Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Quick and Easy Bean Chili

Growing up my dad had to learn how to do a lot of things on his own, he was the youngest of 5 kids being raised by a single dad. Lucky for me one of the things he taught himself was how to cook and growing up I reaped all those benefits. From pork chops, meatloaf, collard greens, grilled chicken, banana pudding.... He can make it all and he does it all very well, but hands down one of my favorite dishes he makes is chili and corn bread. The chili is spicy, meaty, and full of chunks of tomato. It's pretty much heaven in a bowl in the middle of the winter. And dipping the corn bread into it is TO. DIE. FOR.

Clearly, I like it.

Well, funny thing about having your parents take the time to cook you dinner almost every night.... You go to college 800 miles away and realize those meals didn't put themselves together. This is no fault of my parents. They offered to show me their cooking ways many a time. Nevertheless I found myself craving some of my dad's chili one cold, sub-zero day my junior year.

To make a long story short: a call was made, a recipe was written down, a pot of chili was made. It was ok, but it wasn't my dad's. After a couple more attempts throughout the years I gave up. Instead I have used his recipe as a guide to help me not get too far off track. There is room for 2 different chili recipes in the Welch family, right dad?
Without further adieu, here is my recipe for a very basic and quick bean chili (because I avoid handling raw meat at all costs) along with a variation I made this past weekend with some fresh tomatoes.

Ingredients needed for either one:
Summertime chiliWintertime chili

Quick and Easy Bean Chili

Serves 4-5


2 cans of beans (any kind)

1 can of no salt added stewed tomatoes

1 can of no salt added diced tomatoes

1 1/2 cups of water

1/4-1/2 cups chopped onion

2 cloves of garlic, minced

chili powder (start with 1/8 cup and go from there)

salt & pepper


Place tomatoes, beans (drained & rinsed), and water in a large stock pot on stove over medium heat.

Spray a skillet with some cooking spray and heat over low heat.

Add onions and garlic to skillet, cook until onions are soft.

Add onions, garlic, chili pepper, and salt & pepper to tomato mix.

Bring to a boil, then lower heat to simmer and cover.

Allow to simmer for at least 20 minutes. 

Taste and adjust accordingly.

Enjoy :)

Bean Chili Variation (with (horrible) pictures... Blame the lighting)

One of my favorite parts about summer is fresh tomatoes. They are just so juicy and delicious. So when I got a craving for chili (weird, I know) I was so excited to not be confined to tomatoes of the canned variety, something that was made sweeter by finding some cheap "seconds" tomatoes at the farmer's market. Since I intended on using them the same day I knew they wouldn't go bad.

Here is my picture-by-picture account of my bean chili using fresh tomatoes and some fresh beans.

Chop up 3-4 medium/large tomatoes (any variety!)
Deseed and dice 1/2 of a jalapeno
Chop a small onion and 2-3 cloves of garlic
Saute them for just a minute, allowing their flavors to burst
Add them to a pot filled with chopped tomatoes,
diced jalapeno, and 2 cups of water. Turn burner
on to medium heat
Brew some tea for the boy studying hard
Once boiling add beans, chili powder (start with 2 tablespoons),
and salt & pepper to taste. Reduce heat to low, cover, and
allow to simmer
While its simmering, do the dishes that are piling up, bake some
corn bread muffins (not dad's), or do both
Enjoy :)

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