Firecracker Chili Recipe

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Canned chipotle chiles in adobo provide both heat and a rich smokey flavor. Find them in well-stocked supermarkets or in Hispanic groceries. Any leftover chipotles can be frozen for future use.
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  • 1 pound dry beans, preferably pinto beans
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, or to taste, minced
  • 3 chipotle chiles in adobo, chopped (include some sauce)
  • 4 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 4 cups chopped fresh tomatoes OR one 28 oz. can
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream (optional)
  • 1/2 cup grated cheese (optional)
20 mins
2 hrs
3 hrs
  • Sort and rinse beans. Add 2 quarts water (if possible, do not use very hard water-- this could prevent beans from softening) and let stand overnight, or use quick-soak method: boil beans in 2 quarts water for 2 minutes, cover, and let stand 1 hour.
  • Return beans and soaking water to medium heat.
  • In a saucepan or skillet, heat oil. Add chopped onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook another minute or two. Add to beans.
  • Add chipotles, chili powder, salt, ketchup, and tomatoes to beans. Adjust heat to maintain a simmer and cook until beans are tender,  1  1/2 - 2 hours. Taste for seasoning. Top, if desired, with any or all of: sour cream, chopped fresh cilantro, grated cheese. 
  • TIP: Allow plenty of time for beans to cook - old beans take longer.
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