Red kidney beans were once my nemesis. My picky 8-year old self saw them as ginormous, starchy, foul-tasting enemies to be avoided at all costs.
My under developed taste buds found them so repelling I picked them out of my chili along with any onions, garlic or peppers. Every single one. No matter how tiny the piece.
I despised those hidden pieces of vegetables (the very same ones I love today) just as much as I did the beans. No matter that everyone was finished eating when I was just beginning. Under no circumstance were they going to enter my mouth. I’d starve first.
My grown-up self hasn’t touched a red kidney bean.
Then. . .
a can bearing their likeness mysteriously appeared in my cupboard. I hate when that happens.
My Dad, lover of all things beans, practically begged me to do this.
A thick and hearty chili was born with spicy hunks of chorizo sausage, the kidney beans, sweet corn, strips of colorful bell peppers and tomatoes.
I bet you already guessed what happens next. . .
I gave the red kidney beans a second chance. They deserved it. I didn’t hate them. I kind of liked them. They weren’t nearly as large and offensive as my child-self remembered them being.
Surrounding them with tasty ingredients I really like helped. With their meaty, earthy quality they fit right in with the crowd.
If you don’t like red kidney beans you can use a different type of bean. Or not. If you don’t like red kidney beans use them anyways. If you do like red kidney beans use one you don’t like. Get it?
Maybe, just maybe, I’ve inspired you to give a hated bean a second chance.
A thick and hearty chili with spicy hunks of chorizo sausage, kidney beans, sweet corn, strips of colorful bell peppers and tomatoes.
- In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan or stock pot cook the Chorizo until browned on all sides, if using ground break it apart as it cooks. Once browned remove the links to a large cutting board or the ground meat to a bowl.
- Carefully drain off the grease. Add a few tablespoons olive oil and cook the peppers and onion over medium-low heat until about 5 minutes, seasoning well with salt and pepper. Add garlic and saute until fragrant.
- Mix in beans, tomatoes, corn, chile powder, oregano and cumin. Season well with salt and pepper.
- Slice the chorizo into 3/4" rounds and then cut each one in half. Add to pan. Bring to a simmer and cook 30-35 minutes. Taste halfway through and add more seasonings/salt and pepper if needed.
- Serve topped with sour cream, cheese, cilantro and tortilla chips.