can cook.

4 comments:

recipes2share said...

fast and cheap it may be, but as fantastic as normal it remains!! - bon courage with the new machine.. I hate changes in any technology! Fiona:)

Stephanie said...

I just made chili a couple weeks ago. It was the perfect meal for the cold weather.

WineWizardBob said...

Earthy, spicy, smokey, meaty, screams (See:Government Financial Bail-out of Wall Street) for American red wine. Now is the time to break out your Zinfandels, Cabernet Sauvignons, Merlots and Shirazs for this heart healthy, heart warming dish. Especially nice and inexpensive are any of those California red field blends; Red Truck, Jailhouse Red and all those other wines with Red on the label.

Pinot Noir is too delicate for the bold flavors of this chili, but there are no rules if you really really want to drink your Pinot Noir with this.

Kevin said...

That looks tasty!