Hubby got home from work last night to a house in ruins. Being Dudette’s last day of school before Christmas break, she brought home all her work and crafts and they were strewn all over the kitchen table and family room. Trying to get a six year-old to clean up after herself is a bit like trying to herd cats, although I have my suspicions that herding cats might be easier.
Dudette pulled Hubby to the tallest pile of papers to show him her handdrawn Grinch and other creations, so I headed back into the kitchen to stir the chili mixture that was simmering on the stove. It was right then, at 6:30 in the evening, that he chose to mention that he wasn’t very hungry because he had eaten a ton at his office’s Christmas party earlier in the day.
At some point I will gently teach my man that informing the cook that he’s not hungry minutes before whatever is for dinner will be served is not a good idea. After all, what if I had spent hours slaving over a standing rib roast only to find out right at that moment that he he had gorged on mediocre catered food instead?
Lucky for him, Dudette and I had eaten our fill of hot dogs and cupcakes at the first grade party, so since we weren’t very hungry either. There were three potatoes baking in the oven and a skillet of Martha’s quick chili on the stove.
Lucky, lucky Hubby.
I wish I could say that this is a great meal when you’re rushed, but since the potatoes take an hour to bake, you do need a little lead time. Yes, you can make them in the microwave, but, well, eww.
One thing to remember is that potatoes release steam as the inside bakes and if that steam doesn’t have holes from which to get out, it’ll make its own, more violent way. This is true for the microwave and the oven baking methods (trust me, I’ve seen it happen).
I like to use a corn cob holder to poke a few holes in potatoes. Since it’s made to pierce the tough cob and has a nice handle, it slides easily into the potato.
There is something missing from this recipe (tomato). As I looked at the photo, I could see red (tomato), yet there wasn’t anything like that in the ingredient list. As I cooked the chili, I wondered why there wasn’t any thickening or cohesion with the beans. It was as though something more was needed (tomato).
In case you haven’t guessed, this was received with lackluster enthusiasm. The ‘potato boat’ idea got everyone excited (they always do), but the chili was kind of gross. Chili powder, black beans and diced green chiles do not a chili make. At all.
What I’d Do Different Next Time
As a potato topper, this idea is great. The chili just needs help. I’d add garlic powder and cumin as spices. I’d also switch out the water for tomato sauce with a tablespoon of tomato paste to help with the thickening. That would give me a chili worth of a perfectly baked potato.
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 4-ounce can diced green chiles
- 1 15.5-ounce can black beans, drained
- ¾ cup water
- 4 baked potatoes
- Shredded Monterey Jack
- Sour Cream
- Avocado, diced
- Cilantro leaves
- In a skillet, heat the olive oil and chili powder until fragrant, 1 minute. Add the diced green chiles, black beans and ¾ cup water. Cook until slightly thickened. Season with salt and pepper.
- Top baked potatoes with chili, shredded Monterey Jack, sour cream, diced avocado and fresh cilantro.