Here’s the thing. My husband did not like this meal. At all.
He did not like it in his bowl, he will not touch it with a pole. He didn’t come right out and say he didn’t like it, but I could tell. I dig.
He was quiet. Ate slowly. Pushing food around with his spoon hoping it would magically disappear. He took giant sips of his drink after every bite. Eventually he told me to stop looking at him. It got awkward real quick. At the end of a silent 15 minutes, he brought picked over his bowl to the kitchen sink and apologized.
For what, I’m not sure. Hey, not everyone likes the same things. It’s cool. Different strokes for different folks, as they say. If anything *I* should have been the one apologizing. Contrary to what he might think sometimes, I don’t set out to feed him things I know he won’t like. Sure, I push the envelope every now and then, that’s just plain fun. But if I seriously think he won’t like a dish, I save it for a night he’s not around.
But, you know what? I’m not apologizing. Because I didn’t think he’d dislike this as much as he did. It was a fluke, I tell ya! There is nothing to be sorry about with this meal. I absolutely loved it. More for me.
I’m usually a purist when it comes to chili – thick, beefy and bursting with beans. A good kick of spice but not melt your face hot. And cheese! Lots of that, please and thank you.
This recipe is so different. It takes all that familiar chili heat and adds a bit of sweet to the mix with tender sweet potatoes and apples The gobs of cheese are swapped for crunchy, healthy pepitas. It’s not as thick as a traditional chili (I actually added a bit of cornstarch slurry at the end to tighten it up) but the flavorful broth of beer and a pepper puree makes the perfect vehicle for dunking a sweet cornbread muffin. It’s delightfully different.
Be brave. Try it. You’ll love it. Or you won’t.
HARVEST CHIPOTLE CHILI (Recipe Source: Midwest Living)
- 3 medium orange sweet peppers, halved and seeded
- 2 canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 1/2 pounds ground pork, ground beef or uncooked ground turkey or chicken
- 1 large onion, chopped (1 cup)
- 1 pound sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 15 ounce can reduced-sodium pinto beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 14 1/2 ounce can hominy or one 15.5-ounce can butter beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 14 1/2 ounce can chunky chili-style tomatoes or stewed tomatoes, undrained
- 1 12 ounce can beer or one 14.5-ounce can reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 1 14 1/2 ounce can reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 2 medium Granny Smith or tart red apples, peeled, cored and coarsely chopped
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Roasted, salted pepitas and chopped green onions, for serving. (optional)
- In a food processor, combine process sweet peppers, chipotle peppers and garlic and pulse with on/off turns until very finely chopped. Set aside.
- In a large Dutch oven, cook ground pork and onion over medium-high heat until meat is brown and onion is tender. Drain off fat and return to the pot. Add pepper mixture; cook and for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Stir in the sweet potato, pinto beans, drained hominy, undrained tomatoes, beer, chicken broth, apples and salt. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low. Simmer, covered, for 25 to 30 minutes or until sweet potato is tender.
- Top each serving with pepitas and green onions. Makes 8 servings.