Spicy Chili Mac

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Ingredients:

1 T extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 sweet red bell pepper, chopped
2 jalapenos, deseeded and minced
1 1/2 lb ground chuck
3 t garlic powder
1/2 t fresh cracked black pepper
2 1/2 T chili powder
2 t cumin
1/4 t cayenne powder
Pinch of good sea salt
1 (16 oz) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
2 (10 oz) cans chopped tomatoes with hot chile or peppers – Rotel or Hatch work well.
2 cups elbow macaroni
Water – measure by filling the three empty tomato cans so you get all the tomato goodness within
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped, divided use

Optional: shredded cheddar, chopped onions, slices of jalapeno, Tabasco sauce, etc

Spoon Mage™ Note:

I like to use Gebhardt Chili Powder, but you can use your favorite brand.

Directions:

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, red bell, and jalapeno. Sauté until the onion begins to soften. Add the ground chuck, stirring until the meat is completely cooked. Drain off the excess fats and return the pot to the stove.

Add the garlic, black pepper, chili powder, cumin, cayenne powder, and sea salt to the meat. Stir well and cook for 1-2 minutes.

Add the beans, the three cans of tomatoes, elbow macaroni, and water as measured in the empty tomato cans.

Bring the whole to a simmer, cover, and cook for about 30 minutes or until the macaroni gets very plump. Stir every now and then.

After the macaroni is cooked, add half the cilantro to the pot and stir, cooking one more minute. Taste, adjust seasonings. If it is too thick, add a smidge of water at a time. If it is too thin, cook uncovered for a few extra minutes. The chili will thicken over time. If you make it early in the day, expect to add more water later.

Serve with the remaining cilantro and optional garnishes.

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