Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Ham and Bean Chili

Last night, it was getting late and I had not decided what I was cooking for dinner.  I still had one packet of deli ham I wanted to use up quickly so I decided to pair it with some beans and make this quirky chili.  I also made a savory rice (recipe to follow soon) because I thought this chili would be nice on top of it. I completed the meal with a big green salad and dinner was on the table before the kids started clamoring that their bellies were growling.   I call this a chili, but it's really not meant to be eaten like a chili.  I think it's best paired with rice or tortillas.   However you eat it, it's a quick and budget friendly meal that certainly satisfied our dinner dilemma.

16oz-20oz of honey baked ham deli ham diced
1 medium onion
1-2 green chilies (jalapeno or serrano)
1 cup diced celery
16oz of salsa or can of diced tomato/green chilies (Rotel brand)
1 Tbs ground cumin
1 Tbs chili con carne powder
1 tsp dried oregano 
2 cloves garlic grated
red chili flakes to taste
salt and black pepper to taste (add salt at end because ham will provide some salt)
2 cans rinsed and drained beans (northern or pinto)
1-2 cups of water (depending on amount of gravy)
1/2 cup of milk or half and and half
garnish:  fresh lime for a squeeze of lime juice at the table

Dice up the deli ham and add to a pan with 2 tsp of canola oil on high heat. Fry until edges begin to char and ham is starting to crisp up.  This will take 15-17 minutes.

Once ham is fried, add another 2 tsp of canola oil and the chopped onions, garlic, celery and green chilies. Fry for another 2-3 minutes on medium high heat. 

Next add ground spices (cumin, chili powder, oregano, black pepper and red chili flakes). Saute for 1 minute.   Then add salsa or diced tomatoes with green chili (Rotel).

Finally add canned beans and water.  1 cup of water for a drier chili, 2 cups for more of a gravy chili.  We ate it over rice so I wanted more gravy.  The beans do absorb some of the liquid.  Cook for 10-15 minutes.  Taste for seasoning.  Add milk or cream and cook for another 2-3 minutes.  Serve hot over rice or with tortillas.  Enjoy.

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