back to basics with a twist ::::
I made this chili before Sky-Girl was born to freeze for easy meals once I was home with her. We actually ate most of it before she was born (early, at that!) so a paltry amount was actually stored away. After Sky-Girl was born, my mother-in-law packed the freezer full of other foods, and the chili was shoved to the back, but not forgotten. She was the one that originally gave me a version of this recipe, calling it “Caucasians’ chili.” A friend had passed it to her; I’m not sure the translation of ‘white’ to ‘Caucasian’ is quite right here. It made me pause all the same, considering that perhaps beef- and tomato-laden chili should be tagged ‘Hispanic’ or ‘Latino.’ Asian chili? African?
Whatever ethnicity or racial profile this dish encompasses, this is a great dish for a gestational diabetic diet, like mine when I first made it, heavy with protein. The kids liked it — the first time we ate it — but turned their noses up at the leftovers. Maybe not Asian enough for them. They’d rather be eating tripe, chicken feet, sesame noodles, and lots of rice.
Tex-mex isn’t a often frequented dinner cuisine in our house because of our love of everything Asian; it really is difficult to break the cycle of rice sometimes. I am thankful that the kids are open to new things, even if the familiar often wins out. Freezing the leftovers works well. If freezing this dish, I recommend leaving out the green onions. Use fresh when serving. A good cheat for cooked chicken is using a basic rotisserie chicken from the grocery store. The meat will be salted already and juicy,whether you buy it at a ‘Caucasian’ store or otherwise.
One year ago: apricot oatcakes
Two years ago: hijiki salad
- 1 pound dried Great Northern beans (or similar) - about 2½ cups
- 2 pounds chicken, cooked (I used a mix of white and dark meat)
- 1 quart chicken stock or canned low sodium broth
- a drizzle of olive oil
- 2 large onion, finely chopped
- 1-2 4-ounce cans of chopped green chiles (I think two is better)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon coriander powder
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- pinch of cayenne pepper
- about 1 pound of Monterey Jack cheese, shredded (about 5-6 cups)
- salt and pepper (less salt if you are using chicken broth with salt in it already)
- 3-4 jalapenos, halved, seeded, and chopped (if you want the hot spice)
- 3-4 green onions, chopped
- In a large pot, cover the beans with 2 inches of water and allow to soak overnight. Drain the beans, return to pot, and add enough water to cover the beans by 2 inches. Bring to a boil over moderate heat and simmer until tender, about an hour. Drain the beans.
- Shred chicken and set aside.
- Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the onions and cook covered over moderate heat, stirring, until translucent.
- Add the chiles, garlic, cumin, coriander, chili powder, and cayenne and cook, stirring for 3 minutes.
- Add the beans, chicken, stock, and 4 cups of the Monterey Jack cheese. This will look really thick at first; stir and the cheese will melt and the mixture will thin. Simmer for 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
- Sprinkle with chopped green onions. Serve with remaining cheese and chopped jalapenos (if using).