Our winter has been one of the wettest in recent years - which, on the one hand is good news as it puts an end to the four-year drought in most of our state. Today I read that nevertheless the California State Water Resources Control Board extended out state's emergency drought regulations at least until May which I think is very wise. On the other hand, so much rain has brought a lot of flooding and mud slides - and, of course, many gray and rather chilly days.
In order to beat the chill I cook chili - sort of. A couple years ago I found a recipe for this Southwest skillet chili mac, and it quickly has become a family favorite. The recipe says to put beef in it, and it certainly is delicious with it. However, since Kaefer has become a pescatarian and I also want to cut down on meat consumption, I have been re-thinking many of my recipes. This recipe is perfect for a filling vegetarian meal.
Here's what you need:
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium red onion, finely diced
- 2 red bell peppers, diced
- 3-5 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 1/2 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tbsp cumin
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- salt and pepper
- 1 can diced tomatoes with liquid (14.5 oz)
- 1 can tomato paste (6 oz)
- 1 1/2 c water
- 1 can corn, drained (15.25 oz)
- 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed (15 oz)
- 1 1/2 c uncooked macaroni
- 1 1/2 c shredded cheddar cheese
Heat the oil over medium low heat in a large cast iron skillet, dutch oven or oven-safe saute pan.
Add the onions and peppers and cook until beginning to soften (about 4 minutes), then add the garlic and cook for another minute or two.
Add the chili powder, cumin, cayenne, salt and pepper, and mix well.
Stir in the tomatoes, tomato paste, water, corn, beans and macaroni, mixing well.
Cover and simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the past is just tender.
Stir in half of the cheese, then sprinkle the rest on top and put it in the top third of your oven with the broiler on 400 F (200 C) and allow the cheese to brown. Then serve.
We like to eat tortilla chips with it, and - don't forget the wine!!!