Roasted Salsa Chili 

I am sitting at my computer at my coffee table wearing sweats, bundled up in a blanket, dog curled up at my side, cat curled up behind me on the couch. It is 51-degrees outside and getting cooler, and clouds are drifting lazily overhead.  It is snowing in some places, frigid in others, mild in yet other locations, as in my area in California.  With that, what does one do when it gets chilly and you want a comforty, warm dish without a ton of work?  Oh yes, one makes this simple chili, my roasted salsa chili. Stay with me, this one is simple and incredibly delicious. It starts with fresh roasted salsa as the base. Let's get started, shall we?

To an oven safe skillet or pan, add a quartered red or yellow onion, three large or five small cloves garlic, two Fresno chiles, three serrano chiles or two jalapenos chiles or a combination there of.  I add a little vegetable oil to a pan or oven safe skillet, I toss the veg in it, sprinkle it with salt and pepper, and roast it for 18 minutes at 400-degrees.  

After roasting, allow the veg to cool.  Seed the chiles and add the onion, garlic and chiles to a food processor. *Be careful to not touch your eyes after you seed the chiles!!! Now, you can roast larger chiles, too, such as Anaheim or Pasilla chiles, seed and add to the processor, but, I bought a can of whole fire roasted green chiles (by mistake) and so I added that to the processor.   

I pulse the roasted veg, add the juice of two limes, a splash of apple cider vinegar, salt and pepper and a pinch of ground cumin, along with a bit of fresh cilantro.  

I like my salsa a bit chunky, so I did not pulse into a puree.  I wanted the salsa to reveal its incredible flavors amidst all of the rest of the ingredients, cooking low and slow. 

And guess what?  This was the hard part of the entire meal!  Now let's get to the rest!

Here's what I used, simple and easy:

2 cans kidney beans
1 can black beans
1 14.5-ounce can corn
1 cup diced pork belly or thick bacon
Chili or Mexican spice blend*
1 28-0unce can tomato puree
1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
1 cup water or 1 beer

My Mexican Spice Blend*:

1 rounded tablespoon Pasilla powder
1 level tablespoon onion powder
1 level tablespoon garlic powder
1 level tablespoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon cumin seed
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1 rounded tablespoon dried or fresh oregano
 1 teaspoon thyme
2 rounded tablespoons smoked paprika
salt and pepper
 1 rounded teaspoon coriander seed

Rinse the beans and corn.

Saute cubed pork belly or thick cut bacon with a 1/2 teaspoon of cumin seed and two tablespoon extra virgin olive oil over medium-high heat.  When the pork begins to caramelize, add the small can of diced tomatoes and the roasted salsa and stir and half of the spice blend. Saute three minutes.  Add the large can of tomato puree and and stir to incorporate well.  Now add the beans and corn and thoroughly combine. Add the remaining spice blend, stir, and add the water or beer and stir very well to thoroughly combine the ingredients.  Bring it to a boil, reduce the heat to low and cover.  Simmer on low for at least thirty minutes, but if you can, allow it to simmer, covered, for one hour, and thirty minutes uncovered.  

You can do this in a crock pot or slow cooker, set on high for up to eight hours.  Either way, this will be an incredibly comforty dish the whole family will love you for.  Just prior to serving, 

Now, go cook this or something for someone you love!  This dish took very little time to prep and get going.  It is flavorful and filling and can be garnished with whatever you wish, chips, fresh cilantro, whatever your favorite garnish is. Now, again, GO and cook for something for your loved ones!

And as always, Thank You for your time and consideration!

In-House Cook

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