Want to know how I know that summer is on its way? Corn! Sweet, beautiful, plump ears of it! Ok, I know that California is a bit spoiled in our growing seasons and that many of you won’t experience fresh corn until later in the summer, but I hope you will remember this recipe when you do. Kevin (le fiance) requested something with chipotle peppers and adobo sauce this week and I’ve been itching to use some lovely Vaquero beans I picked up from Rancho Gordo a few weeks ago, so chili seemed like a natural choice. I loaded it with lots of spring and summer veggies and let the spiciness do the talking. Hope you are enjoying the sunshine; I know I am!
1/2 pound dried beans of choice (as long as it’s something hearty and fit for chili, you use your own judgment)
1/2 large red onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, chopped
2 red bell peppers, chopped
2 zucchini, cut into half-inch slices then quartered
28 ounce can diced tomatoes
3 diced chipotle peppers with about 1 tablespoon adobo sauce (this made for very spicy chili, however, so reduce amount listed here and work your way up to a level with which you feel comfortable)
How beautiful are those colors?
1/2 cup to 1 cup water, mixed with 1/2 a 7-ounce can of tomato paste (vary amount of water based on how thick you want your chili)
3 ears of fresh sweet corn, kernels sliced off the cob
Salt and pepper to taste
Pick through and then rinse beans. Cover with a good amount of water and let soak overnight. Be sure to put enough water in there; these babies plump up a lot (I know from experience, mine were a tad crunchy).
Next day, drizzle some olive oil in your chili pot of choice and saute onions, garlic, bell peppers and zucchini over medium heat until soft and fragrant. Add in beans, tomatoes, chipotle peppers and adobo sauce, tomato-paste and water mixture, corn and salt and pepper. Mix well, then cover, reduce heat to low, and let simmer for about 30 minutes. For the vegans, this would be great topped with some chunks of avocado; for everyone else, sour cream or cheddar cheese would also rock.