From July, 2009
Wouldn’t it be inspiring if I could say that every single day I make tiny, perfect little portions of beautiful food created out of fresh, local, organic products? Unfortunately, that’s just not the case for me. Sometimes I just want a big pot of something easy that requires almost no prep work and makes great leftovers. Something that I can just throw together and eat for a couple of days when cooking something fresh and beautiful is the last thing on my mind. There are more options for this type of food than you would believe! This is just one. Feel free to take this and modify it to create something that’s your own! 1 yellow onion, diced 1.5 lb hot italian sausage (bulk is easiest, but you can use links) 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes 1 14 oz can “fire roasted” diced tomatoes 2 14 oz cans black beans, drained (or 2-4 cups prepared black beans) or any other bean you prefer 1 or 2 7 oz cans chipotle chilies in adobo sauce 1 4 oz can diced green chilies or diced jalapeños, drained (feel free to use fresh; removing seeds and white membrane will reduce heat) 2 cups corn (optional) 1 tbs cumin 1-3 tbs chili powder (amount depends on how spicy you like your food and the quality of your chili powder) 1/3-1/2 cup water 2 tsp coarse salt (add more if desired) 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper (add more if desired) Garnish (all optional): Sour Cream Cheddar Cheese Cilantro Green Onions Anything! Get a big pot. Saute onions in the pot with salt. Add hot italian sausage and sauté until thoroughly cooked. Don’t pour off the fat unless you need to! Remember: this is a Big Ol’ Pot of “I Don’t Feel Like Cooking!” If you pour off the fat, you will most likely lose quite a bit of the spicing in the sausage. Feel free to brown the meat for a better flavor if you feel inspired. Add Cumin, Chili Powder, Black Pepper and sauté. Add Chipotle Chilies with Adobo Sauce and break up chipotles into smaller pieces. Add remaining ingredients with 1/3-1/2 cup water. Simmer to desired consistency. I usually simmer, stirring frequently, until the consistency is about that of a really good pot of chili. Totally up to you. Taste your creation and see if you need more salt, pepper, or spices. Garnish as desired and serve! This is actually quite a bit easier than it looks at first, and in the end, the only prep work to do is dicing the onion. The only dishes that you have to wash will be one cutting board, one knife, one big pot, and one spoon or ladle. Cooking can be as simple or as complex as you choose. The questions that you should ask yourself when cooking are whether your dish suits your needs and whether you have a recipe that includes ingredients that you like! Do you want fresh and healthy food? Do you want fewer dishes to clean? (There are quite a few of us out here who don’t own a dishwasher!) Do you want to feed a crowd or have leftovers? Sometimes all you have to do is find a few ingredients that you like, throw them into a pot, cook them all together, and serve! There’s no big secret to cooking; just make the food that you want to eat, bring people together, and share your creations!