November 29th, 2008

Chipotle Chili With Sweet Potatoes And Brussel Sprouts

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The chipotle has got to be this decade’s sundried tomato. Barely glance a menu and you’ll catch it weaseling its way into soups, sauces, omelets, even desserts. But the chipotle’s pervasive stature is not unearned. Its smoky heat adds so much flavor to anything it touches you’d be hard pressed not to reach for it when you want to whip up something fast and tasty.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock (or in Sheepshead Bay), you’ll know that a chipotle is a smoked jalapeno. You can find them dried (just like their tomato predecessors), but more commonly they come stewed in a can with adobo, a vinegary tomato based sauce. I usually remove the seeds before using, that way you can use more chipotles without adding too much heat.

This is another one of those clean out my cupboard and fridge recipes. I had plenty of sweet potatoes and brussel sprouts left over from my holiday festivities and this was a flavorful and filling way to use them up. And no matter how many recipes I write I know deep in my heart that people just want to cook a handful of dishes. Pesto, “meatballs”, mashed potatoes, but above all, chili.

Chipotle Chili With Sweet Potatoes And Brussel Sprouts

Serves 6 to 8

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 red onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon coriander seed, crushed
2 teaspoons dried oregano
3 chipotles, seeded and chopped
1 1/2 lbs sweet potatoes (2 average sized), peeled and cut into 3/4 inch pieces
12 oz brussels sprouts, quartered lengthwise (about 2 cups)
2 teaspoons ground cumin
3 teaspoons new mexico chili powder (or other mild chili powder)
1 32 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 cup water
1 16 oz can pintos, rinsed and drained (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
Fresh lime juice to taste (about one lime was good for me)

In a soup pot over medium heat, saute onion in olive oil for about 7 minutes, until translucent. Add garlic, coriander seeds, and oregano and saute a minute more. Add remaining ingredients (except for lime juice). Mix well. The sweet potatoes and brussel sprout will be peaking out of the tomato sauce, but don’t worry, they will cook down.

Cover pot and bring to a boil, then lower heat to simmer for about half an hour, stirring often, until sweet potatoes and fork tender but not mushy. Squeeze in lime juice to taste and adjust any other seasonings. Let sit uncovered for at least 10 minutes before eating.

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