I tried this as a base for mixing two recipes, so I had a few variations, but my family absolutely loved it: I used black beans instead of white, and pureed 1/2 of a butternut squash (as my hubby had questions about squash in chili -- he's not a squash fan.) I also added red and green peppers (cooked with the onion and garlic) half a bag of frozen corn, dried cilantro and a couple dried bay leaves, and 3 spring (green) onions. No tomato sauce or hominy. No salt at all (there's enough in the canned beans and tomatoes). Yes black and cayenne pepper, and in fact a little too much of it. That's where the puree came in handy. I'd only used half of the puree at first, but when I got heavy-handed on the pepper, I used the other half to calm the heat, and it worked beautifully. It was still spicy, but calm enough for my 6 year old to eat. As cooked, it was a little too soupy for my taste but paired with brown rice or quinoa, it made a very delicious and hardy meal. A very large pot did not last very long with only 3 people in the house. This is one of those dishes that tastes better the second day when all the spices come together. Also, because it is great topped with sour cream or avocado (more heat reducers) you can make it as spicy as you wish, and let individuals add toppings to suit their heat sensitivities. Served with cornbread, this dish was golden.
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I tried this as a base for mixing two recipes, so I had a few variations, but my family...