One of my favorite fall/winter meals is a bowl of steaming chili and a slice of warm cornbread. While it may be my favorite meal, the recipe that I usually make bores my father. So, this week I decided to try out a new one that used one of his favorite ingredients: chipotle. I have to say that my old recipe was blown out of the water. The smokiness of the chipotle combined with the tang of a little lime juice and the fresh flavor of the cilantro work together to create a truly great dish. I recommend topping it with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkling of cilantro, shredded cheese, and diced red onion. Mix everything together and the umami of flavors is sure to wow.  


  • 3 15-oz. cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 14-1/2-oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 1 medium chipotle plus 2 Tbs. adobo sauce (from a can of chipotles in adobo sauce)
  • 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb. 85% lean ground beef
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 large yellow or white onion, diced
  • 1 small red onion, finely diced
  • 1-1/2 Tbs. chili powder
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 ripe avocado, cut in a medium dice
  • Sour cream (optional)
  • Cheddar cheese(optional)

  • Put one-third of the beans into the bowl of a food processor, along with the tomatoes and their juices, chipotle, and adobo sauce. Process until smooth and set aside.
  • In a  5- to 6-quart Dutch oven or similar heavy-duty pot over medium-high heat the oil until it’s simmering hot, about 2 min. Add the diced yellow/white onion and 1/2 tsp. salt and cook until slightly translucent. Pour into bowl and set aside. 
  • In the same pot you cooked the onion, add the beef, season with 1/2 tsp. salt, and cook, using a wooden spoon to break up the meat, until it loses its raw color, about 3 minutes.  
  • Reduce the heat to medium. Add the chili powder and cumin and cook for 20 seconds. Add the remaining black beans, the puréed bean mixture, and the cooked onions to the pot and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. 
  • Add half of the lime juice, half of the cilantro, and salt and pepper to taste.
  • You can either eat the chili now or continue to simmer for a while (I left it on low for an hour).
  • Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix the remaining lime juice and onion with the avocado. Season generously with salt and pepper.
  • Serve the chili topped with the avocado mixture, remaining cilantro, diced red onion, and whatever other toppings you so desire. 

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