Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Tried and tested: Cheap and fast chili beans

I cooked this dish quite often during a period in my life when I couldn’t get any work that suited my education because I had no previous experience with the work I wanted, only my degree. While I was looking for an office job, I took a job with the city social services, cleaning houses for pensioners, which was half-cleaning, half-social work, and very badly paid. This dish, made from some very cheap ingredients, provided energy and a long-lasting feeling of fullness and didn't put too much of a strain on my budget. I had always planned to try making it from scratch with dried beans and fresh tomatoes, but never got round to it.

1 can plain kidney beans or chili kidney beans
1 medium onion, cut into thin slices
2 or more garlic cloves, chopped or crushed
1 small bell pepper (red or green), cut into small pieces
100 g bacon pieces (or equivalent in rashers cut into small squares)
ketchup or tomato paste to taste
Pepper and salt
Chopped fresh red chili peppers to taste (this may not be necessary of the chili beans are particularly hot)

Sausages, chopped, or
Ground beef, browned

Put everything except the salt, pepper and chillies into a saucepan or cooking pot and heat to boiling. When the mixture boils, add salt and spices to taste. Simmer on low, uncovered, until the sauce is thickened.

Topped with cheese this makes a nice filling for tortillas.

No comments: