one of my favorite recipes that i've found on allrecipes.com is this one for white chili. i'm not huge on variating recipes... but i read a lot of comments on this one and then just did what i did. i did a good job too! it's so good, that i emailed it to my family members that don't eat meat and told them that i thought the flavor was good enough that they'd even like it without the meat part!
well, the other day, it was on our menu to make and you wouldn't believe it, but i TOTALLY and COMPLETELY spaced out the chicken. i knew i was making it early in the day because i used dried beans and cooked them in the crock pot. i just forgot to get out the chicken, unthaw it, and cook it. AND... i didn't even realize i forgot it, until the recipe called for it. so... i was kinda at a loss as for what to do. but i just decided we'd try it without the chicken. my sister had said she made it and LOVED it (even adding it to their menu) and i knew she doesn't eat chicken, so... i'd just go for it!
awesomely enough, this recipe was seriously just as good without the chicken (or chicken stock).
also it uses a LOT of beans, so to make this recipe really relatively cheap, you can easily cook up a package of dried great northern beans and use them all in one recipe!
i used to only buy dry dried beans because the cost of them is so much cheaper than canned. but i just found that i'd dread making anything with beans because it'd just make SO MUCH! and we'd be really sick of it by the time we were half done.
that was back before i had a lot of the reasoning skills and talents i have nowadays. it was also when we had a family of 3 eaters. we eat a lot more these days. but still... a bag of dried beans makes about 4 canned beans worth. and how many recipes call for more than 1, maybe 2 cans of beans?! and then, you have to take in account the time it takes to make those dried beans, right? (this usually was the kicker for me, to be honest.) if you follow the directions on the package, you have to rinse, sort, soak, rinse again, and then cook the dried beans. that, for me, (because i'm a rule follower) took at least 4 hours. who has 4 hours to rinse, sort, soak, rinse again, and then cook beans?! i mean, who WANTS TO?!!!
so, after talking with my mom about it, because she couldn't understand why we'd buy canned beans with a family as large as ours. i told her my complaints (see above paragraph), and she reasoned with me like this, (and i quote) "I don’t clean, sort, or soak. I just throw them in a pan, cover them with water, and cook them. The beans you buy in the store are already clean (after all, you boil them so any germs would be killed even if they weren’t)". so... since i grew up eating her uncleaned, unsorted, unsoaked beans and didn't die, i decided i'd see if i was being unreasonable.
i couldn't just completely trust her, because i still am, after all, a rule follower. after reading the directions on the back of the bag completely several times, i decided that i'd just pour the beans out in a strainer, rinse them, pick through them and take out the rocks and clods of dirt, (i do buy them from the store, but the bottom of the bag says, "beans are a natural agricultural product. despite use of modern cleaning equipment, it is not always possible to remove all foreign material. sort and rinse means before cooking." and then rinse them again real well. then i put them in the crock pot (or pot on the stove) and use the amount of water it calls for (around 6 cups), and boil/simmer them until they're cooked. it still takes about 2 hours, but as long as i think ahead, it's worth the price comparison.
also, i read a tip that you can make them in the crock pot and then just store them in canning jars (pint sized) in the fridge and then just use them as you would canned beans (in the small quantity)!
anyway, so enough tips... onto the recipe!
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (oil is always optional)
- 1-2 onions, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 cooked, boneless chicken breast half, chopped (optional amount and/or optional altogether)
- 3 (14.5 ounce) cans chicken or vegetable broth (or just water works)
- 2 (4 ounce) cans canned chopped green chile peppers
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
- at least 5 (14.5 ounce) cans of any white or light colored beans, undrained (at least 3 pureed) ---we use mostly great northern, sometimes substituting a can or two of pinto.
- i use 1 bag of dried great northern beans and add 1 can (or pint jar) of pinto beans
- 2 cans of white (shoepeg) corn
- Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and saute for 10 minutes, or until onions are tender. Add the chicken, chicken broth, green chile peppers, cumin, oregano and cayenne pepper and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to low and add the beans and corn. Simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, or until heated thoroughly. Pour into individual bowls and top with the tortilla chips, cheese, sour cream, green onions, or whatever you desire.
i wish i had pictures for you... but again, i've lost my camera. please help me look for it!
Try to remember, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."