Unlike my son, who practically cut his teeth on sushi, dim sum and curry, we were not exposed to a wide range of foods beyond our regional cuisine and hearty American classics like pot roast with mashed potatoes.
My mom was a great scratch cook, but women of her era were enamored of the subtleties of French cooking not anything as scarily exotic as Asian or Latin food.
These days you can find a recipe - either traditional or modified - for just about any world cuisine.I don't know if it's because it's freezing cold or because everyone - but me - is gearing up for Super Bowl Sunday, but recipes for Taco Soup are every where.
Maybe it's because tacos are a quick and easy family favorite. Maybe it's because nothing shouts fiesta like Mexican comfort food.
I'm a fan of tacos, tortas, burritos, enchiladas - anything salsa- and guacamole-laden, so the idea of Taco Soup is pretty tasty to me. Whatever the reason, I have to weigh in with my own recipe for Southwestern Chili.
This recipe is fast, nutritious and delicious. And who doesn't love a meal that requires minimal effort with maximum flavor.
serves six to eight
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 pound lean ground beef
1/2 pound chorizo (the crumbly Mexican kind)
1 16-ounce can black beans, drained & rinsed
1 16-ounce can pinto beans, drained & rinsed
1 12-ounce can sweet corn, drained
1 10-ounce can diced tomatoes & green chilies
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 cup chicken stock
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons cumin
1teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoons chipotle chili powder1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup cheddar cheese, grated for garnish
1 avocado, diced for garnish
1/2 cup sour cream for garnish
1/2 cup taco sauce
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped
In a six-quart stockpot, heat olive oil over medium heat before adding onion, celery and garlic. Sautee until soft, about five minutes, then add ground beef and chorizo. Brown until meat is no longer pink and is finely crumbled, about six to eight minutes.
When meat mixture is browned, add the black beans, pinto beans, corn, diced tomatoes & chilies and crushed tomatoes. Add chicken stock as needed to adjust thickness of the chili. Stir in bay leaves, cumin, chili powder and cayenne pepper. Bring to a simmer, where the chili is just bubbling a bit, then reduce heat and cook gently, allowing flavors to marry for about 45 minutes to an hour.
While the chili is simmering, prepare long grain rice, according to package instructions.
Once the rice is ready, spoon a half cup into each bowl, then top with a half cup of chili. Garnish each bowl with 1 tablespoon grated cheddar cheese, 1 tablespoon diced avocado, and 1 tablespoon sour cream. Drizzle with taco sauce and sprinkle with fresh cilantro.
Serve with warmed flour or corn tortillas.