… and there is chili on the stove.
That is my pat answer all winter long. With teen-very-active sons, keeping warm, homey food at the ready is one of my top mom priorities. When I am in my zen-mother moments, I am filling the kitchen with chili for after school, baked breads and cookies, big bacon-laced breakfasts and so forth. All winter long, chili on the stove is not uncommon—and counts merely as a snack. Dinner is later.
I only write the chili recipe, below, as a guideline. Truth be told, chili is my tomato-based scapegoat, my go-to pot for using up odds and ends in my fridge. This ‘miscellany chile’ often has half a jar of leftover salsa, at least a jar or more of canned tomatoes (stray tomato sauce in my fridge). Into this pot goes 2 cans of whatever beans I have on hand, ground sauteed beef and almost always a half or whole pound of chorizo sausage. I love chorizo in chili.
Extra chipolte in adobo is a bonus. As are a few spoons of tomato jam.
I start the chili by browning the meat(s), and sauteing red onion and garlic. If I have a few vegetable stragglers—like part of a bell pepper, a few carrots or fennel—these get sauteed as well. Once caramelized, I add all the meat and vegetables in a pot, pour in beans and add tomato juice/sauce and/or puree. I monitor the liquid, adding more tomato juice as needed.
leftover tomatoes (pureed, whole/peeled/sauce)*
1 LB beef
1/2 LB chorizo
S&P, chili, cumin, paprika
2 cans beans: pinto, black beans, kidney beans
*You may or may not know that I was a bit of a canning fiend this past summer. Which is why, of course, I have summer’s tomatoes to insert into winter’s chili. Here is the long explanation/fine details of canning tomatoes safely.