Summertime and the Chili is Easy

Summer is almost here, its hot and humid in Florida. I love the ease and the flavor of chili but it can be a little much for those hot Summer months. I decided to lighten it up a bit by adding some fresher and brighter ingredients, but kept the spice and the ease of a one pot meal.

Summertime Chili

3T canola oil

1 yellow onion chopped

2 cloves garlic finely chopped

2 fresh jalapeno diced

2 lbs ground meat (turkey, beef or pork will work)

1/2 t salt

1/2 t cumin

1/2 t mexican oregano

3 T chili powder

1 28 oz can of whole peeled tomatoes with juice

1 can dark red kidney beans

2 ears of fresh corn, kernels removed ( approx 1 1/4 cup) you could use frozen or canned corn, but corn is in season in the summer and adds a freshness and slight crunch to the dish.

1 t lime zest

lime wedges

chopped cilantro

Heat oil over Med high heat, add onion, garlic and jalapeno, and sauté for 3 min. Add ground meat and cook until browned (drain fat if necessary), add salt, cumin, oregano, and chili powder. Then add tomatoes with juice, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and cover.

Cook for one hour, stirring occasionally and breaking up tomatoes with the spoon. Add beans and corn kernels and zest, cook for 15 min more.

Serve in bowls and top with fresh cilantro and squeeze lime wedges over the top.

 

 

Ricotta Meatballs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

1.75 lbs ground meat, (anything would work here, I used a pork, beef  mix)

1/2 c ricotta cheese

1 egg

1 t minced garlic

1T lemon juice

1T 1/2 and 1/2 or milk

1T Italian Seasoning

1/2 t salt

1/8 t black pepper

1 c panko bread crumbs

Mix ingredients together in a large mixing bowl, I use mine hands, make sure you incorporate the ricotta into the meat mixture well.

Roll meat into balls wetting fingers with water to prevent sticking if needed and place on an ungreased cookie sheet, leave room between them so they cook evenly.

Bake for 1/2 hour, or until no longer pink in the center.

Add to pasta or make subs with your favorite sauce, or try making your own.

I like them on a roll with tomato sauce, arugula and asiago cheese, but the possibilities are endless.