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Chili, let me count the ways

Wow, there must be a thousand different ways to fix chili. Everyone seems to have their own version, or even several. I have several I want to share with you. For your home use or community cook-off all of these are sure winners.

CHUNKY-VEGETARIAN CHILI

• 1 medium green pepper, chopped

• 1 medium onion, chopped

• 3 cloves garlic, minced

• 1 Tbsp. canola oil

• 2 cans (14-1/2 oz. each) Mexican-style stewed tomatoes, undrained

• 1 can (16 oz.) kidney beans, rinsed and drained

• 1 can (15 oz.) pinto beans, rinsed and drained

• 1 can (11 oz.) whole kernel corn, drained

• 2-1/2 cups water

• 1 cup uncooked long grain rice

• 1 to 2 Tbsp. chili powder

• 1-1/2 tsp. ground cumin

In a Dutch oven, sauté green pepper, onion and garlic in oil until tender. Stir in all remaining ingredients; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer until rice is cooked, 25-35 minutes, stirring occasionally. If thinner chili is desired, add more water. Makes 12 servings (2-3/4 qt.)

WHITE CHILI WITH A KICK

• 1 large onion, chopped

• 6 Tbsp. butter, cubed

• 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour

• 2 cups chicken broth

• 3/4 cup half-n-half cream

• 1 rotisserie chicken, chopped

• 2 cans (15 oz. each) cannellini beans,

rinsed and drained

• 1 can (11 oz.) white corn, drained

• 2 tsp. ground cumin

• 2 cans (4 oz. each) chopped green chiles

• 1 tsp. chili powder

• 1/2 tsp. salt

• 1/2 tsp. pepper

• 1/2 tsp. hot pepper sauce

• 1-1/2 cups shredded pepper cheese

Optional: Salsa, chopped green onions

and extra cheese

In a Dutch oven, sauté onion in butter. Stir in flour until blended; cook and stir until golden brown, 3 minutes. Gradually add broth and cream. Bring to a boil; cook and stir until thickened, 2 minutes. Add the chicken, beans, corn, chilies, cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper and pepper sauce; heat through. Stir in cheese. If desired, garnish with salsa, green onions and extra cheese. Makes 9 servings (2-1/4 qt.)

BEEFY SWEET POTATO CHILI

• 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed

• 2 lbs. ground beef 80/20

• 2 ribs celery, chopped

• 1 large onion, chopped

• 1 medium green pepper, chopped

• 4 garlic cloves, minced

• 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced

• 2 cans (14-1/2 oz. each) chicken broth,

reduced sodium broth

• 1 can (14-1/2 oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained

• 2 Tbsp. chili powder

• 2 Tbsp. tomato paste

• 3/4 tsp. ground cumin

• Salt and pepper to taste

• 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

• 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter

• 1 can (16 oz.) kidney beans, rinsed and drained

Place potatoes in a greased 15×10×1-in. baking pan. Bake uncovered, at 400 degrees until tender, stirring once, 20-25 minutes. Meanwhile, in a Dutch oven, cook the beef, celery, onion, green pepper, garlic and jalapeno over medium heat until meat is no longer pink and vegetables are tender; drain. Stir in the broth, tomatoes, chili powder, tomato paste and seasonings. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 45 minutes. Add the potatoes and beans and butter; heat for additional 25 minutes or until heated through. Makes 8 servings (2-qts).

HINT OF THE WEEK: After you unpack groceries, take just a little time to prep ingredients and place them in plastic bags, wash and chop fruits and vegetables, and place meats in marinades. Weeknight dinners will be much easier.

Patti Howerton is a retired accountant and caterer and can be reached at phowerton@ gmail.com