Thursday, September 5, 2013

Chorizo and Potato Chili

Husband makes what he calls 'sexy fries'.  Really, they're just french fries.  But he's pretty passionate about getting the right levels of oil, and julienne-ing the potatoes perfectly, and spicing them up just right.  He really is good at it, too!  We had a family trip to Mesquite, and he was assigned fry duty for eight adults and two kids.  Sooooo much frying.

That being said, we ended up with leftover potatoes.  My idea was to fry them up, too, but oh yeah, we were on vacation and couldn't be bothered to stand over the stove top for more than one evening.  I'll hang out by the pool, thank you very much.

Anyway, back from vacation, I needed to do something with the potatoes.  And the black beans, farmers market tomato, and cilantro languishing in the fridge.  And so!  Chili was on my mind.  The drive home from work gave me ample time to realize that a chili with cilantro and black beans should be Mexican, and a Mexican chili must have chorizo.  Spicy, bright orange chorizo.  It was the first thing I grabbed in the grocery store.

And here's an interesting little trick.  When you're making a Mexican soup or chili, it's a good idea to chop up a corn tortilla or two to mix into the liquid.  The tortillas thicken things up just a little, and give off the faintest corn taste.  It's lovely!

This chili is filling and spicy and a perfect meal for the cooler evenings that are soon to start.  Make sure you top it like crazy.  Toppings are my favorite part of soups and chilis.  And apparently, all the best Mexican toppings are green... avocadoes, and limes, and green onions, and cilantro.  Ohhhhh myyyy.

Chorizo and Potato Chili
Serves 4-6

1 lb chorizo
3 small potatoes, or 1 to 2 large ones
1/2 large onion
1 green bell pepper
2 cloves garlic
1 Tbs. chili powder
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
1/2 tsp. oregano
1 can Rotel diced tomato & green chilies
1 large tomato, diced
1/2 c. water
  -or sub 1 can diced tomatoes for tomato & water
1 1/2 c. cooked black beans (or 1 can)
1 Tbs. ketchup
1 corn tortilla
salt and pepper
olive oil

Heat a very deep skillet, or soup pot, over medium heat.  Add chorizo, and allow to cook, occasionally stirring and breaking into pieces with a spatula, for about 7-8 minutes.  In the meantime, chop the potatoes, onion, and pepper into a 1/4 to 1/2 inch dice (I like a chunky chili and go with 1/2 inch).

Once cooked, remove chorizo with a slotted spoon and set aside.  You should have some chorizo grease in the pan.  Add some oil, if necessary, to have a tablespoon or two of fat in the pan.  Add in the chopped potatoes, onion, and pepper, and season with salt and pepper.  Saute for 5 minutes or so until the onions begin to be translucent.  Add the garlic, chili powder, cumin, paprika, and oregano, and stir well to coat the veggies in all the spices.  Cook for about a minute.

To the pot of veggies, add in the chorizo, diced tomatoes plus the extra tomato and water (or another can of tomatoes), and black beans.  Stir well, and turn heat down to a simmer.  Add the ketchup, and season with a little extra salt and pepper.  Cover with a lid, and allow to simmer for 15-20 minutes, until the potatoes have softened to your preference.  While the chili simmers, chop the corn tortilla into a small dice, then add that to the pot, and stir well.  It will eventually melt into everything and disappear on you.  Chop your toppings while the chili continues to simmer.

Once potatoes are softened, spoon into bowls, and let each person top theirs according to their preference.  Enjoy!

Suggested toppings:
green onion, avocado, lime, cilantro, grated cheddar, sour cream or plain yogurt, corn chips (find Juanitos at Smiths or Reams if you're in Utah!  perfect tortilla chip)

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