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Default Dinners-Smoky Chipotle Chili with Roasted Red Peppers and Cilantro Lime Cream

by Karen on March 26th, 2013



Chipotle Chili with Roasted Red Peppers and Cilantro Lime Cream

Janelle from Talk of Tomatoes has a feature called Default Dinners that you can follow on Twitter @defaultdinners or check out the newly launched food bloggers default dinners page on Pinterest for great ideas for the nightly meal.  Janelle is one of those people that you just love to be around. Her energy and talent make you want to try a little harder each day to pull together a good meal to ground your family and provide healthy comfort.  With our alternating days of enough sunshine to start working the garden soil and the windy, cold days with sideways rain –chili has been a favorite on the table at our house.

Big Appetites

I am now cooking for two really hungry big guys.  My husband works his day job and in his spare time he is building our next home.  Most people go to the gym but this house is his mental health project.  Not only is it a physical challenge but it also takes a lot of smarts to build something from the ground up.  Our son Sam is the other big guy who towers over us all, I can’t imagine his appetite increasing but as we go into track season it most definately will.  I cook a meal that will feed 4-6 people and they devour it all.  We don’t eat many starches with our dinners– mostly protein and vegetables.  Our starch consumption occurs as we test all the baked goods for Mama K’s!

an interior detail of exposed beams that Sam helped to build

Four ways to cook this chili–crock pot, pressure cooker, stock pot or Dutch oven

So as I was thinking about my recipe contribution to Janelle’s Default Dinners (family meals that don’t require a huge effort but are enjoyed by everyone)  I decided to make a few things from my cookbook that I had let fall off my radar screen.  I am also using my Dutch oven from Le Creuset a lot (6.75 quart size is best).  Every winter I use it 3-4 times a week to make soups, stew, roasts, braises, etc.  When I have jobs that keep me away from my neighborhood for long hours I use my crock pot or if I am in a hurry and have to get it on the table fast I will use my Kuhn Rikon pressure cooker instead.  If you own a Dutch oven and have a few hours you will be rewarded with a complex marrying of flavors that make this recipe absolutely awesome…and I try pretty hard not to use that word much so that it still has some meaning.

Storm Watching Chili Weather

We have a lovely perch in our rental house looking out over the Puget Sound–a perfect spot for storm watching—yes, that is actually something people do in the Northwest.  When I was selling radio advertising I called on a few resorts that promoted their cozy retreats on the ocean as a great place to visit for exactly that purpose!!

Here is what we have recently been watching out the window….it looks like a military frigate or something and some very rough going.  Hard to tell from here but there were a ton of white caps out there and the wind must have been 40 plus mph.  Needless to say we have chili weather……

Wild Stormy Days of March Perfect for Chili

This recipe takes 20 minutes of prep time using a Dutch oven (or a stock pot) and the cornbread another 10 minutes of prep time.  But you do need to allow for the 1.5 hours of cooking time with the Dutch oven or a stock pot.  If you go with the crock pot it’s an all day affair of slow cooking but very quick prep, if you have a Pressure Cooker you’ve hit the jackpot at 35 minutes for prep and cooking.

Smoky Chipotle Chili with Roasted Red Peppers

Before moving on to the recipe where I provide directions for stove top or Dutch oven cooking of this recipe, it is important to note where this recipe originated. Lorna Sass has several books dedicated to pressure cooking. This recipe is adapted from her book, The Pressured Cook  (William Morrow, 1999).  She is creative and helps ease the mystery of using the new safe pressure cookers.  I use it for many things but most often for homemade refried beans.  It’s great to not have to soak beans overnight and to greatly reduce cooking time.  You could do this recipe in about a half hour using a pressure cooker.

Smoky chipotle chilies, roasted red peppers, a touch of cinnamon, lime juice, and cilantro make this chili exceptional.

Quick to assemble,  the only chopping is for the cilantro, onion, green pepper and roasted red pepper.  I have become a huge fan of pinto beans in chili instead of kidney beans, you might try them if beans are not your first favorite food.

Wine Pairing:  a California Syrah is recommended with this meal. Dan McCarthy of McCarthy & Schiering Wine Merchants graciously did the wine pairings for me years ago but now there are some good gluten free beers on the market that you might want to try since this chili can be spicy!

i n g r e d i e n t s :

Cilantro -Lime Cream
A cool counterpoint to the spicy chili.

1 cup sour cream
½ cup tightly packed chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
¼ teaspoon salt, or more to taste


2 tablespoons olive oil, or more if needed
2 pounds well-trimmed boneless beef chuck (buy pre-cut stew meat in the store)
1 medium coarsely chopped onion
2 teaspoons whole cumin seeds|
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 cups beef broth (add 1 cup more if using Dutch oven)
1 large green bell pepper, seeded and diced
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons of pureed chipotle chilies in adobo sauce (I keep this frozen by the tablespoonful)
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 can of either pinto beans or kidney beans
2 large cloves garlic, passed through a garlic press or finely chopped
1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1-12 oz jar roasted red peppers
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice

4 servings

Make cilantro-lime cream by combining sour cream, cilantro, lime juice, and salt in a nonreactive bowl. Keep refrigerated until ready to use.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
On the cooktop, heat a tablespoon of oil in the Dutch oven (or stock pot) over medium-high heat.

Brown beef in small batches, adding more oil if needed. Set the beef aside on a plate. Heat another tablespoon of oil. Add onions and cumin and cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently. Return beef to the pot. Add chili powder, stir to completely coat beef, and cook for an additional minute. Add broth and stir well, scraping up any browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pot. Stir in green pepper, cinnamon, and chipotle chile sauce.

Cover Dutch oven and place in preheated oven, simmer until meat is tender, about 1.5 hours. (stockpot method: simmer on stove top 1.5 hours stirring occasionally)
Remove from oven and blend tomato paste into chili. Add the canned beans, garlic and oregano. Season with salt and pepper. Taste for seasoning.
Return to oven or heat on cooktop until beans are warmed through and garlic loses its raw taste.
Minutes before serving, stir in the roasted red peppers and cook for another minute. Stir in lime juice to enhance the flavors.

Top each portion with a generous spoonful of Cilantro-Lime Cream.

wine suggestion:  California Syrah


Gluten Free Cornbread


Gluten Free Cornbread

This is my grandmothers’ cornbread recipe. (She always served it with butter and honey.)

The special Multi Blend mix makes this taste just like the wheat flour cornbread my grandmother made.
The original recipe calls for shortening, though I prefer butter. Using buttermilk instead of milk creates a lighter cornbread.

i n g r e d i e n t s :

1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon guar gum or xanthan gum
1/2 cup Multi Blend gluten-free flour mix
1 cup corn meal
2 tablespoons butter or organic shortening, melted
1 large egg
1 cup buttermilk or milk

16 servings

Preheat oven to 400ºF. Butter an 8-inch baking dish.

Combine sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt,  gum, flour mix, and corn meal in a medium bowl. Combine butter, egg, and buttermilk in a small bowl.
Slowly add the egg mixture to the flour mixture until blended. Pour batter into prepared baking dish. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until toothpick tests clean.

For more nightly meals and quality gluten free baked goods try Cooking Gluten Free!


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